Like other Microsoft products, MS Office 2013 is available under the VL (Volume License) program. We remind that Volume License is a licensing option for corporate customers that allows to purchase one registered license which can be used to activate a limited (or unlimited) number of copies of a software product. A Volume License does not dispense from the necessity to activate software. However, it is easier than the activation of a retail version, and this procedure can be managed from central location. We’ll talk about how to activate volume editions of Office 2013 on clients in corporate domain network under Volume License program.
Office 2013 supports three types of Microsoft product activation for enterprise customers:
- Key Management Service – KMS
- Multiple Activation Key – MAK
- Active Directory-Based Activation – ADBA
AD-based activation of Office 2013 is possible only for Microsoft OS, starting with Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 and higher, while KMS and MAK activation is possible for all supported versions of Windows, starting with Windows 7.
It should be noted that not only Office (Word, Excel, etc.) and Lync (now goes with Office), but also products like Visio 2013 and Project 2013 are activated during Office 2013 activation with a KMS.
Now we will consider all the ways to activate Office 2013 for corporate customers.
- Active Directory-Based (ADBA) Activation of Office 2013
- How to Configure ADBA Support for Office 2013
- KMS Activation of Office 2013
- How to Configure KMS server for Office 2013
- Activation of MS Office 2013 with a MAK Product Key
- Office 2013 GVLK Keys for KMS Activation
- Typical KMS activation errors for Office 2013
Active Directory-Based (ADBA) Activation of Office 2013
It should be reminded that the opportunity to activate Microsoft products with Active Directory appeared in Windows Server 2012. The function that allows to activate Windows or Office is called Active Directory-Based Activation – ADBA. When using ADBA, an Office 2013 client uses the existing Active Directory infrastructure to activate the product. If you installed Office 2013 on a device with Windows 8 / 10, and you specified the GVLK (Generic Volume License) key, Office will be activated automatically after joining this computer to the AD domain.
How to Configure ADBA Support for Office 2013
- Download the Microsoft Office 2013 Volume License Pack from Microsoft Download Center webpage (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35584)
- Run the downloaded file (English version — office2013volumelicensepack_x86_en-us.exe) with administrator privileges on Windows Server 2012 with the Volume Activation Services role
- Open Volume Activation Tools console from the Server Manager snap-in.
- Check Active Directory-Based activation.
- Then enter the KMS key (KMS Host Volume Activation Key) that your company has received and, optionally, its name.
- Now you have to activate the key in Microsoft: online (it’s easier, but the server must have Internet access) or by phone.
After you completed these steps and the AD replication was successful, Office 2013, Visio 2013 and Project 2013 with a volume license will be automatically activated using the ADDS.
KMS Activation of Office 2013
Activation of Microsoft products with KMS server uses a client-server model in which there is a central node with the KMS role. KMS service on a domain server is installed and activated with KMS host (VL) key. Later all clients of this server will use this central server for activation, not the Microsoft servers. The same server can simultaneously act as an activation KMS server for different Windows and Office editions.
In general, KMS-activation of Office 2013 doesn’t differ from the activation of Office 2010. The only thing that should be noted is that in Windows Server 2003 the support of the KMS-server for Office 2013 is now absent.
When activating Office 2013 in KMS, the product is activated for the period of 180 days, and from time to time the activation status is renewed. Remember that to activate Office 2013 on the KMS-server you need to have at least five clients (activation threshold).
How to Configure KMS server for Office 2013
Windows Server 2012 uses a special graphic tool to manage a KMS-server – Volume Activation Tools. To get an opportunity to activate Office 2013 on the KMS-server, you have to install Microsoft Office 2013 Volume License Pack (like with the ADBA), select Key Management Service (KMS) as the type of activation in Volume Activation Tools, enter the CSVLK key and activate it in Microsoft.
If there are no servers with Windows Server 2012 in your company and only servers with Windows Server 2008 R2 are available, you won’t be able to use Volume Activation Tools.
- To get support for Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Office 2013 activation on the KMS-server with Windows Server 2008 R2, you have to install a special update: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2757817 (or KB2885698 for Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2).
- Download and install Microsoft Office 2013 Volume License Pack (see the link above). Click Yes when asked Would you like to enter a Microsoft Office 2013 KMS host product key and proceed with Internet activation now?
- Enter the enterprise VLK key for MS Office 2013. If you currently do not have a KMS host key, you can set it later from the command line:
slmgr / ipk <Office_2013_KMS_HOST_KEY>
- The system connects to the Microsoft server and, if the connection is successful, a message of successful installation and activation of Office 2013 key appears.
