Activate Microsoft Office through a proxy

Being a system administrator for a company using more than 150 machines I can end up in the situation where I am setting up multiple new machines at once. For the initial roll-out of OS and accompanying software we use a FOG server, but we still need to login and activate Microsoft Office before giving the machine to a user.

When we originally tried to activate Microsoft Office through our proxy we came across this error: The Activation Wizard is unable to find a connection to the Internet. Please make sure that your connection is working properly and then retry activation in a few minutes. This was because the PC wasn’t able to communicate with the Microsoft Office Activation servers through our proxy server.

To combat this we had to give the machine an IP that bypassed our proxy and used a Firewall policy that allowed unrestricted web access in order for the machine to connect to the Microsoft Office Activation servers. This wasn’t ideal both from a security standpoint and it meant that setting up a machine for a user took longer than anticipated. Then I had the idea of adding the Microsoft Office Activation servers to the proxy bypass list on the proxy itself. This meant that an unauthenticated user (e.g. an administrator account) was able to communicate through the proxy in order to activate Microsoft Office. This assumes that the proxy details are already applied to the machine, we get ours via Group Policy.

The the list of servers to bypass authentication for are here:

  • productactivation.one.microsoft.com
  • go.microsoft.com

Additionally Microsoft Office will ask for proxy authentication for several domains and will not allow you to access any of the office products. It would be an idea to bypass authentication for the following domains as well:

  • odc.officeapps.live.com
  • officeimg.vo.msecnd.net

This was Activate Microsoft Office through a proxy.

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Can you improve on any of the tips I’ve discussed here? If you can let me know in the comments.

Jason Edwards

  • Mario

    I found your posting what brought me to the idea to sniff through my web filtering log and follow your approach to bypass the servers. To activate Microsoft Office 2013 width a MAK you need following urls to bypass:
    Thanks for your remarks.