Dr, Mac’s Rants & Raves
The issue described in my open letter below has been resolved since I wrote it. According to Microsoft:
We’ve addressed the issue, and you should be able to activate successfully now. For those who still experience the issue on Mac, please try to remove the Office license files using the removal tool and then activate again.
That being said, this column is called, “Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves,” so I like to give you a rant every so often.
August 16, 2018
I wanted to thank you for the 1.5-hour troubleshooting break you forced upon me… I suppose expecting the software I pay for to work when I need it is asking too much.
When I walked into my office yesterday, your program (Word) had unilaterally decided it was unlicensed and required activation. When I attempted to activate it, I received the message “An unknown error has occurred. The error code is 0x800706BA.”
Wasted Time—Not Just an Eagles Tune Anymore
I Googled the error code and found numerous articles… but they were all about fixing Windows or Windows Update errors and shed no light on the issue on my Mac. I did all the usual things one does… rebooted, Safe Booted, ran Onyx… but nothing helped.
I tried to activate Word again and got the same message but a different error code this time: 0xD00711F7. Much to my surprise, when I Googled this code I found several articles that applied including one from the Microsoft Answers database that said I should:
- Download and run a script from Microsoft’s Knowledge Base.
- Reset my keychain (in macOS).
- Completely uninstall and then reinstall Office.
After wasting at least an hour so far trying to activate my software, I didn’t want to download and run some undefined script from Microsoft, nor did I want to reset my keychain. 90 Minutes Later…
I had a hunch, so I downloaded a fresh copy of Office 365 and installed it without uninstalling the existing copy first. Much to my surprise, it worked and Word hasn’t asked to be activated since.
Just so you know, this has NEVER happened to me using Apple’s productivity apps— Pages, Numbers, and Keynote—which I prefer anyway. In fact, I can’t remember an Apple app forcing me to waste a single minute “activating” or “authorizing” or other nonsense, much less the 90 minutes Word cost me this morning.
And so, thank you very much, Microsoft, for wasting half of my morning. Even with a deadline looming, there’s nothing I like more than troubleshooting issues that should never have existed in the first place.
Denying access to paid-up subscription software borders on criminal. Legitimate users should NEVER be inconvenienced by copy perversion schemes.
You ought to be ashamed.
One last thing: I would delete Word and switch to Apple’s Pages in a heartbeat if my book publisher didn’t INSIST I use Word.
Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus
An Unhappy Office 365 subscriber since last Thursday.
P. S. When I posted a rant along these lines on Facebook, many people asked why I didn’t just compose the work in Pages and then export it as a Word document.
That might work in theory, but sadly, the revision tracking data — which is the feature my book publisher cares about most — does not export (or import) correctly.
P. P. S. I want you to know that I wrote my latest book — Working Smarter for Mac Users— in Apple’s Pages. Here’s why:
- The author (that’s me) prefers Pages (over Word or any other word processor).
- The publisher (that’s also me) prefers Pages (over Word or any other word processor).
Bottom line: I look forward to the day when other publishers are as enlightened as Working Smarter 4 Productions LLC (my self-publishing company) so I can delete Word once and for all.