Posted on February 27, 2018 · Posted in MS Office

Configure KMS server for MS Office 2016 Volume Activation

Due to the recent release of the final RTM version of Microsoft Office 2016, corporate customers can migrate to a new MS Office platform. In this article we’ll deal with the peculiarities of MS Office 2016 activation on a corporate KMS server (FAQ: Understanding MS Key Management Service). It is supposed that we you already have the deployed KMS server on Windows Server 2012 R2 or other Windows versions (see the list of the supported operating systems below).

Through the use of the KMS server, corporate customers can activate Office products inside the corporate network without connecting to Microsoft activation servers in the Internet. Earlier we have already considered the peculiarities of KMS activation of MS Office 2013, and the main principles and approaches to the MS Office 2016 activation on a KMS server stayed unchanged.


  1. This guide applies only to corporate (volume) editions Office 2016 and doesn’t cover Office 365 ProPlus, managed via the subscription.
  2. KMS for MS Office 2016 doesn’t activate previous Office versions (Office 2010 and 2013). To activate previous versions of Office on the KMS server, you need to install the appropriate volume license packs and activate them with own key.

System Requirements for the MS Office 2016 KMS server

A KMS server for Office 2016 can run on the following OS versions:

  • Windows 7 (KB2757817 installation required)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB2757817 installation required)
  • Windows Server 2012 / Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2016 (there are some problems with it – see the last section of the article)

Two types of enterprise volume activation are supported:

  • Dedicated KMS server
  • Activation through the domain – ADBA (Active Directory-Based Activation), requires the domain functional level at least Windows Server 2012

Installing the KMS server to activate Office 2016

First of all you have to find and copy a KMS Host key for Office 2016 in your personal section on Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) website.

Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) website

On the next step download the KMS extension package — Microsoft Office 2016 Volume License Pack ( Run the file you have downloaded (office2016volumelicensepack_4285-1000_en-us_x86.exe) on your KMS server with administrator privileges.

Install Microsoft Office 2016 Volume License Pack

During installation the Volume Activation Tools window appears, where you have to select the activation type (KMS or ADBA). Both options are described below.

If you are going to use the standard KMS activation, select Key Management Service, specify the FQDN name of your KMS server and the KMS Host Key you got earlier.

Then select the activation method: online or by phone. In the first case you will have to temporary provide your KMS server the direct Internet access.

kms host activate online

After your KMS server is activated on Microsoft, the current KMS server configuration is displayed.  In the product list, the entry Name: Office 16, VOLUME_KMS_channel with the licensing status Licensed should appear.

Note. In Windows Firewall, an additional rule should be enabled that allows connect to TCP port 1688 on the server. If necessary, this rule must be enabled manually using the command:

Enable-NetFirewallRule -Name SPPSVC-In-TCP

Exit the wizard, and Software Protection service will be restarted.

Office 16, VOLUME_KMS_channel

Tip. If the automatic activation from Volume Activation Tools was completed with an error, you try to activate the KMS server manually. To do this, restart the Software Protection service:

net stop sppsvc && net start sppsvc/code>

restart KMS - Software Protection service

and run the command:

slmgr /ato 98ebfe73-2084-4c97-932c-c0cd1643bea7/code>

Office 2016 Activation Using Active Directory (ADBA)

If you are going to use Active Directory-Based Activation for the automatic activation of Office 2016 on the computers in the AD domain, select Active Directory-Based Activation as a volume activation method in Volume Activation Tools. This activation method works only for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2016 / 2012 / 2012 R2 and Windows 10.

ms office 2016 adba activation

Then you have to enter the same KMS Host key (CSVLK) and specify its name (optional).

install kms host key for ms office 2016

Now you only have to activate your KMS key.

office 2016 kms host

A warning appears that a new object will be created in the AD forest. Therefore, to properly install the KMS server for ADBA activation, you will need Enterprise Admin privileges.

office 2016 vat: adding ADBA object to the domain forest

In this case, additional entries will appear in the domain configuration branch CN=Activation Objects,CN=Microsoft SPP,CN=Services,CN=Configuration

CN=Activation Objects,CN=Microsoft SPP,CN=Services,CN=Configuration

Close the VAT window, and press ENTER in the update tool console. The information about the installed KMS key can be obtained using SKU-ID (displayed in the final step of the KMS server installation):

slmgr.vbs /dlv 98ebfe73-2084-4c97-932c-c0cd1643bea7

Now this KMS server is ready to activate clients with Office 2016 joined to the Active Directory domain.

