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How to Transfer Microsoft Office to Another Computer

This article will show you how to install/transfer Microsoft Office to another computer.

What to Know

  • To move Microsoft Office to a new computer, you must deactivate it on your old one.
  • To activate Microsoft Office on your new computer, call the activation number.
  • If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you won’t need to deactivate it.
How to Transfer Microsoft Office to Another Computer

Suppose you have a Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) subscription. In that case, you can install and use Office apps on up to 5 devices at once, eliminating the need to deactivate your other installations.

However, let’s say you have a non-subscription version of Office 2021, Office 2019, or Office 2016. Then, you’ll need to install or activate Microsoft Office on a new PC or Mac (usually over the phone) before deactivating it on the old one.

Transfer Microsoft Office to a new computer

This article explains three ways to move Microsoft Office to another computer (Windows and Mac).

Let’s get started.

Method 1: Transfer Office 2021, 2019, or 2016 to a New PC (Non-Subscription)

1. Visit the Microsoft Office Website on the new computer. To access the Office website, you can use any web browser, including Chrome, Safari, Edge, or Firefox.

  • Use this method if you don’t have a Microsoft 365 subscription. And wish to transfer an activated copy of Office Home & Business, Office Home & Student, or Office Professional to a new Windows PC.
  • Since you’re allowed to install the standalone version of Office on one computer at a time, you’ll install Office on the new computer. Activate it over the phone, and then uninstall the applications from your old computer.

2. Sign in to your Microsoft account. Use the same account information you have used to sign in to Microsoft products like Outlook.com, Live.com, or Hotmail.com. Sign in with your work or school account if you use Office at work or school.

  • Sign in to the same Microsoft account associated with your Office purchase.

3. Click Install Office. It’s a white button, and you’ll find it near the top-right corner of the page. It downloads the installer on your computer, though you may need to click the Save File option to begin the process.

4. Click Install Office. You can find it near the top-right corner of the page. It downloads the Office installer onto your computer. Although, you may need to select the Save File option to begin the process.

  • If you’re signed in with a work or school account and don’t see the option to install Office, go to https://aka.ms/office-install in your browser.

5. Click the Install or Install Office button. The options available depend on the version you’re installing.

6. Double-click the Office installer to run it. The installer file is saved to your default Downloads folder and has a name that begins with “setup” and ends with .exe.

7. Click Yes on UAC to start the installation. This option is available from the User Account Control window. Your Office will begin installing.

8. Click Close to finish the installation. Do it after Office successfully installs.

9. Open any Office app. You can open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or any other Office app from the Windows Start menu.

10. Select I want to activate the software by telephone and hit ↵ Enter. You will see this option on the Office activation wizard window.

11. Call the Office activation phone number for your region. To display the phone number, choose your country from the drop-down menu and call the number on your phone.

12. Provide the Office installation ID on the phone when asked. You can see this number under the “Installation ID.” You will hear a confirmation ID once you say or enter the number.

13. Enter the confirmation ID and click Next. After providing your installation ID, the recording or computer agent will read this number. Once you’ve done this, Office will activate on the new PC.

14. Uninstall Office on the old PC. Do the following:

  • Press the Windows Key + S simultaneously to open the Search bar.
  • Type Control Panel in the search box and click to open it.
  • Click Uninstall a program under Programs.
  • Scroll down and select Microsoft Office (version).
  • Click Uninstall at the top and follow the on-screen instructions.

Method 2: Transfer Office 2021, 2019, or 2016 to a New Mac (Non-Subscription)

1. Install the latest macOS updates on both computers. On both computers, install the most recent macOS updates. On both Macs, select the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen, click System Preferences, then Software Update, and click Software Update if available. It ensures that the data is transferred smoothly between the two Macs.

  • Use this method if you don’t have a Microsoft 365 subscription but have a license for Office 2021, 2019, or 2016. If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, see Transfer Using a Microsoft 365 Subscription (PC and Mac).
  • Your product key gets linked to your Microsoft account as of the release of Office 2016. As a result, you won’t need your product key to reinstall Office on another computer.

2. Make sure the old Mac has a computer name set. Your mac computer on which you have installed Office must have a “computer name” set to use the Migration Assistant utility. Here’s how to check:

  • Click the Apple icon at the top left and click System Preferences.
  • Select Sharing.
  • If the “Computer Name” field is empty, type a name. It could be anything, such as “Old Mac.”

3. Connect both Macs. Connect both Macs to the same Wi-Fi or Ethernet network if they run El Capitan or earlier. If both Macs are running the most recent version of macOS (or even just High Sierra or later), place them close together and turn Wi-Fi on. 

  • Suppose you’ve used Time Machine to back up your Microsoft Office installation to another drive. In that case, you can connect the Time Machine drive to the new Mac instead.

4. Open the Migration Assistant utility on the new Mac. To do this:

  • Open the Finder icon (the two-toned face on the Dock).
  • Click Applications from the left.
  • Click the Utilities Folder twice.
  • Double-click the Migration Assistant to open it.
  • Click the Continue button.

5. Select “From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or Startup disk” and select Continue. It’s the very first option on the list.

6. Click Continue. You will complete the following step on a Mac that has Microsoft Office installed.

  • Skip to Step 10 if you’re using a Time Machine backup drive.

7. Open Migration Assistant on your old Mac. It is the Mac with Office already installed. You can find Migration Assistant in the Applications folder under Utilities.

