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Troubleshooting Microsoft Office Issues

If you’re having problems with MIcrosoft Office, there are a few different things you can do to troubleshoot the problem. The first thing is to understand what the problem is. We list out a myriad of issues you may be experiencing. Try honing in on the problem you’re having and check out the solution methodology to see what may work for you.

Microsoft Office applications like Excel, Word Outlook or other crash often

If your problem is with a Microsoft office application, or all of them and they crash often, you can try running a repair on the Office suite. To initiate a repair in Windows 10, click on the Start button, then click on Control Panel (or just search for it). Once in Control Panel, click on Programs and Features. This will load up a list of applications installed to your PC.

Once you are looking at the application list on your PC, look for Microsoft Office. Depending what version you have installed, this could be Office 2010, 2013, 2016 or even Office 365. Right click on your version of office and click Change. This will present you with repair options below:

Microsoft Office Suite Repair Operations

This screen presents the different repair options available for Microsoft Office.

In terms of the two repair options, quick repair does take a much shorter amount of time than “online repair.” This window states that the online repair “takes a little longer,” but often it can take one hour to many hours. This depends on a number of variables, including processor speed, connectivity speed to the Internet, etc. It’s always best to first try a “quick repair,” and if that does not work out, try the online repair as a second option.

Repair options do not resolve licensing problems

If you are having a licensing problem, no amount of repair you do will fix that. Licensing issues are troubleshot in another manner. In order to understand licensing problems, you should first understand the difference between Retail Microsoft Office Keys and Office 365 Subscriptions.

Microsoft Retail Office Keys

Microsoft Office was always provided as a retail purchase. In the early days, you would buy a CD which came with a “cd key.” This was used to install the software and the key would authenticate against a Microsoft server online. Similar to Windows activation, the key would only work once. Once consumed, it couldn’t be used to activate MIcrosoft Office on another computer.

This later migrated to the use of “digital keys.” Essentially, you wouldn’t get a disc with the software anymore. You’d download the software from MIcrosoft, and then again use the key to authenticate the installation against Microsoft servers. The method of a “digital download” started to come about once people started having faster Internet connection speeds – and as you know, it’s now the year 2019 and no one even uses CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs anymore. It’s just not nessecary, since we can download and distribute information from the Internet so quickly.

Office 365 Subscription Model

Eventually, as more and more software applications have moved towards Software as a Service model, Microsoft also decided to get on-board and start offering Office 365 as a subscription. As Microsoft moves more into the subscription level model, retail keys become more difficult to track and more difficult to manage. If you purchase Open Licensing from MIcrosoft, e.g buying licensing for many computers at once, then you’ll be able to access the Microsoft Volume Licensing Center (MVLC). This is an easier way to manage licensing if you don’t go to the Office 365 model.

With all of that being said, there are many companies that don’t know how to properly acquire and facilitate Microsoft retail and Open Licensing. The day is coming where you won’t need an IT company to manage your Microsoft licensing anymore – you can do it yourself very easily, with Office 365. Whether Microsoft means to eliminate the middleman or not is a difficult thing to know for sure.

The conclusion to the argument of retail licensing vs. Office 365 licensing: Microsoft is moving fully and completely towards the subscription model. The only time where it may make sense to purchase Office 365 on a retail level is to license a very small number of computers, such as less than three – and you need them to talk to a third party email service (other than Microsoft), or your own Exchange server.