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Which account to use for Office and why you need one

The sections below provide information about the accounts that you use to install and activate newer versions of Office. Help with Setting up existing Email accounts in the Outlook app To access your e-mail, calendar and contacts, see the Outlook Help Center.

Why do I need an account to sign in to Office?

Why do I need an account to sign in to Office?

There is an association between Office and your account confirming that you are the licensed owner of Office. When you sign in to your account, you can do the following:

  • Install and activate Office A Microsoft account or a work, school or university account is required to install and activate Microsoft 365 and Office versions from 2013 onwards.

  • Connect to other Microsoft services Once your account is linked to your Office product and depending on which version of Office you are using, your account will also connect to various Microsoft products and services such as Office Online or OneDrive.

  • Reinstall Office Sign in to your account portal and reinstall Office without a product key or installation disc.

  • Create and share files Create, edit, and share files that you've saved in an Office cloud service like OneDrive

  • Use Office different devices If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can also install and use Office on more than one device.

What is a Microsoft account or a work, school or university account and how do I get a Microsoft account or a work, school or university account?

What is a Microsoft Account?

A Microsoft account is an email address and password that you use with Outlook.com, Hotmail, Office, OneDrive, Skype, Xbox, and Windows. When you create a Microsoft account, you can use any email address as a username, including addresses from Outlook.com, Yahoo! or Gmail.

What is a business, school or university account?

If your company or school / university uses Microsoft 365, someone else, e.g. For example, a Microsoft 365 global administrator is assigned a unique username and password. This is the account that will be used to access your company or school email and your organization's web resources.

Business, school, or college accounts are usually linked to Microsoft 365 business products and are usually managed by the same Microsoft 365 administrator who is responsible for assigning user accounts and Office licenses to people in your organization.

Microsoft accounts

A Microsoft account is a free account that gives you access to many Microsoft devices and services, such as: B. the web-based e-mail service Outlook.com (also known as "hotmail.com", "msn.com", "live.com"), Office online apps, Skype, OneDrive, Xbox Live, Bing, Windows or the Microsoft Store. If you already use one of these services, chances are you already have a Microsoft account. The Microsoft account was formerly known as the "Windows Live ID". When you create a Microsoft account, you can use any email address as a username, including addresses from Outlook.com, Yahoo! or Gmail.

If you already use an email address and password to sign in to Microsoft devices and services like the ones listed above, you already have a Microsoft account. One of the advantages of having a Microsoft account is that you can log into all of your Microsoft services with the same password.

Microsoft accounts are most commonly associated with Office Home products.

For more information about Microsoft accounts and how to manage them, see:

Microsoft account: Help

Business, school or university account

If you use Microsoft 365 at work or in your school / university, someone else, e.g. For example, a global administrator is assigned a unique username and password. You sign in with this business, school or university account to access your e-mails and other web resources in your organization.

Business, school or university accounts are linked to Microsoft 365 Business products and are usually managed by the same administrator who is responsible for assigning user accounts and Office licenses to people in your organization.

Administrators looking for help managing user accounts, see Add a single user or bulk add users to Office 365.

How do I link an account to Office?

Linking a Microsoft account, or a work, school, or college account to Office is the process by which Microsoft verifies that you have an authorized Office license. How you associate your account with the Office product depends on that product and how you received it. This link is only required for Microsoft 365 subscriptions and Office 2016 and Office 2013 products without a subscription (see Do I need an account for Office 2010 or Office 2007?).

Choose the option that best fits the way you received Office.

I bought Office from a specialist retailer or from an online store

If you bought Office from a retailer, it probably came in a box with a product key. When redeeming this key, you will be asked to use an existing Microsoft account or to create a new one.

If you purchased Office from the Microsoft Online Store and signed up for your purchase, this is the account associated with Office. If you can't install Office, you might not have gone through the redemption step after your purchase. See I Just Bought Office. Where do I enter my product key?

Someone shared Office with me

If someone else shared their Office subscription with you, they might have sent you an email or text message. At the beginning of the Office installation you will be asked to use an existing Microsoft account or to create a new one. How do I get a Microsoft account?

