Reset Office 365 ProPlus 2013 and/or 2016 activation state

It’s very common for users to switch devices or for an enterprise company to add/change Office 365 tenants. Another scenario is when enterprise organizations roam licensing/credentials to simplify sign in.  After an Office 365 user activates there are four locations that must be cleared to reset the activation/install to a clean state. 


1.  Remove Office 365 license for Subscription based installs (not Shared Computer Licensing scenarios):

To remove the Office 365 license, you must run two cscript command lines. The command lines are:

        A. Run C:\program files <x86>\Microsoft office\office15>cscript ospp.vbs /dstatus

The above command line will generate a report of the currently installed/activated license. (See Below)

NOTE: You might see multiple licenses in the /dstatus report.

        B. Make note of value for “Last 5 characters of installed product key”

        C.  Run C:\program files <x86>\Microsoft office\office15>cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:“Last 5 of installed product key” For example: C:\program files <x86>\Microsoft office\office15>cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:WB222 (See Below) Repeat the step above if necessary until all keys are removed.

After running the /unpkey: command line you will see a “Product Key uninstall successful” message. You can now close the Command Prompt and move onto Step 2.

2. Remove cached identities in HKCU registry:

        A. In the Registry Editor navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Common\Identity\Identities and remove all of the identities under \Identities.

NOTE: If using Shared Computer Licensing remove the above Identities from HKEYUsers\SID.


3. Remove the stored Credentials in the Credential Manager:

A. Open Control Panel > Credential Manager.  Remove all Windows credentials listed for Office15 or Office16.

       B. To remove the Credential Click on the Drop down arrow and choose Remove from Vault.(See Below)

Shared Computer Licensing scenarios you must remove the Token and identities listed below.
File Location  Appdata\local\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Licensing


4. Persisted locations that must be cleared

Credential Manager:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Protected Storage System Provider

Office 365 activation Tokens and Identity

Appdata\local\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Licensing
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Common\Identity
HKEYU\(The Users SID)\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Common\Identity

The above steps will be reset to the activation state for Office 365(2013/2016).
The activation flow after the locations are cleared will represent an initial activation scenario.

Comments (8)

  1. Anonymous says:

    208 Microsoft Team blogs searched, 57 blogs have new articles. 253 new articles found searching from

  2. Wayne says:

    Hi – Is there a way to put Step 1 in a batch file so it can be automated? This would help out a lot because of the large amount of computers that require this daily. Is there a way to automatically apply the last 5 of the product key to the unpkey command, but more importantly a batch file that can complete this for each computer?

    Thanks for the help

    1. Hello Wayne,

      Please reply directly through email. I have a VB script. Alias is below.


      1. Andrew says:

        Hi Matt,

        Does your VB script address all the different possible keys?

        1. Yes, the script resets the locations called out in this article.

  3. LDonovan says:

    Matt…This helps a lot. We only hope Microsoft can write a tool to include all of these steps (LOL)

    1. Thanks LDonovan,

      I have a VB script for this. Please contact me directly through email. Alias is below.



  4. Jef Vleugels says:

    This article is great, It solved a very annoying crash of all microsoft office programs when clicking on Account settings

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