Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 326851 - Last Review: May 31, 2012 - Revision: 16.0

This article was previously published under Q326851

On This Page


This article discusses the difference between activating and registering a Microsoft product.



You must activate your Microsoft product to confirm that each copy of the product is not installed on more than the limited number of computers that is indicated in the software end user license agreement (EULA). The activation process can be performed by using the telephone, a modem, or the Internet. None of the information that is collected during activation will be used to personally identify you.

To activate your product over the telephone, use one of the following numbers: For more information about Microsoft product activation, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
302806  ( ) Description of Microsoft Product Activation
To review additional Microsoft Knowledge Base articles about this topic, visit the following Microsoft Web site and search the Knowledge Base for "product activation":
Microsoft Support (
For more information about Microsoft product activation, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:
How to Tell (
Protect Yourself from Piracy - Microsoft Product Activation (
Technical Details on Microsoft Product Activation for Windows XP (
Activate Office 2007 (
Find End User License Terms for Microsoft Software Licensed by Microsoft or the Computer Manufacturer (


You do not have to register your Microsoft product. However, when you register your product, you can receive support, product update information, and additional benefits. When you register your product, you must submit some personal information.

To register your product and for help with product registration issues, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Activate or register programs in the Microsoft Office System (
Note Registration of a Microsoft product does not provide to us your proof of purchase for that product. You should maintain any receipts or records of your purchases of Microsoft products in case you need to obtain replacement media or product keys. For more information about obtaining replacement media or product keys, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
326246  ( ) How to replace Microsoft software or hardware, order service packs and product upgrades, or replace product manuals
Microsoft respects your privacy. To review Microsoft's Privacy Policy, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft Online Privacy Statement (
If you want to be removed from the Microsoft and third-party mailing list, send a letter with your request to the following address:
Direct Marketing Association, Inc.
11 West 42nd Street
PO Box 3861
New York, NY 10163-3861

  • Customer Service and Support Information
kmcustomerservice kbmsccsearch kbpubtypekc kbcip KB326851
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support