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How to download and activate Office 2016 with KMS

September 7, 2020

Even if it does not incorporate some of the coolest features of 2019 version, Microsoft Office 2016 still holds strong in these days. As an added bonus, it has better backwards compatibility than its succesor, allowing us to install it on previous Windows versions like Windows 7 and 8.

You can no longer buy Office 2016 from Microsoft's site. However there's a safe and non-intrusive way to activate Office that relies on the KMS method, which we will explain in this post.

Download Office 2016 from Microsoft

Although Microsoft is no longer selling Office 2016 licenses, it offers public download links from its servers.

We have taken the trouble to compile a download list with all languages that will make it easier to find yours.

How to activate Office 2016 for free

Fortunately, there's a safe and easy way to activate Office 2016 on your computer. With the use of KMS (Key Management Service) technology from Microsoft, we avoid using third-party activators that could put our computer at risk.

Want to activate Office 2019 instead? Please check «this post»

Activate Office 2016 with the command prompt

Step 1. Open the Windows start menu and search for CMD. Run it with admin privileges.

By default, Office 2016 is installed in these folders:

32-bit binaries: "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Office\Office16"

64-bit binaries: "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office16"

Step 2. Use cd command to change from current directory to Office 16

cd "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office16"

Before we proceed to activate the software, it's necessary to convert Office 2016 from Retail to Volume. This way we can connect to a KMS Server later.

Step 3. With the ospp.vbs script you can proceed to install the required licenses and do the conversion.

Please copy and execute these commands one by one.

cscript ospp.vbs /inslic:"..\root\Licenses16\ProPlusVL_KMS_Client-ppd.xrm-ms"

cscript ospp.vbs /inslic:"..\root\Licenses16\ProPlusVL_KMS_Client-ul.xrm-ms"

cscript ospp.vbs /inslic:"..\root\Licenses16\ProPlusVL_KMS_Client-ul-oob.xrm-ms"

You should see this confirmation message

Step 4. Your version has been successfully converted to Volume. Now proceed to install the license used to activate Office 2016.

Use the following command:

cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:XQNVK-8JYDB-WJ9W3-YJ8YR-WFG99

License successfully installed

Step 5. You must specify the KMS host that will validate your license

It's recommended to use the host since it's the best known, but you can also set that works the same.

These servers will validate any generic volume key

cscript ospp.vbs /

KMS host configured

Step 6. Finally proceed with the activation of your product

cscript ospp.vbs /act

If all went fine, you will receive a confirmation like the one shown in the screenshot.

Office 2016 is now activated

Every 180 days the license is verified against the KMS server, so make sure you count with an internet connection. Otherwise, you will switch back to the trial version.

Activate Office 2016 using a script

Alternatively, you can run a batch script that enters the necessary commands for you. Something useful to speed up the process when you need to activate more than one computer.

Step 1. Copy the full text above and paste it into a notepad window

Step 2. Go to File > Save and don't forget to name the document with the .cmd extension so it can be run. E.g. activateoffice16.cmd

Dont' forget to place the .cmd extension

Step 3. Right click on the file and run it as administrator

Wait a few seconds for the script to finish its job

You can now enjoy Office 2016 in all it's grace. Make sure you have an internet connection, as every 180 days the license is rechecked against the server.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this method safe and validated by Microsoft?

Yes, as the Office Software Protection Platform script (ospp.vbs) usage is described in this Microsoft document and it’s part of the Office suite.

What does KMS mean?

KMS stands for Key Management Service. It’s a technology conceived by Microsoft to activate software deployed in bulk. For instance, clients connect to a KMS Server that validates licenses.

Is this activation permanent?

As long as you have a KMS server configured that remains active, you can keep the product activated for unlimited time. Just make sure you have an internet connection, as every 180 days the license is rechecked against the server.