Find answers to commonly asked questions about Microsoft 365. Visit the Microsoft 365 for business FAQ for more questions and answers for business users.

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Office 2019 is sold as a one-time purchase, which means you pay a single, up-front cost to get Office apps for one computer. One-time purchases are available for both PCs and Macs. However, there are no upgrade options which means if you plan to upgrade to the next major release, you'll have to buy it at full price.

 

Microsoft 365 is a subscription that includes the most collaborative, up-to-date features in one seamless, integrated experience. Microsoft 365 includes the robust Office desktop apps that you’re familiar with, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. You also get extra online storage and cloud-connected features that let you collaborate on files in real time. With a subscription, you'll always have the latest features, fixes, and security updates along with ongoing tech support at no extra cost. You can choose to pay for your subscription on a monthly or yearly basis, and the Microsoft 365 Family plan lets you share your subscription with your family for up to 6 people, and use your apps on multiple PCs, Macs, tablets, and phones.

Microsoft 365 is compatible with PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. See system requirements for compatible versions of your devices, and for other feature requirements.

No. Apps are tailored to work best on each operating system. The apps available for Mac users and the specific features included may be different from those available for PC users. With Microsoft 365, you can be flexible. With your account, you are not limited to exclusively Mac or exclusively PC, so you can transition across devices.

Yes. Documents that you have created belong fully to you. You can choose to store them online on OneDrive or locally on your PC or Mac.

Internet access is required to install and activate all the latest releases of apps and services included in all Microsoft 365 subscription plans. Note that if you are an existing subscriber, you do not need to reinstall or purchase another subscription.
 
For Microsoft 365 plans, Internet access is also needed to manage your subscription account, for example to install apps on other PCs or to change billing options. Internet access is also required to access documents stored on OneDrive, unless you install the OneDrive desktop app.
 
You should also connect to the Internet regularly to keep your version of Microsoft 365 up to date and to benefit from automatic upgrades. If you do not connect to the Internet at least every 31 days, your apps will go into reduced functionality mode, which means that you can view or print your documents but cannot edit the documents or create new ones. To reactivate your apps, simply reconnect to the Internet.
 
You do not need to be connected to the Internet to use Office apps, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, because the apps are fully installed on your computer.

Your Microsoft account is the combination of an email address and password that you use to sign in to services like OneDrive, Xbox LIVE, and Outlook.com. If you use any of these services, you already have a Microsoft account that you can use, or you can create a new account. Learn more about a Microsoft account.

 

As part of signing up for a trial or purchasing Microsoft 365, you will be prompted to sign in with a Microsoft account. You must be signed in with this account to install and manage your Microsoft 365 subscription, or to use some subscription benefits, including OneDrive storage.

You can share Microsoft 365 Family with 5 other people in your household, for a total of 6 users. Microsoft 365 Personal can be used by one person.

If you have an active Microsoft 365 Family subscription, you can share it with up to 5 members of your household. Each household member you share your subscription with can install Microsoft 365 on all their devices and sign in to five devices at the same time.

 

To add someone to your subscription, visit account.microsoft.com and follow the on-screen instructions to add a user. Each person you add will receive an email with the steps they need to follow. Once they have accepted and completed the steps, their information, including the installs they are using, will appear on their My Account page. You can stop sharing your subscription with someone or remove a device they are using at account.microsoft.com.

Visit this page to learn more about free apps.

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Yes. You can sign up to try Microsoft 365 Family for free for a month on the Microsoft 365 website. (Note that a credit card is required for the free trial.) The trial gives you access to all the features of Microsoft 365 Family and can be shared with up to 5 people in the family. It includes: 
 
• Full Office desktop apps such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Publisher and Access for Windows PCs, as well as access to additional OneNote features (features vary).
 
• 1 TB of additional OneDrive cloud storage so you can save documents, photos and videos online and access them from nearly anywhere. 
 
• 60 Skype minutes that you can use to call mobile phones and landlines. See the list
 

1. Create or sign in with an existing Microsoft account. What is a Microsoft account? 
 
2. Provide payment information to enable future monthly payments. International credit cards and PayPal (in some markets) are accepted.
 
3. The payment method you provide will be automatically charged at the end of your first free month to ensure that you do not experience any interruptions with your service. You can cancel online without penalty before your trial ends, by visiting account.microsoft.com and turning off recurring billing in the payment and billing area.
 
