How to Activate Microsoft Office 365 Subscription in Mac?

Apogee

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Aug 16, 2016
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577
A relative overseas ran into this problem.

Anyone else ever had this issue with suggestions on how to rectify it?

"There is a big problem with the activation if the subscription was purchased through Apple store. Office 365 license gets linked with Microsoft account and can be checked using the url https://office.com/myaccount or https://account.microsoft.com/services but if the subscription was purchased through Apple, you won’t find any license there on the Microsoft account page.

When you would reinstall Office or if it would be deactivated after the trial, it won’t be possible to activate the product. Apple is playing this game from long time. They just charge the customer for yearly subscription and do not provide any product key or any license.

Once the trial ends, they simply ask the customer to contact Microsoft and Microsoft has no idea about the customer’s license because it is not available in the customer’s Microsoft account and the order details are also not available with Microsoft because the purchase was made through Apple. So users get stuck."


So in short, he renewed a Microsoft 365 Family subcription through the App store, but cannot continue to use the desktop apps, because they are in expired status, even though he has a valid subscription. It is also indicated on the Apple subscriptions page.

When logged into the Microsoft account page, it doesn't show any valid subscription however.

Already contacted Microsoft via chat, but they were of no help, because they could just confirm that there is no active subscription on the email address.
 
Last edited:

SauRoNZA

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He needs to simply re-download the AppStore version with the Apple ID that purchased it and therefore holds the license.

It sounds like he is trying to download it elsewhere and expecting it to work the same.

This isn’t something “Apple has been at for a very long time” it’s simply how the licensing model works and needs to be used accordingly.

If they want to switch to Microsoft direct license they must download it from Microsoft and pay for it via Microsoft.

The two versions are completely different with different license models due to Family Sharing etc.

If the license expires you re-subscribe on the AppStore like any other app.

If you want to switch to a Microsoft license then you delete the AppStore versions and you re-install from the Microsoft website and enter the key accordingly.

Of course the AppStore version doesn’t ask for a key or activation because it doesn’t need to, that’s built into the store already.
 

Apogee

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
577
He needs to simply re-download the AppStore version with the Apple ID that purchased it and therefore holds the license.

It sounds like he is trying to download it elsewhere and expecting it to work the same.

This isn’t something “Apple has been at for a very long time” it’s simply how the licensing model works and needs to be used accordingly.

If they want to switch to Microsoft direct license they must download it from Microsoft and pay for it via Microsoft.

The two versions are completely different.
No, the desktop versions of Microsoft 365 on the Macbook he is using have been working fine until the subscription was renewed automatically on the app store. Now they have expired for some reason.

He is not trying to download anything.

The quote is from another user having the same problem.

It looks like Apple and Microsoft is not communicating a user's subscription status between them.

Apple should at least send you an activation code when you purchase it via the app store, if they don't communicate it directly with Microsoft, so that you can activate it yourself.
 
Last edited:

SauRoNZA

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No the desktop versions on the Macbook he is using have been working fine until the subscription was renewed automatically on the app store.

He is not trying to download anything.
So if it was renewed what is the problem?

Worst case simply delete it and reinstall it, but it should simply carry on as usual if it was indeed renewed.

Apple DO provide a license, it’s built into the AppStore. They don’t however produce a product key as they don’t need to, they aren’t selling the same thing.
 

SauRoNZA

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Have they clicked the “Restore Previous Purchase” button to link the license?

Top left click on the Application name (I checked on OneNote now, but should be on any of them) and then click Purchase Options.

At the bottom is a “Restore Previous Purchase” option which should link the AppStore license with the installed application.

However I would advice they not auto renew using this method and switch to a direct Microsoft license going forward as there are often specials etc.

They can in fact do this from inside the very same menu I believe where it’s linked to the Microsoft account instead.
 

Apogee

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Messages
577
So if it was renewed what is the problem?

Worst case simply delete it and reinstall it, but it should simply carry on as usual if it was indeed renewed.

Apple DO provide a license, it’s built into the AppStore. They don’t however produce a product key as they don’t need to, they aren’t selling the same thing.
The apps expired, even though Apple has renewed the subscription automatically.

Thanks for the rest of the info though. I understand the setup now.

I thought Apple just basically resells the Microsoft subscriptions, after which Microsoft gets informed about it.

Strange that you can share a direct Microsoft subscription with Apple users, but not vice-versa, as this can only be done from the Microsoft account page.
 

SauRoNZA

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The apps expired, even though Apple has renewed the subscription automatically.

Thanks for the rest of the info though. I understand the setup now.

I thought Apple just basically resells the Microsoft subscriptions.
See my last post. Will likely fix your issue.

But no the AppStore has its entirely separate billing and licensing model which can make things a little messy as per this example but is usually there because people want it all in one place.

I have no idea how the Family plan part will work since AppStore doesn’t share in-app purchases.

Is this the first time they’ve bought it?

Then I’m going to guess it likely activates against the Microsoft account and will show up in that portal as well AFTER the AppStore license has been linked with the “restore purchases” and then they can probably add the family members via the Microsoft Office 365 portal.
 

Apogee

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Aug 16, 2016
Messages
577
See my last post. Will likely fix your issue.
Will do. Thanks.

Will post again if it helped. Australia is in sleep mode now. ;)

I suggested cancelling the subscription with Apple, and get a refund, and then subscribe directly with Microsoft.

A classical case of the 3rd-party conondrum. :D
 
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