Overview of the Volume License (VL) Serializer

Applies to: Office LTSC for Mac 2021, Office 2019 for Mac

The Volume License Serializer (VL) is used to activate Office LTSC for Mac 2021 or Office 2019 for Mac as a volume licensed version. The VL Serializer is a package (.pkg) file that you run on a Mac where Office is installed.

Download the Volume License (VL) Serializer from the VLSC

To download the VL Serializer, do the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
  2. Select the Download and Keys tab.
  3. Search for "Office LTSC Standard for Mac 2021" or "Office 2019 for Mac Standard" (depending on which version of Office you're licensed for).
  4. Select the Download link in the results panel.
  5. Select the Continue button at the bottom of the window.
  6. Select the icon (circle with download arrow) to download the VL Serializer .iso file.
  7. Once the download is complete, mount the .iso file to extract the VL Serializer package file.

Then, deploy and run the VL Serializer package file on each Mac that you want to activate Office as a volume licensed version.

Office LTSC for Mac 2021 information

  • The name of the package file is Microsoft_Office_LTSC_2021_VL_Serializer.pkg.
  • The package file is approximately 12 MB in size.
  • Volume licensed versions of Office LTSC for Mac 2021 have version numbers of 16.53 or higher.
  • The VL Serializer has been improved so that a management tool can run the VL Serializer in the background even while the user still has Office 2019 for Mac apps open and running. The next time the user closes and opens the app, Office will switch over to using the Office LTSC for Mac 2021 license. This should help minimize user disruption when organizations move from Office 2019 for Mac to Office LTSC for Mac 2021.

Office 2019 for Mac information

  • The name of the package file is Microsoft_Office_2019_VL_Serializer_Universal.pkg.
  • The package file is approximately 11.5 MB in size.
  • Volume licensed versions of Office 2019 for Mac have version numbers of 16.17 or higher.

Additional information about the VL Serializer

  • The VL Serializer provides native support for both Apple Silicon and Intel-based Macs.
  • The volume license is located in the /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.licensingV2.plist file.
  • The licensing plist generated by the VL Serializer contains data that's encrypted by using the serial number of the boot drive on the device where it was generated. Upon each Office application launch, the plist is decrypted by using the current boot drive serial number as the decryption key. If the data cannot be decrypted (for example, boot drive serial number is different), Office will go into an unlicensed state without warning.
  • Because the license plist file is encrypted using information from the device on which it's installed, you can't copy it to a different device to activate Office on that device.
  • There's a single VL Serializer package that contains a single key that's shared between all volume licensed customer installations.
  • The VL Serializer package contains a binary executable that's named "Microsoft Office Setup Assistant." It's this executable that actually activates the volume license.
  • The VL Serializer package is compatible with mobile device management (MDM) servers, such as Jamf Pro or FileWave.