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Getting product key for Office 2011 for Mac

Posted on 2016-10-18
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Last Modified: 2016-10-25
I've got a client who is transferring from one MacBook to another. He purchased Office 2011 a few years ago but cannot find the box that contains the key.  If this was a PC I'd just use ProduKey or some such utility. I know that I can probably follow this up with Microsoft, but I was hoping to get this laptop to him today.

Also wondering about a download for Office 2011. The Microsoft site requires his product key.

Can anyone recommend a piece of software for OS X that gives the product key for his Office 2011?
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Question by:DaveWWW
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by:Emmanuel Adebayo
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To move / re-install your licensed copy of Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac on a different computer / OSX installation, and re-authorize it without the license / serial / key available, copy the following from the old machine to the corresponding (same) spot on the new computer.

To get there, in the Finder click Go-->Computer-->[name of the hard drive that has OSX installed...usually "Macintosh HD"]...then look for the following folders:

    /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011 folder (copy the entire folder, with all its contents)
    /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist
    /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper
    /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist

http://cwl.cc/2012/02/easy-way-to-move-your-microsoft-office.html

I hope this helps
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by:DaveWWW
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I did as indicated above, but it seems to assume that you have the installation media for Office for Mac 2011, which my client can not locate. Is there a location online that you can get the installer from?
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by:serialband
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There isn't a legal place to retrieve the installer.  There isn't a tool to retrieve the Key for the Mac.

The instructions Emmanuel gave will allow you to transfer the license to another Mac.  You also need to copy the Microsoft programs from the Applications folder.  That's the only legal, viable solution right now.  One thing you can also try is to just run Migration Assistant and have OS X copy all the system files over.  That should move everything over correctly.
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by:DaveWWW
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Thanks for the reply. I did copy the applications folder over, per the earlier instructions along with the other files which I assumed included the license. When I run Word, I just get the option to either enter a product key or purchase a product key.

The client has been using this new Mac for a bit already so I'm assuming I can't confine the migration assistant to moving Office only, is that correct?
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by:serialband
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No, Migration Assistant won't be able to copy just the Office files over, but you can copy just the Applications and the System files without copying over any User Data.

If Office 2011 is already on the new system, you really only need to copy the 3 license files from the old system to the new one.
/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist
/Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper
/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist

That should be all that's needed to make it work.  If it doesn't, then it's possible that Microsoft patched Office 2011 and broke that.  Newer Office for Mac needs the original Product Key.  The license files generated are tied to the system ID, so when you move it, you need to enter a new key to generate a new license file.

Are you sure the user has Office 2011?  Office 2011 has the rounded letter Icons for the Applications.Office-2011-Icons.png
The newer Office has solid boxes with the letters in it that look sort of like a notebook opening.
600px-Microsoft_Office_2016_Screensh.png
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by:DaveWWW
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Yeah, definitely 2011, and I definitely have the files you mention in the right place. I think his only remedy at this point is to purchase the newest version.  Too bad - on the PC side I've always had great luck with ProduKey to easily retrieve product keys, but haven't found a tool on the Mac side that gets me the Office 2011 key.
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Accepted Solution

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serialband earned 500 total points
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There hasn't been a need for one of those until recently.  There must have been some patch for Office that triggers that now.  I remember just copying those files before and it worked.  I don't have the old one anymore.
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
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The client has decided to leave Office on the old Mac after all, so the point is now moot - he needs a new license for his new MacBook anyway. :-)
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Author Closing Comment

by:DaveWWW
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Although the instructions for moving Office 2011 are correct, it now appears that Microsoft has disabled the ability to get it running without the original media/product key.
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