Plan KMS activation of Office 2010


Applies to: Office 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2012-11-19

Banner stating end of support date for Office 2010 with link to more info

You are required to activate your deployment of Volume License editions of Microsoft Office 2010. This includes Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, Microsoft Project 2010, and Microsoft Visio 2010. Activation reduces the possibility of deploying counterfeit software, which can include malware, viruses, and other security risks.


This information applies to volume-licensed editions of Office 2010. It does not apply to Office Professional Plus for Office 365, which is licensed through subscription.
Office 2010 supports Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

In this article:

  • Overview of KMS activation

  • Plan and assess the Office 2010 environment and configuration

  • Obtain the product keys

  • KMS activation steps

  • VAMT management steps

Overview of KMS activation

If your organization has 50 or more computers that need to activate Office 2010, we recommend that you use Key Management Service (KMS). KMS activates the computers, or KMS clients, from a KMS host server that contains a KMS host key that is supplied by Microsoft. This method replaces direct activation through Microsoft, and gives the local administrator control of the process. The administrator can easily monitor computers on the network by using the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) (

The following is an example of a network that can use KMS activation.

Example: Medium to large organization that has corporate-connected desktop computers and portable computers

Contoso, Ltd. has 175 desktop computers that are always connected to the corporate network and 50 portable computers that are periodically connected to the corporate network. The solution is to use KMS activation for both the desktop computers and the portable computers, and to make sure that the portable computers are connected for initial activation and at least every 180 days after that for reactivation.

Architecture – Contoso medium to large organization example

KMS activation through firewall

Plan and assess the Office 2010 environment and configuration

The following articles will help you make sure that your deployment of Office 2010 is properly designed for Multiple Activation Key (MAK) activation.


At least five computers must request activation from the KMS host before KMS clients can become activated. All KMS clients must connect to the KMS host at least one time every 180 days to reactivate.

Obtain the product keys

To obtain the KMS host product key for Office 2010, register on the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) ( Web site. For the KMS clients, the product keys are preinstalled.

Install KMS on the host computer

The KMS host service is included as part of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Therefore, these two operating systems can be configured as a KMS host without having to install additional software. To configure an Office 2010 KMS host on Windows Server 2003, see To activate an Office KMS host on Windows Server 2003 in Deploy volume activation of Office 2010.

KMS activation steps

VAMT management steps

Download and install the VAMT 2.0 tool ( Follow the instructions on the download page. For more information about how to use VAMT, click Help on the VAMT 2.0 menu bar.

If you have five or fewer computers in a department or group that are not connected to the corporate network, we recommend that you use MAK independent activation for each computer. For more information, see Plan MAK independent activation of Office 2010.

If you increase the number of computers to fewer than 50, we recommend that you use MAK proxy activation through VAMT for all computers that can connect to a MAK proxy server. For more information, see Plan MAK proxy activation of Office 2010.


For an example of a scenario that requires KMS activation, see Scenario: Core network - KMS activation of Office 2010. For examples of scenarios that require KMS activation combined with MAK activation, see Scenario: Secure network - KMS or MAK activation of Office 2010, Scenario: Disconnected computers activating Office 2010, and Scenario: Test or development lab activating Office 2010.