Mac Office reset serial number

Posted on 27 August 2010 • AppleBlogTechnology

We’ve all encountered the problem: You have multiple copies of Microsoft Office installed on your office network but some are sharing the same serial number. Whenever you try to open your copy you find out you can’t run Word or Excel or Powerpoint because another user on your network is already using your copy, ergh!!

Now, in order to fix this problem you’ll need to replace the serial number on your computer with an unused license. This will give you a unique Product Identification Code (PID) for your copy of MS Office so you can run without conflicting with other users on your network.

Now you can run the Remove Office application (sometimes located in the Additional Tools folder), but this is time consuming as you then have to do a complete reinstall from the original CD. An easier method is to just delete the MS PID files. Then the next time you launch Office you’ll be asked for a serial number. Easy peasy.

First make sure that all Office Applications are closed.

Next, you’ll need to get your finder to Show Hidden files as the MS Office PID files are hidden from normal view. Download the hiddenfiles widget. Once installed click the Show button.

For Office 2001 users move the following folders/files to the trash:

  • System Folder/Preferences/Microsoft/Microsoft Office Settings (9)
  • Applications (Mac OS 9)/Microsoft Office 2001/Office/OfficePID

For Office X users move these folders/files to the trash:

  • Users/~username~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Microsoft Office Settings (10)
  • Applications/Microsoft Office X/Office/OfficePID

For Office 2004 users move these folders/files to the trash:

  • Users/~username~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Microsoft Office Settings (11)
  • HD/Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Office/OfficePID

Now that you’ve deleted these files, launch any Office application, enter your new serial number, and away you go!

Remember to click the Hide button in the hiddenfiles widget to return to the standard finder view.