4. Once your payment method is confirmed, you'll be transferred to account.microsoft.com to install Office apps.

If you signed up for the trial via the Microsoft 365 website, visit the Microsoft Account site and turn off recurring billing. With this approach, the trial will automatically expire when your month is finished, and your credit card will not be charged.

 

If you signed up for the trial by clicking an icon on your new PC, your trial ends automatically after a month; it isn’t necessary to cancel it. When the trial ends, you’ll be prompted to choose which Microsoft 365 plan you want to purchase.
 

It depends on how you signed up for the trial: 
  • If you signed up via the Microsoft 365 website, and if recurring billing is enabled on the Microsoft Account site, your service will continue uninterrupted and your payment method will be automatically charged at the end of the trial, and then monthly thereafter. You do not need to re-install Office apps.
  • If you signed up by clicking an icon on your new PC, your trial ends automatically after a month; it isn’t necessary to cancel it. When the trial ends, you’ll be prompted to choose which Microsoft 365 plan you want to purchase.
 

Not immediately. For example, if you had a trial of Microsoft 365 Personal, you can’t sign up for a trial of Microsoft 365 Family. However, one year after your trial or paid subscription ends, you can sign up for a new trial.

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To set up your account and install Microsoft 365 for the first time, visit setup.office.com. Learn more about setting up your account. If you have already created your account, visit account.microsoft.com. Learn more about installing Office.

A product key is a unique 25-character alpha-numeric code used to redeem and activate your Microsoft 365 subscription or Office product. You cannot use a product key for an older Office product (or a different product) to redeem your new copy of Office or Microsoft 365 subscription.

 

To find your product key, look for the 25-character alpha-numeric code on the back of the card inside your Microsoft 365 or Office product packaging. Sometimes the product key may be printed on your retail receipt. If you purchased from a PC manufacturer, your product key will be located somewhere in your PC packaging. Sample product key format: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.

After you associate your Product Key to your Microsoft account, you can sign in to account.microsoft.com to install and manage Microsoft 365. But it's a good idea to keep your Product Key in a secure location as proof of purchase or to help our support agents trace your product.

It's best to use your existing Microsoft account. If you use other Microsoft products or services (e.g. Xbox, OneDrive, Outlook.com, MSN or Bing), you may already have a Microsoft account and won’t need to create a new one. If you forgot your username or password, recover those details by returning to sign in and clicking on Can't access your account?

Your Microsoft account can have only one subscription associated with it. If you use the same Microsoft account to buy or redeem multiple Microsoft 365 subscriptions, you extend the amount of time for your subscription, up to a maximum of 5 years. Note that doing so does not increase the number of devices you can install Office apps on or increase the amount of online storage that is available with the subscription. Learn more about adding another Microsoft 365 Family subscription plan to your account.

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Microsoft 365 plans are available in most countries/regions. In countries/regions where Microsoft 365 plans are not available, you can still buy an Office 2019 suite, a one-time purchase which includes 2019 versions of the Office apps, but no additional security or storage features. When buying Microsoft 365, it’s important that you select the country/region in which you will be billed and in which you’ll use the software. Selecting a different country/region may cause problems with subscription setup and renewal.

Yes. Microsoft offers simple and cost-effective solutions for multilingual individuals, families, and small businesses. Each time you install Office apps on an additional PC or Mac at, you can choose the language in which to install.

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OneDrive is an online storage service that you can use to store documents, notes, photos, music, videos, or other types of files. With OneDrive you can access your files from nearly any device and you can share them with others. Sign up for OneDrive.

The amount of additional storage that you get depends on your subscription:

  • Customers with an active Microsoft 365 Personal subscription receive an additional 1 TB of OneDrive storage per subscription.
  • Customers with an active Microsoft 365 Family subscription receive an additional 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user, for up to 6 users. Each additional user must have their own Microsoft account and be added to the Microsoft Account site.

The additional storage is applied to the OneDrive account that is linked to the Microsoft account used to create the Microsoft 365 subscription. For Microsoft 365 Family, the storage is tied to the Microsoft accounts of the household members who have been added to the subscription.

