Activating Microscoft Products with the KMS Server

If you have been issued a University laptop with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, your operating system and software has been pre-activated. However, there's a requirement in the licensing agreement between the CSU and Microsoft where you will need to reconnect to the campus KMS (Key Management System) server every 6 months in order to renew the activation.

Users who are off-campus, must establish a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection (see VPN Home).

VPN Connection: VPN enables a host computer to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if they were an integral part of the private network with all the functionality, security and management policies of the private network. The new procedure for establishing a VPN connection to campus can be found at

How KMS works: A KMS key is a Volume License Key that is used to establish an activation service. The KMS activates an application for a period of 180 day. Once a machine is activated, it will attempt to communicate with the same KMS server every seven days to renew its activation and reset it license counter back to 180 days. If the machine is unable to connect to the KMS, it will keep trying to do so silently every two hours until it is successful.

When Reactivation fails: If a Windows computer has not been able to reestablish communication to the KMS after 180 days, the machine will become unlicensed. It starts a 30-day grace period and notifies the user of this change. If the machine is not activated against the KMS after the 30-day grace period expires, it will enter a reduced functionality mode until it is able to connect to its KMS.

Suggest Procedure: A suggested procedure for remote activation and renewal can be found at /its/services/software/howto/Windows/RemoteMSlicenserenewal.php.

Help: If you have any difficulty, contact your ITC (/its/helpdesk/itcs.php).