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MacBook MS Office login and activation errors

Before proceeding with MS Office 365 login and activation troubleshooting steps, verify you're not having account issues by logging into the:Office 365 Portal (

If you cannot successfully login, go to the Staff/Faculty Help Desk located in Ben Franklin Hall to have your account looked at. Front entrance, up the steps and straight ahead.  

Can also call Mon - Thurs 8 - 7pm and Fri 8 - 430pm 570-389- 4357

NOTE: New installs of MS Office 365 for Mac requires macOS Big Sur 11 or later.  Make sure your MacBook OS is up-to-date.

Sign out of all devices

Login to MS Office 365 web apps -->MS Office 365 Online(login from the upper right corner)

Make sure MS Office apps are not running

Troubleshooting login and activation issues while MS Office apps are running can prevent login and activation since stored memory info while apps are running can be re-written to files assocated with MS Office licensing. For all MS Office apps running, right-click on the icon then Quit on the icon. NOTE: any apps actively running will have a dot beneath the icon

MS Office License Removal Tool

Microsoft provides a cleanup tool for MS Office 365 authentication and activation issues. Run this to help cleanup files associated with login and activation errors. 

MS Office License Removal Tool> right-click > Open to run. (or Control + Click on Setup - to avoid getting an "unidentified developer" error)

Follow the onscreen setup instructions (below) to deregister your Mac from the old BU Office license to the new Commonwealth U license.

Once the script is complete/runs, Restart your Mac, open MS Office and Register/Activate your MS Office with your University email address.

Removing Keychains associated with Office 365

Delete Keychains. Keychains hold app authentication files that could be outdated, corrupt, etc. Therefore, deleting keychains and re-authenticating MS Office logins create new keychains with correct/updated files.

To delete keychains click Go > Utilities > open Keychain Access. Search for keychains that contain any of the following then right-click > delete for each file:

Manually Delete MS Office Licensing Files

Do the following steps to find and delete MS Office licensing files the could hold corrupt/outdated information.

When all the above files are move to Trash , right-click Trash  > Empty Trash

Delete Browser History (cache)

In addition to deleting keychains, delete cache from all browsers (Sarfari, Chrome, etc).  Like keychains, browsers can hold corrupt and outdated authentication files prohibiting successful logins.

Re-install MS Office 365 (from

If the above solutions are not working, remove (Move to Trash) all MS Office apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook & OneDrive), and Empty Trash.

Then re-install MS Office 365 

Outlook account setup on Macbooks

Reset your account in settings

In Outlook, go to Tools > Accounts. In the left pane, select the account you want to reset. On the bottom left, click the three dots and select Reset Account from the list.

Click here for Outlook Issues on iPhones


To rule out suspect account issues make sure you can logon to OneDrive Online -->OneDrive Online 

If successfully logged on you should see all your files online and your account is fine. To get the OneDrive desktop app working again uninstall and reinstall from the Apps Store.

Backing up Files, wiping and reinstalling OSx

Before starting over, first backup all your files using --> Time Machine Then following instructions for reinstalling your Mac OSx --> Mac OSx Install