How do I activate Office 365, 2019, 2016, and 2013 for Windows and Mac?

Tags Outlook

How to activate Outlook for Windows and Mac.


microsoft sign in screen

When you start an Office app that's not activated, you'll be prompted to sign in to Office. Be sure to sign in using your NetID and Technology Solutions common password.

Office Activation Wizard screen

If the Activation wizard appears, Office needs your help to activate. Follow the prompts in the wizard to activate Office.



1.  Click the Launchpad icon  example icon  in the Dock to display all of your apps. 

Click any Office app, like Microsoft Word to start the activation process. You may need to scroll down to find it.

Note: If you haven't already, you'll need to install outlook before you can activate.
2. The What's New window opens automatically. 

Click Get Started > Sign in.


Note: If there is no What's New window, you may need to activate from within the Office app. On the top menu, click Word >Activate Office > Sign in.

 mac office sign in intro screen 


3.  Enter your NetID and click Next.

 mac sign in email entry screen 


4.  Enter the password associated with the email address you entered, and click Sign in.

Note: This screen may look different depending on your email provider.

 mac password entry screen 



5.  The system checks if you have a valid license and then will activate the product.

example activating screen


6.  You're done! Click Start Using Word, to start using the app.

Tip: To make the Office apps easy to launch, you can add them to the dock.


example confirmation screen

Mac Troubleshooting


NOTE: The Activation Troubleshooter app doesn't appear to work on Max OSX 10.14 or newer.  In all cases, please see the following link for the newest instructions: How do I activate Microsoft Office on my Mac?

1. Make sure your time is set properly. A clock skew of more than a few minutes will automatically refuse any credentials. Go to System Preferences > Date & Time, and ensure that your time is being automatically set using

2. Download and run the .

3. Completely uninstall and reinstall Office. Follow the steps here (dragging the apps to the Trash does not constitute uninstallation):

After each of those steps, try to sign in again. If none of these work, please bring your Mac to the Technical Helpdesk at IDEA Commons in the Richard J. Daley Library. If this Mac is owned by the university, let the service manager know. 




Article ID: 581
Fri 1/15/21 5:52 PM
Thu 1/20/22 1:48 PM