Deactivating Windows 7 and MS Office

abdb469 used Ask the Experts™
I plan to uninstall my genuine copy of Windows 7 form my old Laptop.  

Microsoft technical support on the phone has indicated to me that I have installed this OS several times over the last few years, namely on a desktop and then several other computers in the household (although I have wiped those computers and reverted to Windows XP).  

So as to properly ensure that my licence has been deactivated and the MS is aware of this (to preserve any future installation of Win 7 on a desktop again (I dont have it installed anywhere else at present), is there a way of reversing the process of activation so that it is 100% certain I do not have any copies installed?

The same goes for Office 2007 ultimate.  MS told me that if I have wiped it off the system then it should be ok and they will know.  My question to them as to "how they will know" was not properly answered.  Is there any periodic  communication to MS confirming that I have installed or installed copies of the OS or Office 2007?  I also think the lady on the phone probably did not distinguish between wiping the computer clean i.e. formatting and uninstalling, with the latter probably offering a change to deactivate compared to formatting.

Anyway, question is how can I uninstall Win 7 / deactivate because I am, for the moment, refraining from using my win xp recovery cd to reinstall win xp.

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You can not UNINSTALL an operating system. You wipe it and install a new one.
Most products from most vendors now communicate back to say that they are installed and record the info identifying the PC they are on, microsoft os no exception.  They will know that it is no longer communicationg and therefore assume it is no longer installed.

As for office, yes of course you can uninstall that correctly from add/remove programs.

These are both full Retail licence coppies then I assume?
It could not be 100% true and could be changed with any new update, but I am almost sure:
Microsoft is controlling only process of activation (count activations of your code). Deactivations are not counted.

You can install Windows 7 on other computer only if it is box version of software (product code in this case should not be on your laptop, but in box with Windows 7).
Office could be simply uninstalled.


yes both full retail copies although office was a downloaded retail copy.

Rather annoying there is no deactivate option in either the OS or Office.  But like you say, perhaps the non communication between the software and MS over time will result in MS assuming it is no longer there.

Do you know if however that by uninstalling Office will send a signal to MS to deactivate it?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
I have always been successful at uninstalling Office and then reinstalling successfully, even though I am at the legal limits of install. This has worked for me since Office 2002.

I agree with the others: There is no deactivation of operating systems. But I have installed operating systems more than once without issue (but never at the same time).

.. Thinkpads_User

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