To access documents stored on OneDrive, sign in with the Microsoft account that you used to set up Microsoft 365. If you have shared your Microsoft 365 Family subscription with other members of your household, they should sign in with their Microsoft account. You can also sign in to OneDrive directly at OneDrive.com.

Yes. If you’re using Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, OneDrive is preinstalled. To access your documents when you’re not connected to the Internet, open File Explorer on your PC and go to the OneDrive folder. When you reconnect, OneDrive updates the online versions with changes you made offline.
 
Visit the OneDrive for Windows 8.1 and OneDrive for Windows 10 support pages for more details.
 
You can also download and install OneDrive on Windows 7, Windows Vista, or on your Mac. The OneDrive app creates a folder that automatically syncs between OneDrive and your computer, so you can work on your documents—even when you’re offline.

If you cancel your subscription or if it expires, you can still access and download all your files by signing in to OneDrive directly using the Microsoft account you used to set up Microsoft 365. You do lose the additional storage that comes with your subscription, so you must save your files elsewhere or buy more OneDrive storage if your OneDrive account exceeds the free storage quota.

They lose the additional OneDrive storage, but they can still access and download all files. If their OneDrive account exceeds the free storage quota, they'll need to save files elsewhere or buy more OneDrive storage.

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Starting in March 2020, OneNote 2016 will be installed by default alongside Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for Microsoft 365 subscriptions that include the client apps and Office 2019. If you require OneNote 2016 before then, see OneNote is missing after installing Office 2019 or Microsoft 365.

Starting in March 2020, OneNote 2016 will be installed by default alongside Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for Microsoft 365 subscriptions that include the client apps and Office 2019. For information about how to download the desktop version of OneNote 2016 see OneNote is missing after installing Office 2019 or Microsoft 365.

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With Skype minutes you can call friends or family on their mobile phone or landline, whether they have a Skype account or not.

You can call the following countries/regions: 
 
• Both landlines and mobile phones: Canada, China, Guam, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. 
 
• Landlines only: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Colombia (excl. Lex), Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia (Jakarta), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Venezuela. 
 
Skype minutes are not included with Microsoft 365 in Algeria, Bahrain, China, Egypt, India, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Qatar, Taiwan, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirates.
 
Note that special, premium, and non-geographic numbers are not covered by Skype minutes. Additionally, it isn’t possible to place emergency calls. 

Skype offers a variety of pay-as-you-go and subscription options to supplement Skype minutes. Visit skype.com for more details.

You can choose to apply your Skype minutes to a new or existing Skype account. To activate your Skype minutes, visit account.microsoft.com and then follow the onscreen instructions to either create a new Skype account or to use an existing one. You will see a confirmation at account.microsoft.com when the minutes have been activated.
 

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To install Microsoft 365, or Office as a one-time purchase, visit account.microsoft.com. Sign in with the Microsoft account that you used to purchase, or have already associated, with the subscription or one-time purchase product, and then follow the onscreen instructions to install. Learn more about how to install Microsoft 365 or Office.
 
If you need to set up your account and install Microsoft 365 or Office for the first time, visit setup.office.com. Learn more about where to enter your Office product key.
 
To download and install older versions of Office, visit office.com/downloadoffice.

You’ll need to determine which Office product keys correspond to each PC. Learn more.

Microsoft 365 Personal subscribers can install on multiple PCs/Macs, tablets, and phones, including Windows, iOS, and Android1, for 1 user. Microsoft 365 Family subscribers can install on Multiple PCs/Macs, tablets, and phones, including Windows, iOS, and Android1 for up to 6 users within their household. You can count hybrid Windows devices, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, as either a PC or a tablet.

Yes. You can purchase Microsoft 365 subscriptions for both Mac and Windows. Office Home & Business 2019 and Office Home & Student 2019 are also available for Mac as a one-time purchase.

 

With Microsoft 365 subscription plans you get the fully installed Office apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access (Publisher and Access are available on PC only). The OneNote app is included in Windows 10 and is available for free on Mac, although your purchase of Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise provides access to additional OneNote features (features vary).

 

The Publisher and Access apps are not available for Mac. Current Office app versions for Microsoft 365 and Office 2016 are available for both Windows and Mac.

The actual download speed of Microsoft 365 or Office depends on the speed of your Internet connection; a broadband Internet connection is recommended for the best download experience.
 
