We could not contact server error 0x80072EFD

The Microsoft Office Activation Error 0x80072EFD that says “We could not contact the server” is known to occur in Office 365, Office 2016 and other versions of the program.

We could not contact server error 0x80072EFD in Office

As mentioned above, Microsoft Office Activation Error 0x80072EFD usually appears with the message “We could not contact the server. Please try again in a few minutes”.

In certain cases, Microsoft Office gets disabled after Windows update and opening a Microsoft Office file results in error messages like “Unlicensed product”, “Product disabled” or “Sorry something went wrong”, please try try again later.

This issue can also occur when you try to activate Office 365 on a computer that previously had an older version of Microsoft Office installed.

So let’s go ahead and have a look at some of the methods that are known to fix Microsoft Office activation errors on Windows computer.

1. Run Office as an administrator

Microsoft Office may not activate on your computer due to permissions issues. To fix this, just try running any Microsoft Office program (Word, Excel, Power Point) as an administrator.

Type Surname of the Microsoft Office program in the search bar > right click on the Office program in the search results and click Execute as administrator Possibility.

Run Microsoft Word as an administrator

Click on the confirmation popup Yes to run the problematic Microsoft Office program as an administrator.

2. Correct the date and time on your computer

Microsoft Office activation may fail if the date and time settings on your computer are incorrect.

Right-click time date icon in the taskbar and click Adjust date/time option in the displayed menu.

Adjust date and time option in Windows 10

If the time and date icon is missing from your computer, click beginning > settings > time & language.

On the next screen, make sure your time zone is correct and the Date and Time as shown is correct.

Screen for setting date and time zone in Windows 10

If the time is not correct, you can refer to this article: How to fix a slow or wrong Windows computer clock

3. Clear DNS and renew IP address

The problem could be due to network connection issues.

Open command prompt as admin > enter ipconfig /release and press the Enter key. This will reveal your computer’s current IP address.

ipconfig release command in windows

Enter next ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter > type ipconfig /renew and press Enter to renew your computer’s IP address.

Close the Command Prompt window and try activating Microsoft Office on your computer.

4. Activate the Microsoft Office subscription

Open any web browser on your computer and go to the Office 365 portal (https://portal.office.com). Sign in to your Microsoft account with your Email-address and password linked to the subscription.

Make sure your user account has a valid Microsoft Office subscription assigned or available.

5. Repair Microsoft Office

The problem of Microsoft Office not activating on your computer may be related to corrupted program files.

Open Control Panel > switch to Large icons view and click program and functions.

Programs and Features option in Windows 10 Control Panel

On the next screen, right-click MicrosoftOffice and click the repair option in the context menu.

Repair Microsoft Office program in Windows 10

After the repairing process is complete, restart your computer and check if you still get Microsoft Office activation error on your computer.

6. Disable proxy server

If you are using a proxy server (VPN), the Microsoft Office activation error may be due to a misconfiguration of the proxy connections or the Microsoft website cannot connect to your proxy server.

To confirm, disable the proxy server and see if you can enable Microsoft Office.

Go to settings > network and internet > select the proxy tab in the left pane. Disable in the right pane Determine settings automatically Option located in the Automatic Proxy Setup section.

Disable proxy server in Windows 10

On the same screen, scroll down and disable Use a proxy server Option in manual proxy section.

7. Temporarily disable the antivirus program

Sometimes the antivirus program installed on your computer can block Microsoft’s websites which leads to Microsoft Office activation errors.

To confirm, temporarily disable the antivirus program on your computer and see if that helps in fixing the Microsoft Office activation error issue on your computer.

Right-click on the antivirus program icon in the taskbar and click Disable automatic protection.

Disable the Auto Protect option in the Norton Antivirus program

Next select the Period up to which you want to disable the antivirus program and click OK.

Disable automatic virus protection on a Windows PC

8. Uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Office

Uninstalling and reinstalling Microsoft Office is another method that has helped some users to fix Microsoft Office activation error.

Open Switchboard > Switch to the Large icons view and click on program and functions.

Program and Features option in Control Panel

On the next screen, right-click MicrosoftOffice and click Uninstall.

Uninstall Microsoft Office

After Microsoft Office is uninstalled, Start anew your computer and reinstall MicrosoftOffice program back to your computer.


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