How to fix: "Your license doesn’t allow editing on a Mac"

Sometimes when users are trying to use Microsoft Office applications, they will be faced with a message that says "Your license doesn't allow editing on a Mac" and they won't be able to make changes to their Office files. This is often due to the previous licensing system, which, in UBC's case, used as the credentials, being stuck on the computer. Even after signing in with their account, users may still be faced with this issue. This can also happen to students who had a license with their high school or previous institution. 

Note that the UBC Student Microsoft Office license grants students the latest desktop version of Office, so this is simply an error and you actually can edit on a Mac. 

Below are steps on how to resolve this issue. 

  1. First, try signing in with your address and see if that activates the license and allows you to edit.
  2. Next, if that doesn't work, try quitting all Office applications and restarting the computer, and then try signing in again.
  3. If this still does not work, it is due to the old license being stuck on your Mac. To remedy this, you must use the Microsoft License Removal tool to erase the existing license from your computer. You can find the link to download that here. Please heed the warnings in the tool as this will remove all licenses of Office from your computer, including one-time purchases of the license that you may have made in the past. 
  4. Quit all Office applications and run the License Removal Tool. After, open any Microsoft Office application and sign in with your address to make edits. 

Article ID: 1233
Created On: Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 3:40 PM
Last Updated On: Wed, Oct 26, 2022 at 9:22 AM
Authored by: Jan-Yaeger Dhillon

Online URL: