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Can Office 2021 or Office 2019 move to another computer?

Can you move Office 2021 or Office 2019 from one computer to another? The answer is ‘maybe’, it depends on how Microsoft Office 2019 or Office 2021 was purchased.

‘Perpetual license’ or non-subscription versions of Microsoft Office 2021 or Office 2019 are limited to just one computer at a time. Not the ‘one desktop and one laptop computer’ that applied many years ago.

Installing on the first computer is OK. But what if you want to move Office 2021/2019 software to another computer? Most likely from an old computer to a new replacement machine owned by the same person?

That should be possible depending on how you purchased Office 2021 or Office 2019 either as a retail/ volume license product or included with a new computer (OEM).

Same software just a different license

The Office 2021 or Office 2019 software and features are exactly the same for all licenses; Retail, Volume or OEM.

The only difference is the licensing rules that apply to the use and transferability of the software.

Retail or Volume

Any Office 2021 or Office 2019 purchased separately from a computer can be transferred to another computer that you own.

That includes Office 2021 / Office 2019 bought retail (aka FPP Full Packaged Product) or as part of a volume license agreement.  Volume licenses include Education and other special bulk licenses.

In theory, only one transfer every 90 days is allowed but if there’s a hardware problem (‘crash’) that limitation is waived. You may need to call Microsoft and explain your situation.

Microsoft’s rules do NOT seem to allow sale or transfer of an Office 2021/2019 license to another person.  Unlike earlier versions of Office, modern Office licenses are linked to a user’s Microsoft account.

OEM or pre-installed with a new computer

Any Office 2021 or Office 2019 that’s preinstalled with a new computer may NOT be moved to another machine.

It’s called the ‘OEM’ rule.  OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer is nerd talk for a computer maker.

That’s the official line from Microsoft.  In the real world, people can buy the transfer limited OEM version of Office without realizing it.

You might need to check what type of Office licence you have see What Office License do you have? Retail, Volume or OEM

See the license rules for Office 2019 and Office 2021 if you want to see the official software licence agreement which sets out the single use and transfer rules.

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