Microsoft Office 2010: Can't be activated anymore?

[German]Owners of Microsoft Office 2010 who are still using this package should realize that this product has not only fallen out of Microsoft support, but can also no longer be re-activated in case of a fresh install. Microsoft seems to refuses now to activate the product after a re-install, as I have now learned in two specific cases.


Microsoft Office 2010 needs to be activated

To be able to use Microsoft Office 2010 after a new installation, it must be activated by Microsoft. Should be no problem for a regular buyer who owns a key. Unfortunately, some users who bought Microsoft Office 2010, haven't calced without Microsoft. The company has simply switched off the activation servers that are required for Office 2010 activation.

Office 2010 Aktivierung

German blog reader Tobias has now had the unpleasant experience that this required activation no longer works – neither the online activation, nor a telephone activation, as he shares on Twitter. The German tweet above says, he could not activate Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, either online nor via telephone activation. German blog reader Karl says in the following reply tweet: No longer works. Only MAK and KMS left. Welcome to the end of support.

Tobias answered that he uses a volume license with a multi-activation key (MAK) for his Microsoft Office 2010. So there, too, activation seems to be denied by Microsoft. 


Notes: Activating a KMS key against a Key Management Server probably still works, as I interpret above tweet right. It could also be a Linux-based KMS server, as I read on Facebook at a feedback to my German copy of this article. And a Facebook user wrote that an activation with C2R still works – but I'm not sure if a key can be used for an MSI installation with Click-to-Run (C2R). Besides, not everyone wants this C2R technology on their machine (see Office: Instabilities/crashes due to C2R and MSI parallel installation?).

Phone activation is denied

I had already addressed the issue of Microsoft Office 2010 activation within my German blog blog in 2017. People had to do a phone activation because the online activation didn't work anymore. In mid-July 2021, German blog reader Steffen left this comment on the German blog post Office 2010: Telefonaktivierung eingestellt? – Merkwürdigkeit II (I've translated the German text):

After 10 minutes of discussion on the phone with an [MS] employee [it] was made clear to me that an activation is no longer possible under any circumstances. The reason was the end of support and support also means activation.

I am now sitting on several Prof and Business licenses that I can no longer use, but were officially purchased years ago for the company.

This again shows the ugly side of Microsoft Office: If Microsoft thinks that the support has expired, they are able to refuse the re-activation – so the product can no longer be used.

What is your experience?

Regardless of whether support for Office 2010 has expired, I'm wondering if the above examples are isolated cases, or if the activation infrastructure has been/is being shut down, and whether it affects retail or volume licenses. The phone activation example cited above was likely a retail package, the Twitter example referenced above was related to a MAK key.

Question: are there similar affected parties – and what type of license (retail or volume) could no longer be activated? It may be that only MAK keys are affected, while Office 2010 can still be activated against a Key Management Server (KMS key required). And the Click-2-Run (C2R) packages are also supposed to still work regarding activation.

And as a follow-up question: There is the possibility to backup an activation file and save it back after a new Office installation. What is the experience, does this work reliably?

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18 Responses to Microsoft Office 2010: Can't be activated anymore?

  1. Chris Pugson says:

    If Microsoft thinks it can play God, that is a warning to us all. Companies which treat customers with disdain are on a road to perdition.

  2. MadDog says:

    I was able to activate Microsoft Access 2010 with a volume license today via the standard 'attempt to activate my product online' checkbox.

    • guenni says:

      Got also the feedback from a reader, that setting date and time back to 2017 brought back the possibility to activate Office 2010.

  3. LABU says:

    This sucks BIG TIME, I'm still foaming at the mouth. My old PC died last week, I wanted to reactivate my LEGALLY and EXPENSIVELY bought Office 2010 on the new PC, but guess what?! Neither 2007 nor 2010 work anymore. I regret I bought 2016, foolishly thinking I'd be safe for good, but that still resides on my active laptop yet. This is SO the last office product I ever bought. I love windows, but getting screwed over like this – f*** you microsoft. I shall get a good freeware now, thanks for nothing.

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  5. Paravozov says:

    I've had trouble activating Office 2010 several times. Activation didn't work from the GUI, but in my case it always worked from the command line.

  6. Colin James Whitby says:

    I am in the same boat here. I had to reimage my PC and when I reinstall the program, I cannot activate it.

  7. Simone says:

    Hello !
    Are you aware that there is the same problem with Office 2013 as well ?
    Suddenly there appeared the message of "office not activated" and trying to reactivate it, it doesn't activate with error 0x8007232B


  8. Al says:

    I will never buy Microsoft products again.
    They really steal from you. Had to reinstall operating system now left without office. Wonder how they would feel if the Shoe was on the other foot. Their foot.
    Bill Gates needs more money so they want to charge you monthly for everything. Just stop you in your tracks.
    I would go without a computer before I would pay microsoft monthly.
    I paid for office 2010 how dare they play these games. Linux is looking better all the time. I hope the public Wises up and stops buy their junk. That would bring control back to us. OK don't support it but let us use our paid for product.
    We as a people must put a stop to this. Boycott Microsoft!
    Boycott them now. Teach them that their customers makes them what they are. Without us they are nothing but a bankrupted business. There are other options. Start taking those options today! Or we will become money slaves to big tech companies. They are souring the computer world with their greed! How will I get my letters out now on time. Bye bye Microsoft. Looking for other offices and operating systems.

