Troubleshoot issues with shared computer activation for Microsoft 365 Apps

If you're having problems getting shared computer activation to work when you deploy Microsoft 365 Apps to shared computers in your organization, try the following to fix the problem.

Tip

You can download and run the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant to install Microsoft 365 Apps in shared computer activation mode.

Check that your Office 365 plan supports shared computer activation

To use shared computer activation, you must have an Office 365 (or Microsoft 365) plan that includes Microsoft 365 Apps and that supports shared computer activation.

Note

You also can use shared computer activation with the subscription versions of the Project and Visio desktop apps. You just need a subscription plan that includes those products.

Verify that shared computer activation is enabled for Microsoft 365 Apps

Here are two ways that you can check whether shared computer activation is enabled on the computer that has Microsoft 365 Apps installed.

  • Open any Office program, such as Word. Go to File > Account > About Word (or whatever the name of the app is). On the second line from the top, underneath the MSO version number, you should see Shared Computer Activation, instead of a Product ID, like in the following screenshot.

    Screenshot of the About Word dialog box, showing "Shared Computer Activation" underneath the MSO version number.

  • Use Registry Editor, and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration. There should be a value for SharedComputerLicensing with a setting of 1.

Verify that activation for Microsoft 365 Apps succeeded

On the shared computer, after you open any Office program, go to the following folder:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Licensing

If activation succeeded, there are some text files in the folder, like in the following screenshot. Don't make any changes to these files.

Screenshot of the Licensing folder, showing the licensing token files for shared computer activation.

If you've configured the licensing token to roam, these text files will appear in the folder that you've specified.

Review error messages for shared computer activation

If you're having problems using shared computer activation, you might get one of the following error messages.

The products we found in your account cannot be used to activate Office in shared computer scenarios.

This error means that you don't have an Office 365 (or Microsoft 365) plan that includes Microsoft 365 Apps and that supports shared computer activation. Therefore, you can't use shared computer activation.

Error message cannot activate products into shared scenario

UNLICENSED PRODUCT Most features are turned off because a shared computer license isn't available.

This error means that a licensing token wasn't obtained from the Office Licensing Service on the internet. Office is now in reduced functionality mode. The user can view and print Office documents, but can't create or edit documents.

You can try these steps to fix this problem:

  • Check that the user is assigned a license for Microsoft 365 Apps.

  • Check that the user signs in with her user account for Office 365 if the Activate Office dialog box appears when the user opens an Office program.

  • Check that there is connectivity between the shared computer and the internet.

Unlicensed product error message

Sorry, we cannot verify the license currently installed for this product.

This error means that Office has a problem with the user's licensing token on the shared computer. The user should make sure to sign in to Office with his user account for Office 365 so that Office can obtain a new licensing token from the Office Licensing Service on the internet.

Cannot verify product license message

PRODUCT NOTICE Your shared computer license expires on and we're having trouble renewing it.

This error means that Office tried to renew the licensing token automatically, but there was a problem. One possible cause for this is that the shared computer wasn't connected to the internet when Office tried to renew the licensing token with the Office Licensing Service.

The licensing token is valid until the date listed in the error message. The user can continue to use Office apps to create, edit, and print documents. The user can choose Renew to try to renew the license before the license token expires.

Shared computer license expires date

Sorry, this Office 365 account has recently been used to activate too many computers.

Microsoft places a limit on the number of shared computers that a user can activate Office on in a given time period. This error means that the user exceeded that limit.

Too many computer activated

Overview of shared computer activation for Microsoft 365 Apps

Deploy Microsoft 365 Apps by using Remote Desktop Services