Remove or change the Microsoft Office serial number
RIT-owned computers are eligible to receive a version of Microsoft Office that either has no serial number, known as a “CD Key,” or has an campus-wide key. Therefore, you should rarely if ever need to use the instructions below on Institute-owned computers.
You should not install editions of Microsoft Office for the Mac which require individual, per-computer CD Keys on Institute-owned systems because this complicates management of them.
You may need to go through these steps, however, if your new personally-owned Macintosh computer came with a Microsoft Office trial pre-installed. If you later need to install a full copy of Office, you must remove the trial edition – or its CD Key, at a minimum – first.
You may also need to remove or change your serial number on your own computer if you change editions of Office – and possibly if you install from different installation disks.
For more information on this topic, see the “Install/Update” topic at the Microsoft Office for Mac MVP site.
Microsoft Office 2008
Unlike earlier versions of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X, Office 2008 does notremove its serial number, or “CD Key,” when you run the “Remove Office” tool. That tool is still found on the installation disc and installed inside the “Microsoft Office 2008” folder on your hard disk, but it doesn’t have the secondary function of deserializing Office 2008.
Instead, you will need to remove the following two files to have the same effect.
- ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 Settings.plist
- /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist
You may navigate to these locations with the Mac OS X Finder by selecting Go > Go to Folder, and pasting in the following two paths (one at a time):
- ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/
- /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/
Removal of the OfficePID.plist file may require administrator privileges.
Microsoft Office 2004 and earlier
The official way to remove or change the serial number for the Macintosh version of Microsoft Office versions through Office 2004 is to use the “Remove Office” tool. This program uninstalls Microsoft Office from your computer. It comes on your Microsoft Office installation disc. It is also available in the “Additional Tools” folder in the Microsoft Office installation (as of Microsoft Office 2004).
If you hold down the Option key while you launch the “Remove Office” tool, it will allow you to remove the Office serial number without uninstalling all of Microsoft Office.
Once you use the “Remove Office” tool to uninstall Office, you can re-install it with a new serial number, if needed.
Alternately, a “De-serialize Microsoft Office” script is available from a Microsoft MVP. We do not support the use of this script; use it at your own risk.