Microsoft Office Experiencing Activation Issues on Mac and PC [Fixed]

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Microsoft Office appears to be experiencing activation issues on both Mac and PC today, according to several user reports on Twitter. MacRumors also received emails from multiple readers affected.


At least some Office 365 subscribers who have attempted to use Word, Outlook, and other apps in the Microsoft Office suite have been prompted to reactivate their license, but the process fails to complete.

Affected users have encountered various errors while Office apps hang on "activating" or "looking for licenses," which eventually leads to a window that says "no license found," with seemingly no workaround.

Hi @Microsoft,Is @Office365 having trouble with it's activation service right now? Just updated @Office for #macOS and it asked to be activated (again). Tried 3x over the past half-hour or so. pic.twitter.com/9VeLR0bVOC - Henry Ferlauto (@HTFIII) August 16, 2018

The issue appears to be affecting not only individual users, but businesses and universities and with enterprise licenses.

Update: A spokesperson for Microsoft says "our team has addressed the issue and is continuing to monitor to ensure complete resolution."

Article Link: Microsoft Office Experiencing Activation Issues on Mac and PC [Fixed]
 

JTR555

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2013
112
30
Virginia
This is going on with my work account for Office 365 right now. I received an email about it to activate it and the link takes you to a website that looks like the Microsoft activation site, but is really telemedicine.mn that has the Russian Cyrillic alphabet all over it.
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2018
539
723
IMO Office has a UI designed by kindergarten kids and a box of crayons, and Excel crashes way too much on Windows, never used Mac version, does it crash a lot too? Maybe it's just time to bite the bullet and move on. Why pay for something that is worse than all the free software out there?
 

Edgecrusherr

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2006
64
28
I get this a lot with my clients and Office 365. The below usually resolves the issue (if 1 doesn't work, go to 2, if 2 doesn't work, go to 3). Unless there's a real issue with a licensing server down, this isn't anything new to me. Again, this is only if they're truly not having a licensing server issue:

1) Reboot. This works 90% of the time.

2) Log your 365 account out and back in within one of your Office apps.

3) Use AppZapper or AppCleaner to completely remove the Office apps. Go into your system and user library, remove all traces of Microsoft (usually a search finds everything). Make sure to remove the UBF8T346G9 folders from ~/Library/Group Containers. Go into KeyChain and remove all Microsoft entries (you can leave your web login entry for their site, but I just remove it all to save time). Now: reboot, empty your trash, and reinstall the apps.
 
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pete2106

Suspended
Dec 7, 2012
330
947
IMO Office has a UI designed by kindergarten kids and a box of crayons, and Excel crashes way too much on Windows, never used Mac version, does it crash a lot too? Maybe it's just time to bite the bullet and move on. Why pay for something that is worse than all the free software out there?
I use the local applications on a Mac which are fantastic. Only had one issue with page sizing in Word but other than that, I would absolutely recommend it. I also use the web applications on Windows. I've not used them a great deal, it's more to access email and cloud storage so I can't say how good they are for editing, but it's great to see that they are available to me on any computer.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
I get this a lot with my clients and Office 365. The below usually resolves the issue (if 1 doesn't work, go to 2, if 2 doesn't work, go to 3). Unless there's a real issue with a licensing server down, this isn't anything new to me. Again, this is only if they're truly not having a licensing server issue:

1) Reboot. This works 90% of the time.

2) Log your 365 account out and back in within one of your Office apps.

3) Use AppZapper or AppCleaner to completely remove the Office apps. Go into your system and user library, remove all traces of Microsoft (usually a search finds everything). Make sure to remove the UBF8T346G9 folders from ~/Library/Group Containers. Go into KeyChain and remove all Microsoft entries (you can leave your web login entry for their site, but I just remove it all to save time). Now: reboot, empty your trash, and reinstall the apps.
This is an actual license server issue, but thanks.
 

Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2011
350
60
Edinburgh, Scotland
I hadn't used Office in a long time but I was given an Office 365 account for University and started using it again. It's really fantastic. Office.com blows icloud.com out of the water.
Fully agree with you. While it's not on par with the Windows version of Office, it's definitely better than the Office 2011 offerings. Hopefully Microsoft continue to make things better (Outlook needs a lot more love).
 
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genovelle

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2008
984
731
When I was forced to use Microsoft to logon at a previous job, we would have issues constantly. Especially if there was a security update of some kind. Then the software is unnecessarily complicated to justify charging experts thousands of dollars for certifications. Ingenious actually, since those experts who continue to pay to keep up will sell for them against any other solution.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68020
Sep 19, 2012
2,390
1,110
This is at least one thing Adobe got right with their subscription based software model, never experienced being locked out like this with Creative Cloud.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
6,034
1,618
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I had some bother this morning trying to open Outlook on my iPad.

LOL ... I saw the update for MS Office 2016 late last night and working on Windows and MS Office for over 10yrs I know better than to update when OFF a corporate network with a KMS License server.

This error goes back to earlier than 2009 the RPC server is unavailable. lol.
^ Windows corporate network related.
[doublepost=1534436216][/doublepost]
I just had this activation problem on my MacBook Pro. Our IT is telling us to manually log in to Office 365 until it is resolved. What a pain.
Is your IT login tickets and actually checking users' licenses within Azure AD?
- if licenses are valid ... they should be able to see the service SLA errors within MO365 Azure Cloud. I'd be curious to see what its there.

I was able to clear ours up by updating Office, but won't help users that are already up to date. We tried logout/login, reissuing licenses, but the update was what finally fixed it.

Excellent job. Most likely it was a license hiccup and manually log out and logon authentication that resolved this.
 

Alphazoid

macrumors 6502a
Dec 5, 2014
869
645
I hadn't used Office in a long time but I was given an Office 365 account for University and started using it again. It's really fantastic. Office.com blows icloud.com out of the water.
Ditto. And i'm graduating soon so i need to find alternatives. I'll particularly miss the free OneDrive access.
 

Edgecrusherr

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2006
64
28
This is an actual license server issue, but thanks.
Yeah, I just checked the heath page, however, a reboot did just fix it for someone that just called.
[doublepost=1534438150][/doublepost]You can use the web app or Pages (lol) if you can't resolve this issue.

Status:
Investigating
User impact:
Users may be unable sign-in to Office 365 and may receive an error relating to subscription activation.
0" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-break: strict; line-height: normal; margin: 10px;">
Latest message:
Title: Issues with subscription activation and sign-in User Impact: Users may be unable sign-in to Office 365 and may receive an error relating to subscription activation. Current status: We're continuing to analyzing the infrastructure to determine the cause of impact to sign-in and subscription activation.

Updated:
2018-08-16 15:52 (UTC)
Start time:
2018-08-16 15:14 (UTC)
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Is your IT login tickets and actually checking users' licenses within Azure AD?
- if licenses are valid ... they should be able to see the service SLA errors within MO365 Azure Cloud. I'd be curious to see what its there.
I really can't say. We outsourced IT several years ago. After a couple dozen people put in tickets, they sent out instructions on the workaround for now.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
6,034
1,618
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I really can't say. We outsourced IT several years ago. After a couple dozen people put in tickets, they sent out instructions on the workaround for now.
I hear ya. Your business probably has a few SME's on-hand for situations like this to help assess and work through issues or apply suggestions from the IT Service. Cheers.