Activating Office 2010 Volume Licenses for Small Businesses

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Installing the license key for volume license purchases has changed in Office 2010. Unlike times gone by, volume licensing does require you to put in a license key for each installation. However, unlike other applications that you are required to enter the license key for, Office 2010 does not prompt you to enter the key during installation. Instead the product will run unkeyed for 28 days by which time you need to find a way to get the license key installed to all of those computers.

The Office licensing guide on TechNet provides a very detailed view of how to get this done. Finding the uncomplicated way to license computers for a small business can be difficult. It’s in the documentation, for sure, but it’s not all that easy to find. You can really find yourself lost in the weeds. Fortunately once you find the right path the solution is elegant and easy to implement.

The tool that we need for small business environments is called the Volume Activation Management Tool 2.0. It is available for download in the Microsoft download center.

Using the VAMT console, administrators can perform many activation-related tasks on remote computers:

  • Manage product keys obtained from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) or other sources including retail and Microsoft subscription programs such as MSDN, TechNet and partner programs — and product activations using those keys.
  • Activate remote systems using Key Management Service (KMS), Multiple Activation Key (MAK) or retail activation methods.
  • Perform disconnected proxy activation and reactivation of systems without each system having to connect with Microsoft activation services individually.
  • Assist with license compliance by enabling IT administrators to monitor system license state, including whether systems are licensed and running genuine Windows or Office.

This tool gets installed on your server. Before you get started have you MAK volume license code ready.

Step 1. Enter the product key.


Step 2. Ask the tool to search for computers in the active directory. (this is why it’s a good idea to have a clean list of computers in your active directory)

Step 3. Update the status of the computers buy highlighting the computers and select Update Status, current credential. Note: the computer must be on!

Step 4.  Select the computers that you need to push the Office license to.

Step 5. Choose Install Product Key…from the Select Items column (right most column)

Step 6. Next click Activate and Choose Proxy Activate from the popup menu

The tool provides confirmation that the license has installed to each machine.


If you find that a computer is turned off, you can safely run this tool again selecting only the computers that you need to deploy the license to.

Note that this tool uses WMI to determine the status of the computers. Your local firewall environment must allow WMI in order for the tool to work.


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We’re Third Tier. We provide advanced Third Tier support for IT Professionals like you.


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0 thoughts on “Activating Office 2010 Volume Licenses for Small Businesses

  • Dina

    OEM has little to no srpoput, can only be used with one computer, and costs less.Retail has full srpoput, can be used with more than one computer, but costs a lot more.i personally go with retail, just because if you are upgrading your computer then windows has a chance of thinking you have a different computer when something new is installed.oem is good for single builds. that is why it is included with most brand name computers like Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. pre-installed.