Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Can I move Office 2010 from my old computer to my new one?


I have an existing laptop that is currently running on Windows 7, Starter,
Service Pack 1 and Microsoft Office Suite 2010. I recently bought a new laptop
that runs on Windows 7 Premium but without Microsoft Office 2010. Is it
possible to transfer the product key/license agreement from the old laptop to
the new one for Office 2010?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #97
I look at the possibility of moving software from one
computer to another. It’s best to have the installation media.


Moving Office to a new computer

The short answer is sure – as long as you have the original installation media for Microsoft Office. You can simply install it on the new machine using the product key that came with it – and then basically uninstall it on the old one.

That keeps you legal, and keeps you ethical, and gets you Office 2010 on the other computer.

“Moving” the program

If you don’t have installation media then things get a little weird. There may be software out there; tools like PCMover, that might be able to actually move the installation from one PC to another – but I don’t know.

I don’t have a lot of experience with them. They’re not something that I typically recommend because, usually. installing software from scratch is by far the most stable, the most reliable way to do it.

So, start with your installation media for Office 2010 and install it on the new machine and you should be fine.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

6 comments on “Can I move Office 2010 from my old computer to my new one?”

  1. I bought a legit download version of Office 2010 Pro from a reputable on-line seller, because it allowed a single desktop and a single laptop install. But when my laptop required a clean reinstall of XP, I was unable to get the Office app to function after that. A quick call to Microsoft, and the rep told me I had a counterfit version, and HUNG UP on me. Always get media. So now I use KINGSOFT’s excellent FREE Office software. If only they had a good email client…

  2. Just bought a new Lenovo running Win 8 to replace an old Dell running XP. Was pleasantly surprised to find that the pre-loaded Office 2010 on the new machine required only my original Office 2010 activation code to get the whole thing up and running. While I still had to manually move macros etc, that would be the case regardless of how the software gets installed.

  3. Moving an app without an installation from one computer to another can cause the app to go bonkers. Been there, tried that with some games where I’d lost the disks. Installing it from scratch sets it up to run from get-go. My second computer had a complete different OS and the app got totally confused as to what and where. If you can do it and get things running fine, why not?

  4. I used Ghost32 to clone a drive with all the software on it to another drive and installed it in a different computer. I did a repair install of Windows, (since the hardware in the new computer was quite different) and all the programs worked normally, including Office and Quickbooks, among others.

  5. You can just download the trial versions of Office from DigitalRiver (Microsoft’s download distribution partner).

    During the install you can enter your license key.

    Office Home & Student, Home & Business, and Professional all use the same download link, depending on what license # you have will unlock the correct version.


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.