By AOMEI / Last Updated March 11, 2020

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 data 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.

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.

Method 2. Transfer Microsoft Office account to new computer

Before you start, it is highly suggested to back up Microsoft Office data to a safe place, so that you can easily find it after re-activate the account. To complete this task effortlessly, AOMEI Backupper Standard is recommended. It is free software designed for Windows Operating Systems in particular, and will help you save data to multiple locations, such as external hard drive, USB flash drive, NAS, network path, and Cloud drives.

Besides, you can even compress the backup image files if it is too large. As for extra layer of protection, you could even upgrade to enjoy the image protection feature. Now, you may want to download and have a try.

Steps to back up Microsoft Office data with AOMEI Backupper

1. Install and run the freeware. Select “File Backup” under “Backup” tab.

File Backup

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

Add Folders Files

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

4. Click “Start Backup” to run the backup. Waiting for completion.

How to transfer Microsoft Office account to new PC?

After backed up important files, you can follow these steps to easily switch Office account. Here will take Microsoft Office 365 for example.

  • Step 1. Deactivating Microsoft Office account on official website

1.1 Open a web browser and input the url: stores.office.com/myaccount and press Enter.

1.2 Sign in your account and log in Microsoft store, and it will display the installs of your account.

1.3 Click the “Install” button in orange, and then click “Deactivate Install”. Confirm on the pop up window.

Note that after deactivating the account, any further use of Microsoft Office will have limited capabilities.

1.4 Uninstall Microsoft Office from “Control Panel” > “Programs”.

  • Step 2. Reformat your computer

Now, you can safely reformat your computer. To format running operating system, you’ll need bootable media. Also, make sure you have backed up all important files.

  • Step 3. Activate Microsoft Office account on a new PC

You may install a new operating system on the computer after reformatting. Or, you may want to use Microsoft Office account on a different computer. No matter which situation you are, you can try this way to reuse it.

3.1 On the new computer, open a web browser and then input the same url: stores.office.com/myaccount. Press Enter.

3.2 Sign in and log in as before. Click “Install” to download a setup file.

3.3 Find the setup file and double click it to run. Then, it will start installing Microsoft Office application.

3.4 Click Sign in and then type your email address to associate the account. It may take a long time to install. Do not restart or shut down your computer before it is completely installed.

Restore the backup images to the new computer and you can use it like before.

Conclusion

That’s all for how to backup Microsoft Office data before factory reset as well as re-activate the account later. You can choose to backup office activation > reinstall Microsoft Office > restore the Office activation status. Choose a way that is suitable for you.

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.