How to link a Windows 365 account to multiple devices

By MUO Staff

While Microsoft 365 Personal is limited to one user, the Family edition can be shared by multiple people. This article shows you how.

For those still trying to figure out the best option for using Word or PowerPoint on your machines, we’re diving into Microsoft 365. Formally known to everyone as Office 365, Microsoft has changed the name but thankfully not the features.

In this article, we’ll show you where to find your Microsoft 365 license, how to confirm which license you’re using, and what’s the best option for you. We also walk you through the steps to download your particular license to multiple machines.

How to install Microsoft 365 on multiple machines with a single license

First, if you’re not sure which version of Microsoft 365 you have or which one you should buy if you’re still looking, we walk you through the steps to confirm the particular features of those versions.

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account using your credentials.
  2. Click the Services & Subscriptions tab on the blue ribbon at the top of the page. This will take you to Microsoft’s services page.
  3. Next to the Microsoft logo in the center of the page, you’ll see the subscription you currently have.

Installing Microsoft 365 Personal Edition

You can install Microsoft 365 Personal Edition on five personal devices, including PCs, laptops, mobile devices, Xbox consoles, and HoloLens. However, unlike Microsoft 365 Family Edition, each device will only show your personal information and you cannot personalize it for another person and their information.

  1. Make sure you are working on the machine where you want to activate the license.
  2. Once signed in to your Microsoft 365 account, go to Devices tab located on the blue ribbon at the top of the page.
  3. Here you will see a list of devices for which you currently own the Microsoft 365 Personal License. If you are unsure of your computer name, you can check out this article on finding your computer name to help you.
  4. Towards the top right of the page, just below the blue ribbon, you will see a + symbol with the words “Register device.” Click on it, and it will take you to this screen:
  5. Select your region from the drop-down list. It should default to the correct region, because that’s how you configured it on your main computer.
  6. Enter your hardware serial number in the faceplate listed under the region. Microsoft has added a useful link to help you find it – click on the link that says “Help me find my serial number“, and it will take you to a drop-down list of all the devices you might be using. Once that’s done, click the box to accept their terms and conditions, and you’re good to go.


Installing Microsoft 365 Home Edition

If you want your family or friends to use your Microsoft 365 Family license, you are allowed to invite up to five additional people. Six people can use the Family license, so be sure to add yourself to this list.

Microsoft would like to note here that the Microsoft 365 Family license contains product keys that you should not share. Instead, they urge you to take the following steps:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account page. If you have multiple Microsoft accounts, go to Microsoft 365 Family subscription.
  2. Click on the button marked start sharing. If you don’t see this button, you may not own the Microsoft 365 Family license, and you can verify this by going to Services & subscriptions tab on the blue ribbon at the top of the page.
  3. A pop-up will appear Share your subscription. You can now invite someone via email or send an invite link instead. If you want to share this subscription with multiple people in one session, you will need to share a new link for each person.
  4. Your family will need to accept the invitation to continue. From there, they can sign in using their own Microsoft account information and will be able to install Office on their device.

How is the Microsoft 365 Family License different from a Microsoft 365 Personal License?

To make it easier for you to see which option is right for you, as well as what you currently have but don’t know yet, we’ve broken down Microsoft 365 Family and Microsoft 365 Personal below:

Microsoft 365 Family Microsoft 365 Personal
Use 1 – 6 people 1 person
For PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android devices All All
Word, Excel, PowerPoint Prime Prime
Outlook email and calendar Prime Prime
OneDrive storage – 1TB 1 TB per person 1TB
Microsoft Publisher Yes Yes
Ransomware recovery and phishing detection Yes Yes
Microsoft Teams Yes Yes

Benefits of having a Microsoft 365 account online

Without having to pay extra, everyone using the Microsoft 365 license will benefit from these excellent advantages:

  • As long as the machine or device being licensed meets the system requirements, all Office apps for PC, Mac, and Android devices and devices will be the latest version available.
  • You have 1TB of free storage in OneDrive, which you can find in your File Explorer folder. This means that you no longer have to click the Save button on documents every few minutes, as you just need to enable auto-save.
  • Each person’s OneDrive account is private and linked only to their own Microsoft account.
  • Each person will receive 60 Skype minutes per month.
  • You will be able to enjoy an ad-free experience, which also gives everyone real-time warnings about phishing or malware attacks.
  • You can manage all your subscriptions from one browser location, including adding someone to your Microsoft 365 Family account or adding a new device to your Microsoft 365 Personal account.
  • You can track your renewal date and manage your payment options.
  • If you are having trouble locating your device, there is an option to Find my devicewhich allows you to locate any device you are connected to.
  • Enjoy cloud sync across all devices that allow backups.
  • View and manage apps and games downloaded to your devices.

How to get the most out of your Microsoft 365 license

Knowing what you have and what’s available can help you get the most out of your Microsoft 365 subscription. Hopefully, now you can use all the optional extras provided by Microsoft to increase your productivity.


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About the Author

Harry D. Gonzalez