When you or an administrator installed Microsoft Office 2003 on your computer or device, you had to enter an identifying product key code...which you may have then thrown away or misplaced. This can be a problem if you ever need to reinstall Microsoft Office 2003.
You luckily have several options to recover your Office 2003 key code. Here is what I would try first:
1. Look to make sure you really don’t already have it.
You may be pleasantly surprised if you first check to see if you can find it in these places:
· A Certificate of Authenticity that may have been included with your computer or device, if Microsoft Office came pre-installed on it
· Records kept by your company’s IT department, who likely originally installed Office on your computer
· An installation CD or DVD, or the case it came in
· Inside the Office 2003 manual
· The back of a card fastened to the product box
· An email from either Microsoft or Digital River that contains the code (if you purchased from Microsoft Online Store)
Visit Microsoft’s scenario-based Office 2003 Key Code Help Site. While this is very helpful, be advised that many solutions ask you to look in the places described in the list above. I do like how it guides you to different solutions based on your situation.
2. Use a Specialized Program.
Try one of these Top 3 Free Software Key Code Locator Programs for Microsoft Office. These help you locate its original instance in your device’s registry, for example.
3. Time for an upgrade?
Keep in Mind that Office 2003 is no longer supported as of April 2014. Until then, you can Contact Microsoft Support for another recovery solution, such as generating a new key code.
Why the Whole Unistallation and Reinstallation Process is Necessary
Reinstallation cancels out a number of internal records or paths beyond the program files themselves. For that reason, you need to replace the files, registry instances, and more. You obviously still own the rights to the software, but reinstallation is the methodical way to make sure your office software still works correctly within the larger system of your computer or device.
Importantly, before reinstalling office software, you always want to uninstall the software first. Again, this simply ensures you are doing things in a clean, organized way that allows the reinstallation to take place on a fresh canvas.
For more information on product key codes, including how to find them for other versions of Microsoft Office, please refer back to the Where to Find Your Microsoft Office Product Key Code index page.