How do I activate Office 2019 Standard on a Remote Desktop Server with a KMS server?

Mike Fefferman 1 Reputation point

We are trying to activate our new installation of Office 2019 on a new 2019 RDS server using KMS. We are receiving the following error when Office tries to activate:

ERROR CODE: 0xC004F038 ERROR DESCRIPTION: The Software Licensing Service reported that the product could not be activated. The count reported by your Key Management Service (KMS) is insufficient. Please contact your system administrator. NOTICE: A KB article has been detected for activation failure: 0xC004F038 FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT:

Microsoft support is telling us we need to install this office version on 5 other clients and then KMS will activate. We are telling them we do not want to install office on 5 other clients as they already have a version of O365 installed on them and this remote desktop server is for consultants to access our network use a copy of office if they need to.

We were then told to use the MAK to activate office on the remote desktop server, but for some reason I remember that each user would need to have Office activated when the logged into the RDS and to activate you need to be a local admin.

Any ideas?

Office Management
Office Management
Office: A suite of Microsoft productivity software that supports common business tasks, including word processing, email, presentations, and data management and analysis.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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  1. Emily Hua-MSFT 22,031 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    @Mike Fefferman ,

    As this issue more focus on Office activation, I would remove the tag of “windows-remote-desktop-services”.

    The Office KMS Host requires a minimum of 5 client computers to activate them, if the count is less then 5, you would get this error.

    I find an article "0xC004F038: The computer could not be activated" error in KMS activation", please pull down to the bottom of article, there is a script which could be used to rearm Office and generate new, unique Office IDs.
    In this script, replace XX with the appropriate value, based on your Office version:
    XX = 16 for Office 2019

    I suggest you try it to check whether it could help increase the number of client computers in the Office KMS pool, then you may activate clients manually via Ospp.vbs options below.
    cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:xxxxxx
    cscript ospp.vbs /act
    More information, please refer to: Scenarios that use ospp.vbs

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