- The current Office 2013 status on the KMS-server can be checked using the following command
cscript slmgr.vbs /dlv 2E28138A-847F-42BC-9752-61B03FFF33CD
Please note that once installed, KMS will not be able to activate client by requests. As long as the Current Count value is less than 5, the KMS server will not issue licenses. It is necessary that at least 5 clients with Office 2013 access to the server for obtaining a license (activation threshold).
In addition, for successful activation on the KMS server in Windows Firewall, TCP port 1688 must be opened. You can enable the rule with the Enable-NetFirewallRule cmdlet:
Enable-NetFirewallRule -Name SPPSVC-In-TCPA
KMS server can activate an unlimited number of clients.
Activation of MS Office 2013 with a MAK Product Key
A MAK key is used only once to activate Office 2013 on the Microsoft server online. Each MAK key can activate only a certain number of systems determined by a corporate agreement. I. e. each MAK activation is added to the total number of activations on Microsoft servers.
There are two ways to activate Office with a MAK key:
- MAK Independent Activation. Each computer on which MAK activation is going to take place has to be connected to the Internet. This means that activation will suit the company with all computers joined into a corporate network.
- MAK Proxy Activation. The activation requests from clients are sent by a special proxy server that can be configured using VAMT 3.0 console.
So, MAK keys are better to use either for the computers outside the corporate network or if the number of editions to be activated is less than five. Note that when using the MAK key, there is a risk of falling into the wrong hands, which will be difficult to track.
Office 2013 GVLK Keys for KMS Activation
You should understand that the way to activate Office 2013 depends on the type of the installed key. All computers with the volume edition of Office 2013 have a KMS key preinstalled (this key is called a GVLK – Generic Volume License Key). This allows to simplify system deployment in the corporate environment, because there’s no need to enter a product key on each computer. If Office 2013 is installed with the KMS key (GVLK), it can automatically find and activate itself on the KMS-server or in Active Directory infrastructure.
After activation on the KMS server, any Office 2013 product can work without reactivation for 180 days, after which it will enter the evaluation mode and display a warning. In the event that a KMS server is available to the client, it automatically renews (every 7 days) the license for 180 days.
In the next table KMS keys for Office 2013 products are given.
|Product||KMS (GVLK) key|
|Office 2013 Professional Plus||YC7DK-G2NP3-2QQC3-J6H88-GVGXT|
|Office 2013 Standard||KBKQT-2NMXY-JJWGP-M62JB-92CD4|
|Project 2013 Professional||FN8TT-7WMH6-2D4X9-M337T-2342K|
|Project 2013 Standard||6NTH3-CW976-3G3Y2-JK3TX-8QHTT|
|Visio 2013 Professional||C2FG9-N6J68-H8BTJ-BW3QX-RM3B3|
|Visio 2013 Standard||J484Y-4NKBF-W2HMG-DBMJC-PGWR7|
You can set a KMS key and check the activation status of Office 2013 with OSPP.VBS script, which can be found in one of the following directories depending on the OS bitness and Office version:
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14
You can change the key type from MAK to KMS using the command:
cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
KMS-server can be set manually as follows:
cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:kmssrv.contoso.com
You can run manual activation on the KMS-server with the command:
cscript ospp.vbs /act
A current activation status can be seen using the command (you can’t check the Office activation status using the GUI):
cscript ospp.vbs /dstatusall
Grace period is granted for the volume Office 2013 products, while it is not available for retail products, i. e. you have to enter a valid key and activate your product during the installation.
Typical KMS activation errors for Office 2013
When ERROR CODE 0xC004F074. NO KEY MANAGEMENT SERVICE COULD BE CONTACTED error appears, make sure that the correct SRV record of the KMS server is published in the DNS. Run the command:
nslookup -type=srv _vlmcs._tcp
If the command returns the correct server address, verify that the port TCP/1688 is available from the client on the server.
telnet kmssrv.woshub.com 1688
or you can check TCP port response using Test-NetConnection cmdlet:
Test-NetConnection -ComputerName kmssrv.woshub.com -Port 1688
On the Office 2013 KMS server, you can’t activate Office 2010 or Office 2016, to support these products on the KMS server, you need to install special packages (a separate package for each version of the product). You can install this packs in any order, each one is activated by its own KMS Host Key.