We’ve received a strange instruction from the IT Departments of my client’s Company’s head office; to request the manufacturer of an Asus notebook remove restrictions on using Microsoft Volume License on one of the employees ultrabook. The situation is that one of the employees purchased an Asus ultrabook from Best Denki Singapore and had it upgraded from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro. However, when the Head Company’s IT activate its Microsoft 2016 volume license, they failed. The Microsoft Office Activation will keep popping out with a yellow bar that Microsoft Office will have limited functionality after a certain deadline.

In this blog, I will share how I successful fix this problem and my experiences fixing it.

Over my 20 years of experience dealing with computers, this is the first time that I’ve heard that a manufacture can restrict the use of Volume Licensed Microsoft Office on their products, while this may be the case, I just don’t think this is so for this client of mine since I’ve never encountered that in Singapore therefore I decide to proceed to fix this problem to see if I’m right.


The first thing that came to my mind was mixed version of Microsoft Office products installed; in most fresh installs of Windows 10 including those that comes installed with a new computer, Microsoft has Office app preinstalled. While I feel this is their efforts to allow license user to enjoy Microsoft Office faster and easier, it does cause some problems for instance signature problem, office crashing as a result of this problem and even this problem that we are taking about in this blog.

The first thing I’ve did is to click on Start –> Settings.

From the Windows Settings dialog, click on Apps

It brings me to Apps & features dialog and there I saw existence of both Microsoft Professional Plus 2016 and Office App concurrently. As this typically brings some problem, I’ve uninstalled both rebooted the computer installed and activated Office 2016 Professional Plus via the volume license key.

Things turns out fine initially after the installation; the user’s Office is now successfully activated. To be sure that the problem is fixed, I’ve did a complete shutdown and then turn the computer back on and start Microsoft Office 2016. Everything looks cool and it seems problem is solved!

A couple of days later, the same user called me again and report the same problem occurring, I was thinking where could I have gone wrong? I’ve made an appointment with the user to make another attempt to solve his problem.

After checking, there is only one Microsoft version inside thus my deduction is that either the computer is corrupted, or the Microsoft office is corrupted. Another probable cause is conflicting installation key which if we were to remove the faulty key, the problem could be solved.

I’ve invoked the Windows Command Prompt with Administrator Privilege by clicking on Start button on the keyboard and type “command”. When Command Prompt appears, right click on it and select Run as Administrator. When prompted to proceed, click on Yes.

Next, navigate to C root drive by typing “cd\ command beside C:\Windows\System32> as shown below:

Navigate to Microsoft Office installation folder by typing

cd c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16

If you have installed the 64 bit version of office you should type

cd c:\Program Files \Microsoft Office\Office16

So how you tell if you are using a 32 bit or 64-bit version office?

Simple, use Windows Explorer to find Microsoft Office folder. If you find it in Program Files Folder, your Installed office is a 64-bit version. If you find it in Program Files (x86) folder, then it’s a 32-bit office installed. In this blog, mine is a 32-bit version installed.

Back at the windows command prompt, from this folder type “cscript ospp.vbs /dstatus” followed by hitting Enter key on your keyboard. It will take some time to run. This script will call out the Microsot Office product key(s) installed in your computer.

Once the script finished running, it will present you with a list of Office product Keys registered in your computer. In mine case my office 2016 Professional Plus with activating key starting with QGPQV is ok while there is another product key Office16O365HomePremR with product key starting KHGM9 has expired. Therefore, the root of this problem is this product key. By removing this key, it should solve the activation problem.

To do so enter the command “Cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:KHGM9” , as in image below.


The script will take a couple of minutes to run and if it is successful you will receive a <Product Key Uninstall Successful> Message as shown below.


Reboot the computer and start your Microsoft Office Program again. It should work without the activation prompt anymore.