Office 2016 KMS Activation Setup

In this brief article I will go through the steps to activate your Office 2016 KMS key.

My set-up is as follows:

  • Server 2012 R2 KMS server (I believe you require Server 2008 R2 onwards for this to work but I may be wrong)
  • Office Professional Plus KMS Key from Microsoft VLSC

Thankfully it’s pretty straight forward so here goes…

  1. First you want to download the Office 2016 volume license pack – copy it to your server
  2. Now on your server, open the .exe as administrator (at the time of this writing the .exe is named office2016volumelicensepack_4285-1000_en-us_x86.exe)
  3. After the installation the Volume Activation Tools window should open. If it doesn’t then open it manually (Administrative Tools –> Volume Activation Tools)
  4. The steps in the volume activation tool may differ for you but for me I did the following:

Key Management Service (KMS) –> Install your KMS host key –> Commit

Remember, the KMS host key is the one you will find in your volume licensing center. The Office 2016 installation (if you downloaded it from the VLSC) will come pre-installed with the KMS key and will, by default, search for your KMS server in DNS.

To confirm that the key is installed, run the following command:

cscript %windir%/system32/slmgr.vbs /dlv all

you should see something like this:

Name: Office 16, Office16KMSHostVL_KMS_Host edition
Description: Office 16, VOLUME_KMS channel

Also don’t forget that you will need a minimum of 5 activation attempts (from different machines) before Office 2016 clients will even register as activated. If you have less than 5 then they will remain in grace period before expiring and prompting users for activation.