I received Office through my company or as a pupil / student

If you use Office through your company or school / university, you were probably assigned an account at the beginning. This is the account you use to sign in to Office.com.

Somebody installed Office for me; therefore I don't have an account

If you bought Office but someone else installed it for you and their account is now linked to Office instead of your account, contact support. Make sure you have your proof of purchase ready.

Office was already installed on my PC

I don't have a newer version of Office, but I want to keep using the free Office Online apps

I received Office through Microsoft HUP

If you received Office through your organization's Microsoft HUP offering for use on a PC running Windows, do not use an account to activate Office. You should have received a product key that you will need to enter when prompted to activate Office. See Install or reinstall Office from Microsoft HUP.

Where do I sign in with my account so I can install or reinstall Office?

If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription or use Microsoft 365 at work or at school, sign in to Office.com with the account associated with your subscription. You can use this account to install or reinstall Office and, depending on your Office product, you can also use your subscription My account manage. The association between your account and your Office license depends on how you received Office.

Signing in to Office.com or signing in to the Office desktop apps also means you can easily access files stored in cloud services like OneDrive. For more information, see Sign in to Office or Microsoft 365.

If you just want to learn the steps required to install Office, see:

Tips:

  • Some organizations manage both Office licenses and Office installations for their employees or students. Therefore, you may not have to install anything yourself. However, if Office is not yet installed, or if you don't see an installation option after signing in with your work, school, or college account at Office.com, contact the Microsoft 365 administrator in your organization.

  • If you signed in with a Microsoft account and you don't see an option to install Office, see the "Office isn't associated with this account" section below.

Do I need an Office 2010 or Office 2007 account?

Older versions of Office such as Office 2010 or Office 2007 do not require accounts. To install or reinstall Office, use the disk and product key that came with your purchase. For more information about how to install these versions, see Install Office 2010 and Install Office 2007.

Can I change the name of my account?

I forgot my username or password

Business, school or university account

If someone in your organization has assigned you a work, school, or university email account, go to Reset Password. If you are unable to reset your password, contact your administrator as they may not have given you permission to change your own password. Other changes, e.g. Changes to your user name, for example, must also be carried out by your administrator.

If you're the administrator responsible for managing the email accounts of users in your organization, see Users and passwords in Microsoft 365 Business - Admin Help.

My password is correct, but it doesn't work

There are a few things you can check if your password doesn't seem to be working:

  • Check the spelling of your email name and password.

  • Make sure you have not turned on CAPS LOCK as your password is case sensitive.

If it still doesn't work, follow the steps below, depending on your account.

My Gmail, Yahoo!, or other account is a Microsoft account, but it doesn't work

There are advantages in turning your regular email account, such as a Gmail or Yahoo! account, into a Microsoft account. How do I get a Microsoft account? So there is one less account to remember, or maybe you just want to use certain accounts for certain activities.

Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, Live.com, or MSN.com accounts are managed by Microsoft and automatically classified as Microsoft accounts. This means that any changes you make to this account will be applied to all Microsoft services for which you also use this account (e.g. XBox, Skype or OneDrive).

However, if you created a Microsoft account using an email account, that is managed by another email provider, e.g. Any changes you make to those accounts through the provider, such as a Gmail or Yahoo! account, will not be reflected in Microsoft.

An example: You used an existing Gmail or Yahoo! account or a different type of account to create a Microsoft account, but later via the settings of your e-mail provider, in this case Gmail or Yahoo! made a change to your account; B. an update of your password or other personal information. The changes you make won't automatically apply to your Microsoft account. This means that the password for your Microsoft account will remain unchanged.

Any changes to this account as a Microsoft account must be made through your Microsoft account settings. Sign in to your account portal to check that the account is working. If you need to reset the Microsoft account password for this email account, see I forgot the username or password for the account I use with Office.

To manage other aspects of your Microsoft account, such as name changes or security settings, sign in to account.microsoft.com.

A message says that Office is not linked to this account

For help with this message, see "This is the correct location to install and reinstall Office" error message.