We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


Finding Microsoft office key

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2009-12-16
I' upgrading my G4 to an Intel dual chip Laptop. How do I find the key for my Microsoft Office 2003 ? The jewel case and installation book have disappeared.
Thanking you in advance
Patrick Butler
Terrace BC
Watch Question

Computer Integration Specialist
There is a sticker on the jewel case that says specifically "DO NOT LOSE YOUR CD KEY"...

so you need to contact Microsoft and provide proof of purchase.

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist


The number is in the upper right
Andrew DuffyTechnical Services Coordinator
There's actually no software method of retrieving the key from the computer at all - you definitely need the label.
Hi Is the MS OFFICE 2004 for mac you referring to I suppose.

There is no way you can recover your Product key from the installed version.

The below information for your reading reference only
Resetting your MacOffice PID
Note: This applies to Office 2001, Office v.X and Office 2004.

When you first install Office, you type in your CD Key, which generates a PID (Product IDentification) code. If you need to change it for any reason, it can be difficult to find documentation on how to do it.

The first option is to run the Remove Office application. For Office 2001, you should use the version available at MacTopia. For Office v.X, the application is found in the Value Pack folder on the Office installation disk. This requires reinstalling Office plus any Value Pack items, plus all the relevant updates (make sure you repair permissions afterward)

An alternative is to, with all Office apps closed, delete these files (shown in their normal locations). For OS X, see the note below:

Office 2001:

HD/System Folder/Preferences/Microsoft/Microsoft Office Settings (9)
HD/Applications (Mac OS 9)/Microsoft Office 2001/Office/OfficePID
Office v.X:

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Microsoft Office Settings (10)
HD/Applications/Microsoft Office X/Office/OfficePID
Office 2004 (SP1):

~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Microsoft Office Settings (11)
HD/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Office/OfficePID
(where ~ is your home directory). The OfficePID files are hidden, so you'll need to use the Finder's Find command [Find in MacOS 10.4 (Tiger) doesn't seem to find the OfficePID file - here's how to delete it in the terminal]. Add a search criterion: Visibility: invisible items:

Important: Empty the Trash. OS X can maintain the links even when the files are in the Trash. OS X doesn't give you the option to empty the Trash containing only a hidden file by default. In that case, logging out and logging back in should work.

Start up an Office app and you'll be asked for your new key.

To delete it in Terminal:

1) Start Terminal
2) at the prompt, change directories using the "cd" command. Type or
paste the path exactly (though there's nothing bad that will happen if
you don't, just try it again):

    cd /Applications/Microsoft\ Office\ 2004/Office

You prompt should now include the path.

3) Verify that OfficePID is there using the "ls" command (again, nothing
bad can happen):

    ls O*

You should see something like this

    OfficePID                       Organization Chart Template
    Organization Chart

4) Remove OfficePID with the "rm" command:

    rm OfficePID

5) Verify that it was removed:
    ls O*
which should return:

    Organization Chart              Organization Chart Template

6) Quit Terminal

Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

accept my first comment and imacgouf's 1st comment as answers.. imacgouf supplied detail supporting info to my statement
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.