Configuring MS Office 2016 clients for activation on the KMS server

On the users’ computers, you need to install a special corporate edition of MS Office 2016 product (you can download it from the personal cabinet of the Microsoft volume licensing site – VLSC).

In this editions, a special GVLK key is preinstalled and after installation such a copy of Office 2016 product, it automatically tries to find the KMS server in the domain through a special DNS record (however, you can change the key from the usual Office version installed with the retail, MAK or OEM key).

To immediately activate the Office on the client computer, run these commands one by one (in the command prompt with the administrator privileges):

CD \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16

Note. For a 32-bit Office version installed on a Windows x64 version, another command is used:

CD \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16

Specify the name of the KMS server:
cscript ospp.vbs /

You can also specify the name or IP address of the KMS server through the following REG_SZ registry key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform\KeyManagementServiceName (you can deploy this registry key in the domain using GPO)

If the KMS server is running on a non-standard port (not on 1688), you can change the port on the client like this:

cscript ospp.vbs /setprt:1689

Or through the registry: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform\KeyManagementServicePort

Activate the product:
cscript ospp.vbs /act

cscript ospp.vbs - activating office2016 on KMS from cmd

The presence of the following lines indicates that your copy of Office 2016 has been successfully activated.

License Name: Office 16, Office16ProPlusVL_KMS_client edition
License description: Office 16, VOLUME_KMSCLIENT channel
<Product activation successful>

The current activation status can be obtained using the command

cscript ospp.vbs /dstatusall

With the help of the following command, you can get information about the history of client activation on the KMS server (you are searching for entries with the Event ID: 12288)

cscript ospp.vbs /dhistorykms

To allow the activation of the Office for the common users, run the command

cscript ospp.vbs /puserops

If you allow KMS activation only under administrators accounts, run:

cscript ospp.vbs /duserops

In the event that Office 2016 activation errors occur, you can get more detailed information about error with the command:

cscript ospp.vbs /ddescr:0xC004F042

where 0xC004F042 is your activation error code

If you need to activate Office 2016 on a remote computer, use the following format command:

cscript OSPP.VBS <Options> remotePCname [username] [password]

Note. In order the KMS server to start activating clients, it has to receive at least 5 product activation requests from the clients (activation threshold). The information can be found in the KMS section of the event log (look for the Event ID 12290).

GVLK for Microsoft Office 2016

All corporate Office 2016 versions are installed with Generic Volume License Keys (GVLK). These keys are public and accessible to everyone on the Microsoft TechNet. Due to them, all product versions are automatically activated if there is the KMS server in the network. So, as a rule, you don’t need to enter your GVLK.

A complete list of official public GVLK keys for products from the MS Office 2016 package (from the list below) can be found here

Office Professional Plus 2016
Office Standard 2016
Project Professional 2016
Project Standard 2016
Visio Professional 2016
Visio Standard 2016
Access 2016
Excel 2016
OneNote 2016
Outlook 2016
PowerPoint 2016
Publisher 2016
Skype for Business 2016
Word 2016

If necessary, a product key can be changed to GVLK as follows:

cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

KMS Activation Error “vmw.exe has stopped working” on Windows Server 2016

If you are trying to install a KMS server for Office 2016 on the Windows Server 2016, keep in mind that it has a number of problems with the launch of the Volume Activated Services Tool. When you try to activate an Office 2016 KMS server through the Volume Activated Services GUI, you can receive an error:

Vmw.exe has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

Vmw.exe has stopped working then activate Office 2016 KMS server

Somewhere I met information that VAMT currently supports all operating systems, up to Windows 8.1. And when installing the KMS server role on Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10, the executable file Vmw.exe crashes.

As a workaround, you need to activate the KMS server from the command prompt after installing office2016volumelicensepack. Install the KMS Host key (which you got with VLSC) with the command:

slmgr -ipk <Office_2016_KMS_Host_Key>

install kms host key for office 2016

Then activate the KMS server itself (you need direct Internet access)

slmgr.vbs /ato 98ebfe73-2084-4c97-932c-c0cd1643bea7

activating office16kmsostv_kms_host_editionl

Now your KMS server based on Windows Server 2016 is activated and can be used to activate clients.

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