How to Find Your Microsoft Office 2013 Product Key

Lost Your Microsoft Office 2013 Product Key? Here's How to Find It

Screenshot of a document in Microsoft Word 2013
Microsoft Office 2013 (Word).

Microsoft Office 2013, like all versions of Office and most other programs you pay for, requires that you enter a unique product key during the installation process, proving, to a point, that you own the software.

So what do you do if you need to reinstall the program but you've lost this important, 25-digit installation code? You've probably already tried all the expected "looking around" but there are a few more things you can try that you may not have known about.

If you're familiar with product keys and how they work, you might assume that the Office 2013 product key is stored, encrypted, in the Windows Registry, like older versions of Office and most other programs do.

Unfortunately, Microsoft changed how they handled Microsoft Office product keys beginning with Office 2013, storing only part of the product key on your local computer. This means that those product key finder programs aren't quite as helpful as they used to be.

Important: The following should work if you're just looking for the product key for one member of an Office 2013 suite, like Word 2013 or Excel 2013, as well as if you're after the key for an entire suite, like Office Home & Student 2013, Office Home & Business 2013, or Office Professional 2013.

Here are the 3 best ways to go about digging up a lost Microsoft Office 2013 product key:

Find Your Office 2013 Key in Your Documentation or Email

If you purchased Microsoft Office 2013 in a box with a disc, or as a product card (digital download) from a retail store, then your product key will be with that physical purchase - on the product card, on a sticker, on or in the manual, or on the disc sleeve.

If you purchased Office 2013 from Microsoft online, your product key is stored in your Microsoft account online (more on that below) and/or arrived in your email receipt.

If Office 2013 came preinstalled on your computer when you purchased it, your Office 2013 key should be printed on the holographic sticker attached to your computer.

Be sure you use the Office 2013 product key and not the Windows product key that's probably also on that sticker.

My guess is that you've looked those places already before finding yourself on this page. However, there's one thing that might help you out, especially if you bought Office 2013 online:

While I mentioned already that product key finder tools won't find your Office 2013 product key, some will locate the last five digits, the only thing stored on your computer, which can be helpful in your search.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Download Belarc Advisor. This is one of the better system information programs out there and also doubles as a product key finder.
     
  2. Install Belarc Advisor and run it. It takes a few minutes to dig up all of your computer's information, including that last part of your Office 2013 product key.
     
  3. From the Belarc Advisor Computer Profile browser window that opens, tap or click the Software Licenses link in the left margin.
     
  4. Look for the Microsoft Office 2013 mention in the list.

    Tip: Belarc Advisor lists the exact suite or program name here, so if you just have Word 2013, look for Microsoft - Office Word 2013. If you have a full-blown suite, look for Microsoft - Office Professional Plus 2013. You get the idea.
     
  1. What you'll see is a series of numbers, followed by (Key: ends with AB1CD). Those five characters, whatever they may be, are the final five characters of your valid Office 2013 product key.

    Note: The characters prior to that sentence are not your product key. Belarc Advisor isn't capable of finding the entire Office 2013 product key because it does not exist on your computer, unlike with previous versions of Office.
     
  2. Now that you have the final part of your Office 2013 key, you can search your email and computer for that string of characters, hopefully surfacing any digital documentation you still have on your purchase.

Obviously that trick isn't helpful if you don't have a digital paper trail of your Office 2013 purchase, but it's worth the trouble if you might.

View Your Office 2013 Key on Your Office Account Page

If you previously registered and activated your copy of Microsoft Office 2013, you'll be happy to know that Microsoft has stored for you, and will show you, your original Office 2013 product key.

Here's what you need to do to view it:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft Office: My Account page.
     
  2. Tap or click the Install from a disc.

    Note: Depending on how you bought the software, and if you've installed Microsoft Office 2013 already, you may not need to know or enter your product key at all. Just tap or click the Install button instead and follow the instructions given.
     
  3. On the page that loads next, tap or click I have a disc, followed by View your product key.

If that works, record your Office 2013 product key and keep it somewhere safe. No need to repeat all of this again next time you need it!

Contact Microsoft for a Replacement Office 2013 Product Key

Another option, that you may or may not have the most luck with, is to contact Microsoft directly to ask for a replacement key.

Microsoft obviously isn't going to just trust that you bought Office 2013 and read you a valid product key over the phone. You'll need to find whatever proof of purchase you can find and have it ready before calling.

You can find the best number to call on the Microsoft Support: Contact Us page.

I recommend that you read through my How to Talk to Tech Support guide before calling. As straightforward as calling about a replacement Office 2013 key might sound, I know from experience on both sides that tech support of any kind can be tricky for everyone involved.

Tips & More Information

While it may be extremely tempting to use a free Office product key you might find in some list on the Internet, or to download and use a key generator program that supports Office 2013, either way is illegal.

Unfortunately, if none of the options I've already mentioned work out, you're left with buying a new copy of Office 2013.

Buy Microsoft Office 2013 at Amazon

Older Versions of Microsoft Office

Key finder tools work very well with versions of Office prior to Office 2013.

See my tutorials on finding Office 2010 & 2007 product keys, as well as a separate, more applicable, tutorial on finding keys for older versions of Microsoft Office.

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