How to Install Microsoft Office Software on a Laptop

The Microsoft Office suite is perhaps the most widely used set of applications on the market. According to a June 2009 survey conducted by Forrester Research, roughly 80 percent of the business world has Microsoft Office installed on their computers.

At its core, the Microsoft Office suite includes four flagship software applications: Microsoft Word, for word processing; Microsoft Excel, for spreadsheet creation; Microsoft PowerPoint, for designing and delivering presentations; and Microsoft Outlook/Entourage, for email and contact management.

Installing the Microsoft Office suite on your laptop is simple. The built-in installer will take you through the majority of the required steps, and the process can be completed in under an hour.

  1. From an Installation CD

    • 1

      Boot up your laptop, and wait for your operating system to launch.

    • 2

      Quit any application that may still be running (some of them start automatically) on your laptop, including your instant messengers (IMs) and anti-virus software. While these applications operate independently from Microsoft Office, their operations could interfere with the installation process.

    • 3

      Find the product key for your copy of Microsoft Office. This unique 25-character code is usually printed on a bright yellow or orange sticker and placed on the back of the software case or, in some instances (if it was originally preinstalled), affixed to the laptop itself.

    • 4

      Insert your Microsoft Office Software Installer CD. After a few moments, the installer program should launch on its own, or you can double-click the Microsoft Office disc icon that appears on your desktop and launch the installation wizard from there.

    • 5

      The installation wizard will guide you through the installation steps. You will need to correctly enter your product key, agree to the software agreement terms and install the entire Office suite or customize your installation. Running the installation wizard can take up to 30 minutes, so be patient.

    • 6

      Once the installation is complete, you will need to activate your copy of the software. To activate your software, launch one of the software programs in the Microsoft Office suite. If it is your first time running the application, you will be prompted to activate your software, either online or over the telephone. If you are currently connected to the Internet, select the “I want to activate the software over the Internet” option, and the software will activate itself online. Otherwise, you can choose to activate your copy of Microsoft Office by telephone. By selecting this option, you will be given a phone number to call and activate the software.

Tips & Warnings

  • During the Installation process, you can customize which programs and components you would like to install. While this is recommended only for advanced users, it is a good option to save hard-drive space.
  • Getting a genuine Microsoft Office Software Installer CD is crucial to increasing the safety level of your computer use.
  • If you run into any problems, connect to Microsoft's Support Center.
  • Keep your product key handy, as this will be used to verify that you have a legal copy of the software working on your laptop.
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  • Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

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