Move Office 2003 license

I needed to move my Microsoft Office 2003 license from my defunct laptop to my desktop (and will probably need to move it back to a new laptop in the future. Seems that I had used up my activation allotment. I had previously had to reinstall Office after replacing the laptop hard disk.


One choice is to ring the activation service but I am in a different country now and success really seems to depend on who you get on the service desk (and their mood).


After a little bit of digging on the Internet discovered that the key file is opa11.dat file.

To resolve, I have summarised below ...


  1. Install a new installation of Office 2003 and try to register it.

    If the fails locate the old opa11.dat file

  2. Either
    1. From a backup, or
    1. From C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\OFFICE\DATA

      or wherever it is on the old installation ...

  3. copy opa11.dat
  4. paste to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\OFFICE\DATA
  5. Again try to register the new installation of Office (this was successful for me)
  6. Don't forget to un-install the old or defunct Office 2003 installation

    Voila ... Good luck!