All versions of Microsoft 365 or Office for Windows PC use a streaming technology that lets you begin to use Office apps before installation is complete.
 
If Microsoft 365 or Office is taking a long time to install, learn about possible solutions.

Icons for Office apps are created when you install Office. You can start the apps by clicking the icons, which are installed in the following locations: 
 
• Windows 
    o Windows 7: Start menu 
    o Windows 8: Start screen and Apps view (the view under the Start screen that includes all apps installed on a PC)* 
    o Windows 8.1: Apps view*
 
*If you cannot find your icons in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, go to the Start screen and type the name of the app you want to launch (for example, Word).
You can also pin an app shortcut to your Start screen or your desktop taskbar for convenient access. Learn more.
 
• Mac OS X 
    o 10.6 (Snow Leopard): Dock 
    o 10.7 (Lion): Dock and Launchpad 
    o 10.8 (Mountain Lion): Dock and Launchpad 
    o 10.9 (Mavericks): Dock and Launchpad 
    o 10.10 (Yosemite): You can start the apps by clicking the app icons which can be found in the Launchpad and Apps folder in Finder. 
 

If you have installed Microsoft 365 on the maximum number of PCs, Macs, or tablets and want to use Microsoft 365 on a different device, you can deactivate a device by visiting account.microsoft.com, after which you can install Microsoft 365 on a new device. The copy of Microsoft 365 on the device you deactivated will revert to read-only mode, which means documents can be viewed but not edited. You will not lose any documents that are saved locally on the original device.

To uninstall Microsoft 365 or Office, first visit account.microsoft.com and follow the onscreen instructions to deactivate Microsoft 365 or Office. Deactivating Microsoft 365 or Office leaves the Office apps on your PC in read-only mode, which means that you can view documents but can't edit or save them, and you can’t create new documents. To remove Microsoft 365 or Office entirely, go to your PC's Control Panel and uninstall Microsoft 365 or Office. For Mac, iPad, and Android tablets, follow the instructions on that device to uninstall an app.

There are several ways to get a back-up for your Microsoft 365 subscription or Office product: 
 
• Microsoft 365 customers can download or reinstall from account.microsoft.com
 
• You may order a DVD backup copy for the latest release Office products for a fee. Visit office.com/backup for details. 
 
Back-up copies cannot be shipped to the following countries/regions: Bhutan, Brazil, China, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Iraq, Jan Mayen, Kiribati, Libya, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Saba, Samoa, Sint Eustatius, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna. 
 

Get the core Office experience for free on your favorite tablets and phones. To find and download apps, visit the following pages: Office for iPad, Office for iPhone, Office for Android tablet, and Office for Android phone. For Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps, get premium features with an eligible Microsoft 365 subscription. For information about the premium features for mobile devices that are available with Microsoft 365, visit office.com/information.

Microsoft 365 customers with an active subscription always get the newest versions of the Office apps when they are available. When we release a new version of Office apps, you will be notified that you have the option to update your software to the latest version.

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To manage your billing information, install or remove Microsoft 365 from additional PCs or Macs, and manage your installations of Microsoft 365 on other devices at any time, visit install and Account management.

If you purchased a recurring billing subscription, your subscription starts when you complete your purchase. Recurring billing subscriptions may be purchased from MicrosoftStore.com, the iTunes® Store, and some other retailers. If you purchased a pre-paid subscription, your subscription starts when you activate your subscription on setup.office.com. Pre-paid subscriptions may be purchased from a retailer or reseller, or a Microsoft support agent.

OneDrive is an online storage service that you can use to store documents, notes, photos, music, videos, or other types of files. With OneDrive you can access your files from nearly any device, and you can share them with others. Sign up for OneDrive. The amount of additional storage that you get depends on your subscription:
  • Customers with an active Microsoft 365 Personal subscription receive an additional 1 TB of OneDrive storage per subscription plus 5 GB of storage for free.
  • Customers with an active Microsoft 365 Family subscription receive an additional 1 TB of OneDrive storage per user, for up to 6 users, plus 5 GB of storage for 1 user. Each additional user must have their own Microsoft account and be added to the Microsoft Account page.

The additional storage is applied to the OneDrive account that is linked to the Microsoft account used to create the Microsoft 365 subscription. For Microsoft 365 Family, the storage is tied to the Microsoft accounts of the household members who have been added to the subscription.

