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.


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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. 


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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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3 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.

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