12 April 2014

How do I – Activate my MSDN copy of Visio 2013 Professional?

Situation: You have a MSDN subscription and you have downloaded Office 2013 or one of the Office products, like Visio 2013 Professional, from Microsoft and have installed said product. You have a license key provided by MSDN, but the installer never prompts you for the license key. This is a departure from traditional installer behavior where you would enter the license key before the install can even be done. Once you’ve completed the install, you open your product and are confronted by this little gem of a warning just below the Ribbon:

Since you have a license key, you click the “Activate” button. You are presented with this screen which is there for a while, so be patient:

Eventually, you’re presented with a Sign In screen like this:

Having gotten your license key from MSDN, you promptly enter your MSDN UserID and password and click the “Sign in” button. Unfortunately, you’re presented with an error thus:

After trying the login a couple more times (just in case you fat fingered the password), you click the “Can’t access your account?” button. Your browser opens and you’re taken to this page:

Again, you enter your MSDN UserID as well as the CAPCHA code and click the “Next” button. This time you’re presented with an error screen stating that your ID doesn’t exist thus:

So now what?

This is the problem with the new installer. In order to use our MSDN license key, we’re going to have to follow these steps:
Click “Start”.
On the popup menu, click “Control Panel”.
In the Control Panel, double click the “Programs and Features” icon.
Scroll down through the list of installed products and locate the product in question. In this example it was “Microsoft Visio Professional 2013”.
Select the target product.
In the toolbar above the list, click the “Change” button.
When the configuration window appears, select the “Enter a Product Key” radio button and click “Continue”.
No enter your product key and click “Continue”.
Unfortunately, you have to go through the configuration piece again. For a simple license key addition, I don’t see the need in this, but that how it works for now. You could just click “Continue” but in my case, I wanted to make sure nothing was getting reset so I clicked “Customize”.
Ensure your configuration settings are as desired and click the “Continue” button.
It sets in the Configuration Progress screen for quite a while. Just be patient.
Once the configuration completes, click the “Close” button.
Finally re-launch the application and the red warning should now be gone.

This took me a while to figure out, so hopefully this saves someone some time.


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