To access documents stored on OneDrive, sign into Microsoft 365 with the Microsoft account that you used to set up Microsoft 365. If you have shared your Microsoft 365 subscription with other members of your household, they should sign in with their Microsoft account. Learn more about signing into Microsoft 365. You can also sign into OneDrive directly at OneDrive.com.

Yes. If you’re using Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, OneDrive is preinstalled. To access your documents when you’re not connected to the Internet, open File Explorer on your PC and go to the OneDrive folder. When you reconnect, OneDrive updates the online versions with changes you made offline.

 

Visit the OneDrive for Windows 8.1 and OneDrive for Windows 10 support pages for more details.

 

You can also download and install OneDrive on Windows 7, Windows Vista, or on your Mac. The OneDrive app creates a folder that automatically syncs between OneDrive and your computer, so you can work on your documents—even when you’re offline.

Your Microsoft account can have only one active Microsoft 365 consumer subscription. You can either convert your Microsoft 365 Family subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal, or you can wait until your current subscription expires before purchasing your Microsoft 365 Personal subscription.

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Recurring billing is the simplest way to ensure continued service. You can set up monthly or annual recurring billing by visiting the Microsoft Account site.

 

If you have a monthly subscription you can save money by converting it to an annual subscription at the Microsoft Account site.

As the expiration date approaches, you will receive notifications in the Office apps and via email, alerting you to the upcoming expiration. If you choose to let your subscription expire, the Office apps enter read-only mode, which means that you can view or print documents, but you can’t create new documents or edit existing documents.

 

In read-only mode, you can still access and download your files for up to three months by signing into OneDrive directly using the Microsoft account you used to set up Microsoft 365. However, the additional storage that comes with your subscription is lost, so you must save your files elsewhere or buy more OneDrive storage if your OneDrive account exceeds the free storage quota of 5 GB.

 

Note: If you need to create or edit documents, you can use online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for free at Office.com. If you're using a Windows 10 device, you may already have the free Office Mobile apps installed. To learn more, see Office Mobile apps for Windows 10: Getting started.

They can still access and download their files by signing into OneDrive directly using their Microsoft account. If their OneDrive account exceeds the free storage quota of 5 GB, they'll need to save files elsewhere or buy more OneDrive storage.

You will be notified before you’re charged to continue your subscription for another year if you have an annual subscription. If you are signed up for a monthly subscription, your payment will be debited each month and you won’t be notified in advance. You can change your payment method or cancel your subscription to stop future charges at any time by visiting your account and signing in with the Microsoft account that you used to buy Microsoft 365.

You have a few options to continue your subscription. Regardless of the option you choose, be sure to use the same Microsoft account that you used when setting up your subscription.

 

If you have a recurring billing subscription, it will continue until cancelled. Your billing settings are shown on the Microsoft Account site after you sign in with the Microsoft account that you used to buy Microsoft 365.

 

If recurring billing is not enabled, visit microsoft365.com/renew to purchase a Microsoft 365 recurring billing subscription. The additional time will be automatically added to the remaining time on your existing subscription.

Yes. When you pay early to the same Microsoft 365 plan that you already have, the additional time is added to your existing subscription. For example, if you have two months left on your current subscription to Microsoft 365 Family and you pay for a one-year subscription (12 months), your subscription will run for 14 more months.

If you purchased a recurring billing subscription from Microsoft via MicrosoftStore.com or microsoft365.com, you have two options for cancelling:

 

  • You can cancel online by visiting the Microsoft Account site, signing in with the Microsoft account that you used to buy your subscription, and then turning off recurring billing. With this approach, your subscription will automatically expire when your remaining subscription time is up.
  • To cancel immediately, contact Microsoft support and request an immediate cancellation.

            o If you purchased a recurring billing subscription from another retailer, you may have to cancel your subscription with that retailer. You can confirm this by visiting the Microsoft Account site.

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Visit Microsoft Support for help on technical issues, including:

 

• Order status

 

• Billing

 

• Download

 

• Product key

 

• Install/uninstall

 

• Product activation

 

• Product use

For help and how-to content, visit office.com/support. For free video-based training,visit office.com/training.

1. iOS and Android require separate app download.

iTunes, iPhone, and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.