By AOMEI / Last Updated October 25, 2019

Will I Lost Microsoft Office If I Reformat Hard Drive?

Now you want to reformat hard drive or perform a factory reset because there is something wrong with your computer. You are forced to take such action in order to bring computer back to normal. However, no matter the reformatting or factory reset, you will definitely lose all the data & applications including the Microsoft Office.

Instead of backing up the whole hard drive before reformatting, you just concern the Microsoft Office app because you have paid for it. You will never want to buy a new license to activate the program. Well, don’t be too worry, this guide will tell you how to backup Microsoft Office before reformatting. Here we go.

About Microsoft Office activation

Since Windows XP, Microsoft has required users to enter product keys to activate Office. If you want to format your hard disk drive (HDD) and reinstall Windows again, you have to reinstall Office and activate it again before you can use it normally. Microsoft only allows you to activate Office online within a limited period time.

Beyond that period, you have to make phone calls to get your activation numbers and type them back to your computer. Apparently, this method is inconvenient and time-consuming.

In the following part, we will introduce you two methods that can help backup Microsoft Office before factory reset. If you want to avoid reinstalling, then Method 2 is the way to go.

Method 1. Backup and restore Microsoft Office activation status

Don't you hate to reactivate Microsoft Office after a clean reinstall? We all know that to backup files before reformatting is important. Here you’ll be shown how to backup Office 2010/2013/2016 activation, so you won’t have to reactivate after reinstalling.

1. Make sure you have activated your Microsoft Office successfully. Then type “services.msc” in the Run box and press Enter to open Services.

2. Locate Office Software Protection Platform Properties, and stop this service.

3. Copy the folder named OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatformProperties, which should be in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft.

Restore the Office activation status

1. Install the same edition of Microsoft Office.

2. Make sure that the Office Software Protection Platform Properties service is stopped.

3. Paste the copied folder to the location C:\ProgramData\Microsoft and replace the original folder if there is one.

4. Enjoy using Microsoft Office.

In this way, you still have to reinstall Microsoft Office. Then how to keep Microsoft Office when reformatting without reinstalling or reactivating it?

Method 2. Backup Microsoft Office without reinstalling or reactivating

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a freeware that allows you to backup Microsoft Office so you don’t have to reinstall or reactivate it after a restore.

  • It provides 4 backup solutions including System Backup, which is to backup operating system and all the programs, Disk Backup, to back up the entire hard drive, Partition Backup, to backup one or more specific partitions, File Backup, to backup files or folders.

  • You can choose to backup Microsoft Office to external hard drive, USB flash drive, or the network.

How to backup Microsoft Office with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Free download this software. Install and open it.

Download Freeware

2. Select “File Backup” under “Backup” tab.

File Backup

3. Click “Add Folder” to add the folder “Microsoft Office” in C:\Program Files (x86)\ in the backup.

Add Folders Files

4. Click “the second box” to select a location as the destination path.

5. Click “Start Backup” to run the backup.

That is how it goes to backup Microsoft Office before reformatting. Then you can easily restore the file backup of Microsoft Office with activation. The only problem is that you need to manually set the default app to open Office file after restoring this backup.


That’s all for how to backup Microsoft Office before factory reset. You can choose to backup office activation > reinstall Microsoft Office > restore the Office activation status. Or if you prefer an easier way, you can just backup Mircosoft Office with AOMEI Backupper > restore the backup to make it.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.