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


macOS / OS X and macOS tablets

Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Office 365


How to fix this error: "Your account [uniqname] can view documents, but it doesn't allow editing on a Mac. To edit, use another account to activate Office. Learn more, contact your admin about your Office plan." (The error message might be titled "Ready to View Documents")

NOTE: Microsoft Office 365 now requires users to log in to activate and use the applications, whereas older versions of Microsoft Office do not. 


Note: U-M Office 365 licensing applies to activate student, staff, faculty, and sponsored affiliates, but does NOT include Alumni or Retirees. 


In the desktop application of 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
    1. You should do this even if you are "already signed in" using those credentials
  3. Doing this should cause the software to activate, and functionality should be restored from there, allowing you to edit documents per normal


In the mobile application of Microsoft Office product (Word, Excel, etc.), do the following:

  1. In any Office app, tap Account, then tap the account you're using
  2. Tap Sign Out, then Sign Out again to confirm
  3. Close all Office apps
  4. Open the app and sign in using your full email address ( and UMICH (level-1) password

Additional troubleshooting

If the above does not help, or different errors or behaviors occur:

Additional Information

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.


Article ID: 1100
Mon 4/20/20 8:39 AM
Wed 12/7/22 5:38 PM