Completely Remove Office 2010 from Your PC

Background. I bought a Windows 8 PC several months back and installed Office 2000 Professional. Don’t ask me why. It’s something I’ve been using for 10 years. Fast forward to now. I pulled the trigger and bought Office 2010 Home & Student 3 license version. Got tired of jumping through hoops when opening xlsx files. The 3 license version lets me have the app on my PC and my laptop.

So I uninstalled Office 2000 and installed Office 2010. A message reminded me to activate or the application will disable in 30 days. I ignore and go about my business. With 10 days left, I allowed the software to automatically activate. I get a message saying the server couldn’t be found and I should check my connection. That doesn’t make sense. My connection is just fine.

I then called to manually activate. I punch in product key and received activation code. So far so good. I typed in the activation code and got a message saying activation code and product key do not match. What? This is not good.

New Office 2010 Install Won’t Activate

New Office 2010 install wouldn’t activate. My days were numbered. Literally. I have 10 days left. After googling, I suspect remnants of previous installs were getting in the way. The PC came preinstalled with a trial version of Office 2010 which I promptly uninstalled. On top of that, I installed and uninstalled Office 2000 Professional. I’m screwed. How am I going to scrub my PC? Why can’t the folks in Redmond write better software activation codes? I’m ready to reinstall Office 2000 Professional but I’ll give it one more shot.

Scrubbing Office 2010 from Your PC

So how do you thoroughly scrub Office 2010 from your PC? Lucky for me, I found a guy that had the same issue. His name is John White. He did the leg work and posted a solution here. He got a VBScript written by Microsoft for removing Office 2007 and modified it for Office 2010.

I downloaded the script and looked over the code. At 30 printed pages it was long but nicely written. Tried running the script but the script required elevated privilege…for accessing the registry. Windows 8 doesn’t provide a context menu to run files as administrator. After 15 minutes of looking around, I noticed you could run the command prompt as admin. So I ran the script through the command prompt and reinstalled Office 2010. And voila! The software activated. Thanks John for saving me days of frustration.

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