8. Click Continue. It’s at the bottom right corner.

9. Select “To another Mac” and click Continue. You’ll now return to the new Mac.

10. Select your old Mac or Time Machine backup drive and click Continue. Depending on how you’re transferring files, you may need to do one of the following:

  • If a security code appears, double-check that the same code appears on the old Mac, and then click Continue.
  • If prompted to select a backup from which to transfer data, choose the most recent backup and click Continue.

11. Select the information you want to transfer to your new Mac. Check the box next to “Applications” because Microsoft Office is a collection of programs. You might also want to copy other data, such as your user account, settings, and other files and folders.

12. Click Continue. It starts copying Microsoft Office and other applications to your new Mac. Microsoft Office will be available in your Applications folder after the migration completes.

  • If you receive an activation error when opening Microsoft Office on your new Mac, select I want to activate the software by telephone on the Activation screen. Click Next, then follow the on-screen activation steps. Uninstall Office from your old Mac once it has been activated.

13. Open any Office app on your new Mac. Any Office app, such as Word or Excel, can be used. The Launchpad is where you’ll find your Office apps.

14. Activate via telephone if you receive an activation error. You should be able to use Office without issues because you migrated it from your old Mac. If you receive an activation error, you must follow these steps to activate over the phone:

  • Choose I want to activate the software by phone and click Next on the Activation Wizard.
  • Select the country/region from which you are calling to view the telephone number of the Product Activation Center.
  • Call the activation number and enter the “Installation ID” from “Step 2.”
  • Enter the confirmation ID given by the phone service into the blank boxes under “Step 3.”
  • Click Next and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the activation process.

15. Remove Office from your old Mac. Now that you’ve activated Office on the new Mac, you can no longer use it on the old one. To uninstall/remove Office from an old Mac, follow these steps:

  • Open the Finder app from Dock.
  • Select the Applications folder.
  • Click on each Office app while holding down the Command ⌘ key. Make sure to select all of the Office apps that begin with the word “Microsoft.”
  • Hold down the Control (Ctrl) button while clicking the selected apps. A menu will appear.
  • To uninstall/remove Office, click Move to Trash. You can then right-click on the Trash and click Empty Trash to free up hard drive space.

Method 3: Transfer Using a Microsoft 365 Subscription (PC and Mac)

If you have a Microsoft Office subscription, it’s linked to your Microsoft account. You need to deactivate your Microsoft 365 subscription on your first computer, install it on your new PC or Mac, and activate the subscription there.

Note: You can also use this method to transfer Microsoft Office to new computer without product key.

1. Go to https://www.office.com on the new computer. To access the Office website, you can use any web browser, including Edge, Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.

  • Use this method if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription and want to install Office apps (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) on a new PC or Mac. With a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can simultaneously sign in to Office on up to 5 devices (computers, phones, or tablets).
  • If you’ve already reached the maximum number of sign-ins, visit https://account.microsoft.com/services/microsoft365/install and deactivate one of the logged-in devices. All you need to do is click the Sign-out button next to the device you want to log out.

2. Sign in to your Microsoft account. This email address and password are associated with your Microsoft 365 subscription and usually end in Outlook.com, Live.com, or Hotmail.com. Sign in with your work or school account if you’re using Office at work or school.

  • If you don’t remember this email address, open an Office app (such as Word or PowerPoint) on the old computer. Click File > Account, and look for the email address under “Product Information” next to “Belongs to.”

3. Click Install Office. You can find it near the top-right corner of the Office page. It downloads the installer setup on your computer, though you may need to select the Save File option to begin the process.

  • If you’ve signed in with a work or school account and don’t see the option to install Office, visit https://aka.ms/office-install in your browser.

4. Click the Install or Install Office Button. The options available depend on the version of Office you’re installing.

  • If signed in with a work or school account, select Microsoft 365 apps to begin the installation.

5. Run the Office installer. The installer downloads to your default download location, usually the Downloads folder. To begin the installation, double-click the installer file.

  • On Windows, the installer’s name will start with “setup” and end with .exe.
  • On Mac, the installer’s name begins with “Microsoft_Office” and ends with .pkg.

6. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Office. Depending on your operating system, the steps are slightly different:

  • Windows: Click Yes on a User Account Control (UAC) prompt to allow the installer to run and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
  • macOS:
    • If you see an error that says, “can’t open the installer .pkg because it is from an unknown developer,” wait about 10-15 seconds and drag the installer to your desktop. Then, hold down the command  key while clicking the file to try again.
    • Click the Continue button and follow the on-screen instructions.

7. Open any Office app once installed. You can use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or any other app. Find your Office applications in the Start menu if using a Windows computer. Office apps are available on the Launchpad if you’re using a Mac.

Tip: If you don’t see your Office apps on the Launchpad, you can open them from Finder > Applications.

8. Activate Office. After Signing in and accepting the license agreement, Windows will activate all Office apps. If you’re using a Mac, proceed as follows:

  • Click the Get Started button on the “What’s New” window.
  • Click Sign In and type your Microsoft (or work) account email address and password.
    • If you don’t see this option, click the File tab at the top left corner, select New from the left pane, and click Sign In.
  • Once your Office is activated, click Start Using (or whichever app you opened).

No matter which method you choose, follow the instructions carefully to ensure a successful transfer of Microsoft Office to another computer.