Office365 +5

office-365-boxOffice365 +5: a reader asks…

I have a 5-user MS Office 365 subscription but I have more than 5 computers. Is there a way to use it on more than 5 computers?

Officially, Microsoft only sells the Home and Premium subscriptions for up to five computers, so you’ll have to buy another Office subscription for the other computers. Or act like a business and buy with volume licensing.

Unofficially, there is a way, but it can be a little extra work, and the primary caveat is that you can only use Office on five computers at a time (simultaneously or not). You can install MS Office on as many computers as you want from your Office account at For the first five computers, you can activate the software and configure your programs (Outlook mail accounts, etc.). When you install it on the sixth computer, you have to log into your Office account online and then deactivate one of the five. Then you can activate the sixth computer. Rinse and repeat for the seventh and so on.


reset-button-image-from-shutterstockDeactivating a computer from your online Office account doesn’t uninstall or otherwise change the programs already installed on that computer, but it does limit those programs from working fully. What you’ll have to do is repeat the above process for as many computers as you have, and then deactivate any that you aren’t using right now so that you have no more than five computers activated at a time.

You’ll have to continually revisit your online MS account to deactivate a computer so that you can activate another computer (from the Office program). If this sounds like a lot of work, then you’re back to the two choices: buy another Office subscription (on a different Microsoft account), or use Microsoft’s Volume Licensing program. The latter can be purchased from a variety of re-sellers (or directly from Microsoft) and runs $8-15 per month per computer/user.

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