How to Reinstall Microsoft Office

Step-by-step guide to install or reinstall Office on any Windows device

A woman working at a computer using software to analyze qualitative data.
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Microsoft Office 2016 is available for purchase from Microsoft online as well as big box stores and third parties. After you make the purchase, whether it’s an Office 365 subscription for a large office or a single user license, you’ll need to download what you’ve purchased and install it. If you’re not comfortable with downloading software don’t worry, here are the exact steps you’ll need to follow to install Microsoft Office on any Windows laptop, computer, or tablet.

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Locate the Download Page and the Activation Key

A picture of an order for Microsoft Office.
Install Office option available on order receipt.

Joli Ballew, Lifewire

After you purchase Microsoft Office you’ll be instructed to navigate to a website to download the product. That download link will be included in the packaging if you buy the software at a retail store or order it from somewhere like Amazon. If you order online from Microsoft, you may get the link in an email. If you don’t receive that email (I didn’t), you’ll need to log on to your Microsoft account and check your order status. As you can see in the picture here, there’s an Install Office link on the receipt. Click Install Office.

The Product Key (or activation code) is another piece of the installation process and is what lets Microsoft know you purchased the software legally. That key will come with any physical packaging you receive, and will be included in an email if you ordered digitally. If you purchased the software directly from Microsoft, after you click the Install link as shown earlier, the key will appear on the screen and you’ll be prompted to copy it. If so, click Copy. Whatever the case, write down the key and keep it in a safe place. You’ll need it if you ever need to reinstall Microsoft Office. ­

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Navigate to the Install Page and Locate your Product ID

A picture of the three required steps to installing Office.
Install Microsoft Office.

Joli Ballew, Lifewire

After clicking Install Office there are three more steps to completing the Microsoft Office install: Sign in with your Microsoft Account, enter your product key, and get Office.

Here's how to get started:

  1. Click Sign In.
  2. Enter your Microsoft ID and click Sign In.
  3. Enter your password and click Enter on the keyboard.
  4. If prompted, enter your Product ID. 
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Get the Installation Files

A picture of the Install option for Microsoft Office.
Get the Microsoft Office installation files.

Joli Ballew, Lifewire

Once your Microsoft ID and Product Key are verified you’ll have access to another Install button. When you see this button, click Install. What happens next depends on what web browser you’re using.

The easiest way to install Microsoft Office is to use the Edge browser. When you click Install inside this browser Run is an option. All you have to do is click Run and work through the installation process outlined in the next section.

If you aren’t using the Edge browser you’ll have to save the file to your computer, laptop, or tablet, and then locate that file and click (or double-click) it to start the installation process. The files will be available in the Downloads folder and from a designated area of the web browser you're using. In Firefox downloaded files are available in the top part of the browser under the arrow, and in Chrome it’s the bottom left. Locate the downloaded file before continuing.

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Install Microsoft Office

A picture of Microsoft Office during the installation process.
Install Microsoft Office.

Joli Ballew, Lifewire

If you downloaded the file, locate the file and click or double-click it to start the download and installation process. If you clicked Run, this process starts automatically. Then:

  1. If prompted, click Yes to allow the installation.
  2. If prompted, click Yes to close any open programs.
  3. Wait while the process completes.
  4. Click Close.

That’s it, Microsoft Office is now installed and ready to use. Note that you might be prompted later to install updates to Office, and if so, allow those updates.