  9. Al says:

    Tired turning the clock back to 2017 and 2016. I read that this helped getting office to work on this site.
    Now wants me to find my cradentials that went with the system restore.
    Pop up says "Microsoft Office Home and business 2010 can not verify the license for this product. You should repair the office program by using control panel" credential manager in control panel no windows credentails ether.
    So even denied us windows. This goes farther than just Office.
    When you click on add a windows or business credintail it wants a internet or network address, user name and pass code. So much for those who paid through the noise for a computer, windows and office. Microsoft is the worst company I know to buy anything from. THEY SAID WINDOWS 10 WOULD BE TBE LAST WINDOWS TO GET US TO BUY IT. THEN THEY COME OUT WITH WINDOWS 11. You can't trust them. They take your property without due process. Is this even legal? If you bought clothes from a store and they opened your closet and spray painted all the clothes you bought from them. Would you return to that store and buy more close¿ Wouldn't you fear they would do the same? Again. Look for ways to crawl out of the control of abusers. We made Microsoft what it is and if we the people of the earth stop caving to their over reach they will bankrupt and new blood will make new operating systems and form a relation of trust with their customers. Why not alow users who paid for their products to use them. A company should try to show you any benifits of getting the new systems and office software etc instead of forcing you out of what you own to force you to buy more of their stuff. Don't cave in if enough people have been hurt by this greed and sociopathic company then we can show them who is really in control. Boycott. Used to work very well in the past. We would boycott business that were not right or mistreating the public or their employees and before to long they would beg us to stop the boycott. They were suddenly promising to change their evil ways. If we give away or power we will surtenly suffer the Rose of Stinch. We are entering a Recession and if our rep doesn't change course we will be in a depression. How then is Microsoft a company that cares after a shut down pandemic. Economic trouble pulling this money game on its customers. I refuse to give up my power to them. If I never buy a Microsoft product again it would be to soon. I'm so angry at Microsofts sociopathic greed at this time in history. We are in a abusive controling relationship with Microsoft.
    I regret I bought anything from them now. I'm leaving this abusive relationship for better companies that show they care about how they treat their customers.

  10. alsys says:

    "Telephone activation is no longer supported for your product" error when activating Office…


    When you select the option to activate Office by telephone, you may see the following error:

    Telephone activation is no longer supported for your product.


    To work around this error, use the following phone numbers to activate Office.

    • Peter says:

      That did not work for me. Said it could not find the transaction.

    • Steve says:

      Thank you. This did work for me. The process was a little long but it ended up working. I called the number given at the website (I'm in the USA). When I called the number I got a computer asking me through some prompts. It asked if it could send me a text with instructions. I did so, but the text instructions did not work. However, the text instructions offered to connect me a representative. I chose that option and got a live person. I was able to read off the 9 block x 6 digit activation ID to him, and he responded with an 8 block x 6 digit code, which successfully activated my product. The writer above said that when he called a person, Microsoft said that there were no circumstances that would allow them to activate Office 2010, but the person he was talking to was incorrect, because my representative was actually able to do it. He was aware this was Office 2010 and it didn't cause any problems.

    • KJ says:

      It worked for me.

      Gave me a number to call.
      Machine recording talked me through and sent text with link
      Link provided boxes matching the Office registration
      Then gave me activation code

      Very helpful, thank you!

  11. Tom says:

    Had a PC crash(again). The last time 8y ago I could activate it again. Now my MAK licence I paid real money for is useless. I should have made a backup. I am really done with these monopolist stock buyback with FED money to prep up stocks and bonusses CEO's

    C2R and phone activation still works on my Office 2007 Home and Student but its not near Office Professional 2010. I did call the Microsoft activation line and got the required Office 2010 activation numbers (12 groups of numbers or so), typed them all in but at the finish clicking next an automatic voice said I cannot find the key. I dont want Office365 in the Cloud. Bought a new key Office2016 but now W7 is also not supported anymore it cannot run without crashing as it needs updates.

  12. CC says:

    Just installed Office 2010 Pro on a new laptop for my wife and was surprised with auto-activation over the internet didn't work, as it had worked just a few months ago on another one for my daughter (yes, I have enough legal licences). Found this page and the MS webpage linked above ("Telephone activation is no longer supported for your product" error when activating Office) which worked for me – I clicked 'activate over telephone' in the activation wizard, called the freephone number for the UK (where I am) from that webpage instead of the one in the wizard, went through the long automated process and, a few minutes later, it was activated. No need to talk to a real person. And apparently the same activation number can be used again in future. So, initially annoyed with MS for disabling the auto-activation and still slightly annoyed that I couldn't find the correct number easily via the MS sites but instead had to get the link from a third-party site (i.e. here) – but it worked in the end so I suppose I should give them credit for that…

    • John says:

      I've been an ofice 2010 user for many years but when my computer crashed it failed to reinstall from backup. So Jan 2023 I purchased an original sealed microsoft ofice 2010 disc not expecting loading problems but it would not activate from any on screen prompts. I feared the worst but following the advice from CC I phoned (0) (800) 018 8354 and the automated voice service worked fine.
      It takes a little time entering your installation id and getting back the 8 block activation code but I'm now up and running.

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