Invalid Product Key after updating to SP2

Some users who have installed Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.0 (SP2) are reporting an issue that occurs after installation. The issue causes the Office Setup Assistant to open when they try to open an Office application. This situation occurs when the Office Setup Assistant detects that an invalid Product Key was used to install Office 2008.
Office for Mac 2008 12.2.0 (SP2) now blocks known pirated keys. Most users know they have a pirated key, but some users have purchased the keys via eBay thinking they were buying a valid key and now find their key is blocked. See Home & Student keys on eBay for more info.
To resolve this issue, please move the following files to the Trash:

  • /Users/username/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 settings.plist
  • /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist

Deleting the files will cause the Setup Assistant to launch and ask you for your proper key.

After you complete these steps, open any Office application, and then use the product key that is included with your original installation disk to complete the installation. The product key is located on the back of the Office 2008 for Mac DVD sleeve or on the back of the Install Guide.

If you are not asked for a product key in the Setup Assistant, but then you are able to launch the applications, then this means you have a Volume License on your machine. It also means that prior to having the Volume License version on your machine, you had a non-Volume License on your machine (and the invalid Product Key was overriding the Volume License).

If you are asked for a product key and the Setup Assistant does not advance, then that means the Product Key you are trying to use is one of the invalid Product Keys.

Verify my key

If you are positive your key is legitimate, you can use comments to send me your info and I will pass this on to the developer. We will work with you determine what is causing your key failure. I will not publish any private info. [note: this is no longer an option]

  1. What is your product key?
  2. Where did you get your key? Vendor? Individual purchase?

Purchasing a legitimate key

If you need to purchase a valid key… (some versions come with free shipping)

For additional assistance, visit the Help and How-To section of the Microsoft Web site or see the following articles:

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5 comments to Invalid Product Key after updating to SP2

  • Andy

    I just purchased the new office for mac 2008 and am having difficulty validating the software. I keep getting a message that says I am using an invalid product key; however I just bought the new software today.
    I went through the steps outlined above and it is still not recognizing my product key. I uninstalled the pirated copy I was using and am not sure why I am still having this problem.
    Please help!

  • Run “Remove Office” and manually remove the files listed here:>
    Then install Office following these steps.

    Install Office for Mac 2008 including updates

  • Claudia

    I installed office 2008 for Mac right after I bought it. Everything wen well, but if I try to open an application I have to fill in my product key first. I tried, but it says that product key is invalid. I removed office 2008 several times and tried it again, but without success. I even followed your guide above, but it does not work. I send messages to the so called support, but I never got any reply. What’s wrong? I bought the packed legally not at ebay by the way.
    thanks for your help in advance

  • Hend Al Bahar

    Hi i bought MACBOOK PRO .. i have installed microsoft office 2008 for mac and it keeps telling my that i have entered an invalid product key ?!!!!!!!!!!! what an i suppose to do !!!! i have installed it a million time and still the same it keeps saying that the product key is invalid ?!?!?!?!?!

  • Did you follow the directions in the article?
    Verify Office Files Were Modified