Thursday, July 10, 2014

Deactivating an Office Pro Plus license

One of the big benefits of using an Office 365 subscription that includes Office Pro Plus is that you can install the Microsoft Office Desktop software on up to 5 devices, Macs or PCs.

This means you get the latest version of Office on your desktop, delivered typically via ‘click-to-run’ so it is always up to date.

image

So here we are using Outlook from Office Pro Plus via Office 365 on a desktop, with everything operating as expected.

image

One of the other great features that you may not know about is that if you return to the location in your web console where you actually installed the Office Pro Plus software from you can see all the machines that it is currently active on. This makes it easy to track how many installations you have implemented.

image

You may also notice in the list on the right you have the ability to Deactivate any instance. So what happens when you do this?

image

When you select the deactivate link you’ll be prompted to confirm that you do indeed want to deactivate this instance. You’ll be warned that the product on that desktop will go into ‘reduced functionality mode’. It won’t be uninstalled but you won’t be able to do things like save documents.

Select Yes to proceed.

image

You should then see a message indicating that the instance has been deactivated and it should no longer appear on the list of activated instances in the Office 365 console.

image

But what happens on the actual machine you have deactivated? Well, a certain amount of time later (not immediately) but within 12-24 hours, then time you go to use an Office application on that desktop you will receive the above message indicating that the product is deactivated.

If you wish to use the product again will all the features enabled you will need to sign to your Office 365 account or enter a product key.

image

if you instead cancel the dialog and proceed to use the Office application you will see a red activation banner across the top.

image

In any Office application you attempt to use. You will notice that all the Office applications now operate in ‘reduced functionality mode’ but they still operate and you can regain the full functionality by simply licensing them again.

The same thing will occur if the user account is deleted in Office 365 or the license from Office Pro Plus is removed for that user. This allows an Office 365 administrator to control exactly who is licensed for Office on the desktop from their tenant.