I have a client with a small business network on a domain of around 10 computers, and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 has been installed on them for a couple months and working fine.

Just recently, I needed to change the software key [we received a different key for an updated volume license agreement, exact same product], so I logged in to each machine as an Administrator and used the handy option to "Change Product Key" within the help menu of any Microsoft Office application. Afterwords, I could launch Microsoft Office applications with no problem.

As users logged in to their computers, they reported seeing the message "Microsoft Office Professional plus 2010 cannot verify the license for this product. You should repair the office program by using Control Panel". I logged in to one of the computers as a user who hadn't logged in to that computer before [who didn't have a local profile stored yet] and that user was able to open Microsoft Office with absolutely no issues. It seems that it's just effecting users that already had a profile on the computer at the time of the product key update. Is there a registry tweak or a file within the profile that needs to be deleted/modified that would fix this? Do I actually just need to go to the control panel and run a repair, even though the Office apps work just fine under any new user and the local administrator?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


You should use the OSPP utility that's comes with Office 2010

Change to the directory of OFFICE14

cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OFFICE14"

Remove the product key (replace the X's with the old product key)

cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Try opening a product now - you should be notified that the product is not licensed. After that, install the new product key where Y's represent the new product key

cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY

Activate the new installation

cscript ospp.vbs /act
  • Thanks for your suggestion! I'll give that a shot next time. – link470 Aug 23 '12 at 21:20
  • Just wanted to add that I finally got around to trying this on one more machine with the same issue, and this solved it. Thanks again! – link470 Sep 25 '12 at 0:01
  • Happy to help! Glad it all worked out for you – DKNUCKLES Sep 25 '12 at 13:36

I ended up trying to repair the installation as recommended in the error message by logging in to one of the computers as a local administrator, clicking "Change" on the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 entry, and choosing to repair the product. This actually made things worse. After doing this, I couldn't open a Microsoft Office product from any user account, including administrators and users who are logging into that computer and creating a new profile from the default profile.

What I ended up doing was uninstalling Microsoft Office altogether, restarting the computer, deleting the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Office/14.0 key just to make sure, and then reinstalling Microsoft Office. Once Office was reinstalled, I opened one of the applications, used my new key, and after that, I've had no issues. I was able to log in as one of the previous users who had already logged in before and open any Microsoft Office application, even after applying all Microsoft Updates after reinstalling. Fortunately, it was only 10 computers. Hopefully there's a better way to handle this for larger organizations.


Next time, try using the Microsoft Office Key Remover, and then updating the key. Additionally, after changing product keys, I've often needed to launch an Office application elevated to get it to accept the new key value, so try that before tearing the app out and putting it back.

  • I actually came across that application, but wasn't sure if it would work in a domain environment with multiple users on a system. I'll try that next time though, thanks! – link470 Aug 23 '12 at 21:26

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