Windows: KMS Not Auto-Licensing MS Office

So, you set up your KMS server and you activated the license key for your version of Office.  You ran the slmgr.vbs /dlv all command and confirmed that all is configured correctly there. You installed Office on your master image, pointed it at the proper KMS server, re-armed it for activation, and recomposed without ever opening the software. You spun up a fresh virtual desktop, opened Microsoft Word, and found that your version of Office had not been activated. You ran the ospp.vbs /act command and found that KMS did its job, but you thought running that command as part of a startup script seemed like a bad solution to your problem. If all that sounds about right, the good news is that you’re almost there. The fix is simple and, weirdly, hidden in plain sight.

Open up a command prompt on your master image, navigate to the directory containing your Office installer file (setup.exe), and run the following command:

setup.exe /admin

The Office Customization Tool

This thing is insanely powerful and helpful. It is also, for some reason, esoteric. The only way to access it is via the above command — and you actually need the installer file. It’s hardly difficult to access, but I went years without knowing it existed because it can’t be run from anywhere in the Office install directory. I actually stumbled onto it trying to disable the over-the-top Office2013 first-run settings, but realized it could be used to solve this problem as well.

In any case, you will notice in the left panel Licensing and User Interface. Navigate there, and ensure that Use KMS Client Key is selected. That’s it. From here, feel free to make any additional configurations you might want for Office in your virtual environment.

When you’re done, do a File > Save to get a .msp file from the tool. Simply run this file on the master image, take your snapshot, recompose, and watch KMS work as desired.

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