How to Retrieve Microsoft Office after System Restore? (A Step-By-Step Guide)

April 1, 2024 180 views

It is a shame to have Microsoft Office deleted from your system. The whole reinstallation process gives another flashback of the tedious Microsoft Office installations that seem to be never-ending and so lengthy. Then there's the fear of knowing that maybe all your data might be gone forever. Well, stay tuned in this article because we will cover both these problems, giving you a great Microsoft Office alternative and a brief guide on how to retrieve Microsoft Office after a system restore.

How to Retrieve Microsoft Office after System Restore?

Steps to Retrieve Microsoft Office after System Restore

System restore can be quite stressful, especially when it comes to restoring all the applications you're accustomed to, such as Microsoft Office. Many people wonder how to retrieve Microsoft Office after a system restore. The answer is simple but may involve a few separate procedures to fully restore Office apps on your system.

Check and Uninstall Any Office Programs:

The first procedure involves removing any existing Office programs from your system to prevent potential issues during the restore process.

Step 1: Click on the Windows button and search for "Control Panel" on your system.

Windows 11 Control Panel

Step 2: Locate the "Programs" icon and click on "Uninstall a program" to view all installed programs on your system.

Windows 11 Programs

Step 3: Look for "Microsoft Office" or "Microsoft 365" in the program list.

Step 4: Right-click on the program and select "Uninstall" from the context menu to initiate the uninstallation process.

Windows 11 Uninstall a program

Step 5: A Microsoft uninstallation dialog will appear. Click on "Uninstall" to proceed with the uninstallation.

Uninstall Microsoft Office

The uninstallation process may take a few minutes. Once completed, proceed to the next step.

Remove Any Traces of Microsoft Office from Your System:

The next step is to ensure that no traces of Microsoft Office are left on your system, which could potentially cause issues while retrieving Microsoft Office after system restore.

Step 1: Even after uninstalling Microsoft Office, there might be lingering files and folders that require manual removal. Navigate to the following directories on your computer and delete any folders associated with Microsoft Office:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office (for 64-bit systems)

  • C:\Users[Your Username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft Office

  • C:\Users[Your Username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Office

Step 2: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type "regedit" and press Enter to launch the Registry Editor. Before making any changes, ensure to back up your registry by selecting "File" > "Export". In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following keys individually and delete any associated entries:

Window 11 Registry Editor

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office


Note: After completing these steps, restart your computer to ensure that all changes take effect.

Reinstall Microsoft Office

Now we will reinstall Microsoft Office on our system. If you're wondering how to reinstall Microsoft Office after a system restore, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open your browser and navigate to the Official Microsoft website. Click on the "Sign in" button located at the top right corner of the page.

Microsoft Home page

Step 2: Log in to Microsoft using your email account. Make sure to use the same email address with which you purchased the subscription.

Microsoft sign in

Step 3: After logging in, you will be redirected to the Microsoft accounts page, where users can access all the apps on their cloud platform.

Step 4: To install, click on "Install and more", then select "Install Microsoft 365 app" from the dropdown menu to initiate the download.

Download Microsoft 365 apps

Step 5: Once downloaded, open the downloaded file to start the installation of Microsoft 365 app on your system.

Step 6: Take a break while Microsoft 365 downloads additional files and completes the installation process.

Microsoft installation wizard

Step 7: Once completed, simply click on "Close" to exit the installation wizard.

Microsoft installation complete

The steps to download Microsoft 365 are straightforward. If you encounter difficulties downloading Microsoft Office, it might be because you didn't log in with the email account used for the subscription.

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Activate Microsoft Office

The final step is to activate your Microsoft Office using your product key. Follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Launch any Microsoft Office 2016 application installed on your system and go to the Account tab.

Step 2: Select "Activate Product" since Microsoft Office 2016 is not activated by default.

Microsoft Office 2016 Activate Product

Step 3: Opt for "I prefer not to sign in or create an account" and continue.

Microsoft setup Office dialog

Step 4: Enter your product key in the designated window to activate Microsoft Office 2016 and then click on “Activate Office”.

Microsoft use Product Key

Note: Your product key will be printed on the backside of your Microsoft Office copy, or if you have purchased online, it can be found in your emails.

Step 5: After successful activation, a "Product Activated" dialog box will appear. Click "OK" to continue using Microsoft Office services.

Microsoft Office 2016 activated

After following all these steps, you will successfully retrieve Microsoft Office after a system restore.

How to Save Microsoft Office Files before System Restore?

If you are planning to restore your system, it's important to back up your Microsoft Office files to protect your important work. Here are three different ways users can save a backup of their work before initiating system restore.

Method 1: Create backups

Before proceeding, please ensure that the backup drive is not your main drive where your Windows files are located, as your backup could also be lost during restoration.

Step 1: Go to the Windows search and look for "Control Panel", then open Settings.

Windows 11 Control Panel

Step 2: In the Control Panel, click on "System and Security" to access various options.

Windows 11 System and Security

Step 3: Within the System and Security window, click on "File History" to begin creating a new backup for all system files.

