How do I – Activate my MSDN copy of Visio 2013 Professional?

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog, How Do I...

Situation:  You have a MSDN subscription and you have downloaded Office 2013 or one of the Office products, like Visio 2013 Professional, from Microsoft and have installed said product.  You have a license key provided by MSDN, but the installer never prompts you for the license key.  This is a departure from traditional installer behavior where you would enter the license key before the install can even be done.  Once you’ve completed the install, you open your product and are confronted by this little gem of a warning just below the Ribbon:


Since you have a license key, you click the “Activate” button.  You are presented with this screen which is there for a while, so be patient:             


Eventually, you’re presented with a Sign In screen like this:


Having gotten your license key from MSDN, you promptly enter your MSDN UserID and password and click the “Sign in” button.  Unfortunately, you’re presented with an error thus:


After trying the login a couple more times (just in case you fat fingered the password), you click the “Can’t access your account?” button.  Your browser opens and you’re taken to this page:


Again, you enter your MSDN UserID as well as the CAPCHA code and click the “Next” button.  This time you’re presented with an error screen stating that your ID doesn’t exist thus:


So now what?

This is the problem with the new installer.  In order to use our MSDN license key, we’re going to have to follow these steps:

  1. Click “Start”.
  2. On the popup menu, click “Control Panel”.
  3. In the Control Panel, double click the “Programs and Features” icon.
  4. Scroll down through the list of installed products and locate the product in question.  In this example it was “Microsoft Visio Professional 2013”.
  5. Select the target product.
  6. In the toolbar above the list, click the “Change” button.screenshot.498
  7. When the configuration window appears, select the “Enter a Product Key” radio button and click “Continue”.screenshot.499
  8. No enter your product key and click “Continue”.screenshot.500
  9. Unfortunately, you have to go through the configuration piece again.  For a simple license key addition, I don’t see the need in this, but that how it works for now.  You could just click “Continue” but in my case, I wanted to make sure nothing was getting reset so I clicked “Customize”.screenshot.501
  10. Ensure your configuration settings are as desired and click the “Continue” button.screenshot.502
  11. It sets in the Configuration Progress screen for quite a while.  Just be patient.screenshot.503
  12. Once the configuration completes, click the “Close” button.screenshot.504
  13. Finally re-launch the application and the red warning should now be gone.screenshot.505


This took me a while to figure out, so hopefully this saves someone some time.



Tags: , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.