Installing Office 2011 for the Mac on a New Computer

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“I recently bought a new iMac because my old machine stopped working. Using the Time Machine backup, I reinstalled all my data, but I cannot find my product key for Office 2011. Is there a way to find the product key?”

Assuming that your hard drive on your old machine is named "Macintosh HD" then you can locate the license file here:

  • Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist

This what to do:

  • Restore the Time Machine backup of the above file to the identical location on your new computer.

In other words, Microsoft Office 2011 will look for the license file, which contains your product key, in the directory folder named Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/


"And, since Office 2011 is no longer supported by Microsoft, which subscription is preferable: Office365 Home or Office365 Education?"

Based on our understanding of the Microsoft offerings...

While the Office365 Education subscription can be obtained for free, for student or teacher use, you are limited to running either the Mac version or the Windows version. Both are available but you must choose only one.

On the other hand, with a $99 a year subscription to Office365 Home, you can:

  • Use a combination of Mac or Windows versions
  • Load and use it on up to 5 computers
  • And, that same license will support up to 10 additional mobile devices, tablets and phones.

Written by Richard V. Michaels, M.Ed.
Chief Product Architect, Great Circle Learning
Microsoft Word MVP