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"The subscription service for Microsoft Office cannot be started" error when you try to sign in to or activate Office Professional Plus

View products that this article applies to.


When you try to sign in to or activate Microsoft Office Professional Plus, you receive the following error message:
The subscription service for Microsoft Office cannot be started.

If the service fails to start, the editing functionality in your Office product might be disabled.

For more information on the error message 000003E9, contact your support team.

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This issue occurs because of a code defect in the Office Subscription Agent service. Microsoft is working to address this issue. The issue is related to the handling of digital product IDs that are registered for the user.

Consider the following scenario:
  • The system locale of your computer is set to a region whose locale ID (LCID) has a decimal representation that is more than four characters long. For example, the LCID is five characters long.
  • At the time of registration, a digital product ID that includes your current locale information is generated.
  • This locale information is encoded into a string form that expects only a four-character LCID value.
In this scenario, the Office Professional Plus license cannot be validated, and the service fails.

To determine whether your locale setting will be affected, see the list of LCIDs that are listed on the following Microsoft website:

For example, this issue affects the Arabic-Jordan (11265) system locale but does not affect the Arabic-Iraq (2049) system locale. This is because the LCID for Arabic-Jordan is five characters and not four characters.

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To work around this issue, follow these steps:
  1. Change the system locale to English (United States). To do this, follow these steps, as appropriate for your operating system:

    For Windows 7

    To change the system locale, follow the steps on the following Microsoft website:

    For Windows Vista

    To change the system locale, follow the steps on the following Microsoft website:

    For Windows XP
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Regional and Language Options.
    2. Click the Advanced tab.

      Note If there is no Advanced tab, you are not logged on by using administrative credentials.
    3. Under Language for non-Unicode programs, select English (United States) from the drop-down menu.
  2. Repair Office Professional Plus. To do this, follow the steps:
    1. Open Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs or Programs and Features, as appropriate for your operating system.
    2. Click Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus, and then click Change.
    3. Click Repair, and then click Continue.
  3. Restart the computer after the repair process is complete.
  4. After you restart the computer, you are prompted to activate Office Professional Plus by using the appropriate user credentials for Microsoft Office 365. If you are not prompted after several minutes, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press Enter.
    2. At a command prompt, type the following command, and then press Enter:

      net start osubsvc
    3. Locate the OSAUI.exe file. The OSAUI.exe is located in the following locations:
      • 64-bit Windows with 32-bit Office: %CommonProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft shared\OFFICE14
      • 32-bit Windows, or 64-bit Office with 64-bit Windows: %CommonProgramFiles%\Microsoft shared\OFFICE14
  5. Type OSAUI.exe /F as in the following example, and then press Enter:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE14\OSAUI.exe /F
  6. Change the system locale back to the previous setting.

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More information

To view a list of Locale IDs that Microsoft assigns, visit the following Microsoft website:

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Keywords: o365a, o365e, o365p, kbgraphxlink, o365022013, o365062011, o365m, o365, KB2605805

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Article Info
Article ID : 2605805
Revision : 10
Created on : 1/9/2013
Published on : 1/9/2013
Exists online : False
Views : 70