Your Account Doesn't Allow Editing on a Mac (Office Error)


macOS / OS X, Microsoft Office. Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Office 365


How to fix the error: "Your account [uniqname] doesn't allow editing on a Mac. To learn more, contact your admin about your Office plan."

NOTE: Microsoft Office 365 now requires users to log in to activate and use the applications, whereas older versions of Microsoft Office do not. This issue may surface more frequently as people upgrade to Microsoft Office 365 from previous versions of Microsoft Office.


In a Microsoft Office product (Word, Excel, etc.), the error message will appear as a banner across the top of the application window. In order to restore functionality, try the following steps:

  1. On the far right side of that banner, click the Use Another Account button.
  2. When asked for login credentials, type in your full email address ( and UMICH (level-1) password. (You should do this even if you are "already signed in" using those credentials.)

Doing this should cause the software to activate, and functionality should be restored from there, allowing you to edit documents per normal.

If the above does not help, or different errors or behaviors occur, other things to be aware of are that the UM Office 365 licensing applies to activate student, staff, faculty, and sponsored affiliates, but does NOT include Alumni or Retirees.  Also, Office 365 requires your umich password to be synced to our Active Directory; resetting the umich password and then waiting 20-30 minutes before trying to log in again.

If you get an error message: "An unknown error has occurred, the error code is: 0xD000FFFE", follow the steps in the following Microsoft knowledge base article to run the Microsoft License Removal tool, and then try activating Office 365 again:

Additional Information

If this does not correct the issue or you encounter other errors, please contact Contact the ITS Service Center to call, chat, or email with our help desk. 


Article ID: 1100
Mon 4/20/20 8:39 AM
Thu 10/8/20 4:01 PM