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Best way to activate Microsoft Office purchased with a new computer

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Last Modified: 2020-10-12
What is the best way to activate Microsoft Office when it is purchased with a new computer for business use. This is not a personal computer it is an office computer on a LAN with several other computers.
As we add/replace computers we usually buy Office with the new computer. Activating Office is always a challenge.
We have a Microsoft account. The issue is when we log in to that account, existing licenses show up but the new, purchased license does not. Typically we just stumble through the activation process until we get one that activates and move on. I'm sure there is a better more "official" way but it escapes me.
Another issue is you cannot activate a purchased license with an existing Microsoft 365 account. You can't create a Microsoft account with a Microsoft 365 email address. Catch 22

I'm sure there is a right way to do this.

Any guidance would be most appreciated.  
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AmitIT Architect
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Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
MS provide two options, online or via phone. I work in a very large corp and we use online option. I have seen issue, if you have pre-installed office. For Pre-installed activation doesn't work properly. Normally, we remove the pre-installed office and then install it again and then activate via online. It works fine.

Author

Commented:
We buy desktops from Dell with Office installed. We get no activation license from Dell so at first glance uninstalling and reinstalling doesn't seem possible.
AmitIT Architect
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Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
I understand your issue. However, that is the general problem, i have seen with pre-installed office. Even, when i purchased MS office license for my personal laptop. In software instruction, it was written to remove existing office and install again. Then activate. I assume pre-install office are no up to date and MS generally don't allow to activate it. Better you open case with MS also. Check, why you are facing this issue.
Hello ThereSystem Administrator
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Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
When we get an MS Office license key, we always create a new MS account (eg computername@outlook.com). By this, we avoid the issue you described. The activation process is fast with no struggles. Follow the rule "one license key per account" and you will be fine. Also, if there is a preinstalled MS Office product, we uninstall it and download the version from an MS account.

Author

Commented:
Great suggestion Hello There. 
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
I have pretty much eliminated all perpetual licensing - what a headache! Maybe I fell for Microsoft's strategy, but skip the perpetual add-on included with the computer purchase and license Office through Microsoft 365 - it's well worth the the small additional cost for the convenience.

Author

Commented:
Good option.
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This one is on us!
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