Windows 11 File History


Step 4: File History automatically selects a compatible drive connected to your PC. If you prefer to use a different drive, click the "Select drive" link.

Windows 11 Select drive option

Step 5: Choose the desired drive and click “OK”, to move forward with the backup process.

Windows 11 select desired drive for backup

Step 6: At the File History screen, click "Exclude folders" to remove any folders from the backup.

Windows 11 Exclude folders

Step 7: Click "Add" and browse the folders you wish to exclude, then click "Save changes".

Windows 11 Exclude folders from backup

Step 8: Click "Advanced settings" from the File History screen.

Windows 11 Advanced Settings

Step 9: Set the frequency of File History backups using the drop-down menu for "Save copies of files", and adjust the duration of file backups using the menu for "Keep saved versions", and then click "Save changes" when finished.

Windows 11 set backup intervals

Step 10: Return to the File History screen and click the "Turn on" button to start the initial backup.

Windows 11 Turn on backup

Method 2: Use OneDrive

Users can also save their files directly on OneDrive as a backup directly from their Office apps. Here's how:

Step 1: Click on the File menu at the top left corner of the screen to explore more options.

Microsoft Word File menu

Step 2: In the left side panel, click on the "Save a copy" tab, and then click on the OneDrive button.

Step 3: Now, simply give your file a name and select a folder in OneDrive where you wish to save your backup.

Microsoft Word Save a copy in OneDrive

Method 3: Use external hard drive

The last backup method involves using an external drive to save your files.

Step 1: Connect a hard drive to your system.

Step 2: Users can now either copy and paste their important work to their external drive.

Copy files to external drive for backup

Step 3: Alternatively, users can also save a copy of their work directly on Microsoft apps. Simply go to the File menu on any Microsoft Office app.

Microsoft Office app File menu

Step 4: Click on the "Save a copy" tab on the left side panel and then click on Browse.

Step 5: Now, simply save your files on your external drive.

Microsoft Word Browser location to save file

Using an external hard disk can be a great way to backup, as the backup can also be used to transfer to different systems.

Comparing Backup Methods: Pros and Cons




Create backups

  • Comprehensive backup of system files.

  • Customizable backup frequency and file versions.

  • Requires an external backup drive.

  • Potential risk of backup loss if the drive is not disconnected during restoration.


  • Convenient cloud storage solution.

  • Accessible from anywhere with internet connection.

  • Limited storage space for free accounts.

  • Relies on stable internet connection for file uploads.

External Hard Drive

  • Physical control over backup storage.

  • No reliance on internet connectivity.

  • Susceptible to physical damage or loss.

  • Manual process of copying files may be time-consuming.

 Comparing Backup Methods

Choose New Office Software after System Restore

Hopefully, as you have reached the end of the article, you will find joy in finally having all your data recovered. But the simple solution to not having it lost in the first place is by simply installing WPS Office. WPS Office is such a handy tool, which is not only lightweight but also gives you the benefit of storing all your data in the cloud, allowing you to recover it whenever and wherever. It is completely free and a lightweight office suite, so the installation wouldn't take any longer than a couple of minutes.

WPS Office

You can rest assured that it will be compatible with your system without a doubt in the air. It has the word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation features, all compatible within your Windows, Linux, or Mac ecosystem.

Steps to download WPS Office for Free:

Here's how you can download WPS Office on your system:

Step 1: To avail WPS Office and their efficient tools, visit their website.

Step 2: On the main page, click "Free Download" to download WPS Office for your system.

WPS Office Download

Step 3: Once downloaded, find "wps_wid.cid" in your Downloads folder to start installing WPS Office.

WPS Office installation file

Step 4: After download, a window will appear with terms to agree to. Accept them, then click "Install Now" to begin.

WPS Office Install now

Step 5: Once done, enjoy using all of WPS Office's tools.

WPS Office interface


1. What should I do if I encounter errors during Microsoft Office activation?

If you face difficulties during Microsoft Office activation, verify the accuracy of the entered product key and ensure a stable internet connection. If problems persist, seek assistance from Microsoft Support.

2. Will restoring to factory settings result in the loss of Microsoft Office?

Yes, when you do a system restore, all programs, including Microsoft Office, will be deleted. To prevent losing data, make sure to back up your files first.

3. Will resetting your PC remove Microsoft Office?

Regrettably, resetting your computer will result in Microsoft Office being removed. Regardless of your actions, you'll need to reinstall Office each time you reset your PC. This is because resetting Windows 11 removes all installed apps.

Upgrade Your Office Experience With WPS Office

Microsoft Office is a great tool, and you cannot question that fact. However, its greatness comes with a hefty price tag and complicated installations, along with problems of running into crashes. The simple solution to all this is installing WPS Office and sparing yourself the need to learn how to retrieve Microsoft Office after a system restore. Simply install WPS Office, where all your data is stored in the cloud, and you don't have to worry about a thing. Download WPS Office now and see the beauty of it today.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.