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Remove Office license file: How do you change the account that Office says it belongs to on a Mac

Remove Office license file: How do you change the account that Office says it belongs to on a Mac

Office 2019 is a version of Microsoft’s productivity software that’s available as a one-time purchase from a retail store or through a volume licensing agreement. Now that we know what MS Office is, I will be showing you very quickly how to remove the Office license file on a macOS. Kindly refer to these related guides: How to remove Microsoft Outlook, Teams, Words PowerPoint, and Excel apps from Mac, how to change the speller and proofing language in PowerPoint, Office Configuration Analyser Tool (OFFCAT): Now Microsoft Support and Recovery Wizard, How to Install Apache OpenOffice on Ubuntu, how to install and configure Microsoft Teams on Ubuntu, and how to add or remove folders in Favorites in Microsoft Outlook.

Note: Uninstalling Office from your Mac device will not help resolve this issue. Upon re-installation of Office, the same license file will be associated with your Office suite.

I recently had to remove Office from my MacBook due to licensing issues. Remember, this copy of Office is available as a one-time purchase and it is associated with your Mac. As you see in the field it belongs to, my ex-company was listed as shown in the image below. There was a real need to disassociate my device from this license file. A similar issue was reported in the Microsoft Answer Forum. Therefore, I will be showing you the steps to remove Office license files on your macOS.

office license belongs to

As you can see below, you will be able to use your personal email for any Office related operation and as such may be difficult for you to spot the licensing inconsistency.

signin to office with a different account

Note: Even when you reinstall office with a new subscription from your school, work, or personal account, this will not replace the license or the account it belongs to. How then can you dissociate a license file from your Mac? Please download and run the license removal tool to remove Office license file from your Mac?

How to remove Office license file from your Mac?

First you will need to download and run the license removal tool, Next you will have to open the .pkg file from your Mac’s Downloads folder. But I have copied this to my Desktop.
– Select Continue and follow the prompts in the setup wizard.

Note: If you get an "unidentified developer" error, try opening the file by holding Control + clicking the file > Open.
license removal tool

On the License window, click on continue as shown below

removal office license, click on continue

Click on Agree to proceed with the continuation of this tool. Note: if you disagree, this will quit the installer. But why would you disagree at this stage 🙂

agree to license agreement

I will just select the default behaviour and click on continue as shown below

remove for all users

On the installation Type window, click on “Install” When you’re ready to complete the license removal.

office removal installation

Note: During the license removal process, all Office programs must be closed, else the following error below will be prompted.

all Office programs must be closed

You will need to enter your Mac’s local admin account password in order to install the License Removal Tool as shown below.

enter admin password

The tool has been installed successfully. This means the tool has successfully removed the license. Select Close to close the panel.

tool has been successfully installed

The Mac no longer has the license file, and Office is presently inactivated.

License not activated

Uninstall Microsoft Office License Removal 

To uninstall the License Removal Tool by dragging the Microsoft Office License Removal file from Finder > Desktop or Downloads, then move it to Trash (Bin).

Reinstall and activate the office 2019

Now open any Office app and sign in to activate the email account associated with your Office for Mac license. Please refer to this guide on how to install, and activate Office2019. As you can see in the image below, I have re-activated Office.

Note: If your account has both a Microsoft 365 for Mac license and a one-time purchase associated with it, you'll be prompted to choose which license you want to activate with. It is recommended to always choose Microsoft 365 for Mac if available.

I am now signing to use the office without any worries of licensing inconsistency.


Note: For Office 2021, 2019, 2016, and 2013, there is no way to deactivate Office Home & Student, Office Home & Business, Office Professional, or individual Office apps. Instead, you must reinstall and activate using the process described in this link.

How can I deactive Office365?

Microsoft 365 Family or Personal, please follow the steps discussed below.

  1. From any device, go to your Microsoft account, Installs page, and sign in using your Microsoft account, if prompted.
  2. Under Devices, select Sign out of Office next to the device. It can take up to 72 hours for Office to detect that you signed out remotely.

Microsoft 365 for business, please follow the steps discussed below.

  1. From any device, go to https://portal.office.com/Account/#home and sign in using your work or school account, if prompted.
  2. From the Office apps & devices tile, select View apps and devices.
  3. To view devices with Office installation, choose the down arrow next to DEVICES under Apps & devices.
  4. Select Sign out next to the device. It can take up to 72 hours for Office to detect that you signed out remotely.

After you sign out of Office, you still can view and print documents from that device, but you won’t be able to edit them or create new ones. If you want to use Microsoft 365 on the device, you’ll need to sign in to Microsoft 365 when prompted.

What if you have left the company and no longer have access to the Office365 Tenant?

You must be signed in as an administrator on the Mac or provide an administrator name and password to complete these steps.

To uninstall Office for Mac apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook using these instructions

I hope you found this blog post helpful. Please let me know in the comment session if you have any questions.

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