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Moving Office to a new computer is best done with the original installation media. Other than that? You may have some problems.

I have an existing laptop that is currently running on Windows 7, Starter, Service Pack 1 and Microsoft Office Suite 2010. I recently bought a new laptop that runs on Windows 7 Premium but without Microsoft Office 2010. Is it possible to transfer the product key/license agreement from the old laptop to the new one for Office 2010?

In this excerpt from Answercast #97 I look at the possibility of moving software from one computer to another. It's best to have the installation media.

Moving Office to a new computer

The short answer is sure - as long as you have the original installation media for Microsoft Office. You can simply install it on the new machine using the product key that came with it - and then basically uninstall it on the old one.

That keeps you legal, and keeps you ethical, and gets you Office 2010 on the other computer.

"Moving" the program

If you don't have installation media then things get a little weird. There may be software out there; tools like PCMover, that might be able to actually move the installation from one PC to another - but I don't know.

I don't have a lot of experience with them. They're not something that I typically recommend because, usually. installing software from scratch is by far the most stable, the most reliable way to do it.

So, start with your installation media for Office 2010 and install it on the new machine and you should be fine.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6343 - March 9, 2013 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

March 12, 2013 9:27 AM

I bought a legit download version of Office 2010 Pro from a reputable on-line seller, because it allowed a single desktop and a single laptop install. But when my laptop required a clean reinstall of XP, I was unable to get the Office app to function after that. A quick call to Microsoft, and the rep told me I had a counterfit version, and HUNG UP on me. Always get media. So now I use KINGSOFT's excellent FREE Office software. If only they had a good email client...

March 12, 2013 10:47 AM

Just bought a new Lenovo running Win 8 to replace an old Dell running XP. Was pleasantly surprised to find that the pre-loaded Office 2010 on the new machine required only my original Office 2010 activation code to get the whole thing up and running. While I still had to manually move macros etc, that would be the case regardless of how the software gets installed.

March 12, 2013 10:49 AM

BTW - that was the only pleasant experience I've had with Win 8.

March 13, 2013 9:33 AM

Moving an app without an installation from one computer to another can cause the app to go bonkers. Been there, tried that with some games where I'd lost the disks. Installing it from scratch sets it up to run from get-go. My second computer had a complete different OS and the app got totally confused as to what and where. If you can do it and get things running fine, why not?

March 13, 2013 11:51 PM

I used Ghost32 to clone a drive with all the software on it to another drive and installed it in a different computer. I did a repair install of Windows, (since the hardware in the new computer was quite different) and all the programs worked normally, including Office and Quickbooks, among others.

March 15, 2013 8:47 AM

You can just download the trial versions of Office from DigitalRiver (Microsoft's download distribution partner).

During the install you can enter your license key.

Office Home & Student, Home & Business, and Professional all use the same download link, depending on what license # you have will unlock the correct version.

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