Office 2013 licenses can now be transferred to another PC

Reacting to user feedback, Microsoft will now allow Office 2013 owners to transfer their license from one PC to another up to once every 90 days.

Lance Whitney
Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
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Word 2013.
Word 2013 Jason Parker/CNET

Office 2013 users can now legally transfer their license if they buy a new computer or their current one breaks down.

In the face of user concerns over its previous policy, Microsoft today amended its Office 2013 license agreement. Now Office 2013 customers can move the software and license to another PC once every 90 days.

Effective immediately, the agreement covers Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013, and all of the standalone Office 2013 applications.

Microsoft's previous policy for Office 2013 limited users to a perpetual license good for only one PC. Buy a new PC, and you were restricted from transferring your Office 2013 license. The only exception was for a PC that failed under warranty. In that case, users could contact Microsoft support to activate Office 2013 a replacement PC.

Based on the negative comments to its February 19 blog post explaining the policy, Microsoft likely received a fair number of complaints from Office 2013 users.

As a result, the new agreement is decidedly more flexible and user-friendly.

A blog posted today explains the revised agreement in a Q&A format:

Can I transfer the software to another computer or user?

You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you, but not more than one time every 90 days (except due to hardware failure, in which case you may transfer sooner). If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the "licensed computer." You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement before the transfer. Any time you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer and you may not retain any copies.

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