Transferring a Microsoft Office license to another computer can be necessary for various reasons such as upgrading to a new computer, repurposing devices, or redistributing software resources. Whether or not you can transfer your Office license depends on the type of license you have. Below, we’ll explore the the various license kinds, how to transfer them, and any potential restrictions below.

Types of Microsoft Office Licenses

Retail Licenses:

Description: Bought from Microsoft or an authorized retailer.
Transferability: Usually can be transferred to a different computer.
Usage: Activated on one computer at a time, but can be moved to another computer by deactivating the old installation.

OEM Licenses:

Description: Already installed on a computer bought from a manufacturer.
Transferability: Cannot be transferred. Tied to the original hardware.
Usage: Only valid for the original computer.

Volume Licenses:

Description: Acquired by organizations for multiple users/computers.
Transferability: Subject to the organization’s licensing agreement with Microsoft.
Usage: Generally used in business environments and managed by IT departments.

Microsoft 365 Subscriptions:

Description: Subscription-based service offering Office applications and other productivity services.
Transferability: Can be used on multiple devices by the same user; switching devices is straightforward.
Usage: Allows installation on multiple devices, with the exact number depending on the subscription plan.

How to Move a Retail Microsoft Office License?

Steps to move your retail license to a different computer, take these steps:

  1. Uninstall Office from the Current  System:
  • Proceed to the Control Panel.
  • Click  “Programs and Features.”
  • In the list, locate Microsoft Office, give it a right-click, and choose “Uninstall.”

     2. Set Up Office on the New Device:

  • Go to the Office website and sign in using your Microsoft credentials.
  • Navigate to the “My Account” area and locate the Office purchase.
  • On the new PC, download and install Office.

    3. Activate Office on the New Computer:

  • Open any Office application (e.g., Word or Excel).
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to sign in with your Microsoft account and activate the product.

Important Things to Remember while Transferring Licenses

Make sure to deactivate Office on your old computer before uninstalling it. This is a crucial step to prevent any activation problems on your new device.

License Keys:
Keep your product key easily accessible. You may need it when installing Office on your new computer.

If you come across any issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to Microsoft Support for assistance. They are there to help you with activation problems or offer guidance tailored to your specific license type.

Microsoft 365 Subscriptions

For Microsoft 365 subscriptions, transferring the license to another computer is even more straightforward:

  1. Install Office on the New Computer:
    • Download and install Microsoft Office from the Microsoft 365 account portal.
  2. Sign In:
    • Open any Office application and sign in with your Microsoft 365 account credentials.
  3. Manage Installs:
    • You can manage which devices have Office installed from your account portal. If you reach the limit of allowed installations, you can deactivate one device to free up a slot for another.


Transferring a Microsoft Office license to another computer is possible, primarily for retail licenses and Microsoft 365 subscriptions. OEM licenses, however, are non-transferable. Understanding your license type is crucial to ensure a smooth transition. By following the appropriate steps, you can continue using Microsoft Office seamlessly on your new device. For any specific issues or uncertainties, Microsoft Support is always available to assist you.