Office Timeline keeps changing to Free Edition



Office Timeline keeps changing back to Free Edition, even after successful license activation. Users may have to repeatedly re-activate the add-in license they purchased.  This issue is related to two possible root causes:

  • A corrupt license file.

  • Security restrictions placed on the user’s account where the user’s registry key has its read/write privileges turned off. This prevents PowerPoint from using Office Timeline properly. 

Solution A - Delete the Corrupt License File

Deleting the Office Timeline license folder and reactivating the license replaces the license file and typically fixes the issue.

  1. Close all open instances of PowerPoint.

  2. In Windows, open File Explorer and browse to the C:\ProgramData folder.  Because this is a hidden folder, you'll have to type it in manually in the File Explorer address bar.

  3. Delete the folder labeled Office Timeline located inside C:\ProgramData.

    NOTE: If you are unable to delete the folder, it is most likely because PowerPoint is still open.  Close PowerPoint and try deleting again. Otherwise, reboot your computer and then try deleting the Office Timeline folder.

  4. Once the C:\ProgramData\Office Timeline folder has been deleted, open PowerPoint and activate your license again.

  5. Close PowerPoint and re-open it to see if your license remains activated.


Solution B - Grant User Appropriate Permissions

If Solution A above does not resolve the issue, it's most likely a permission issue.  In that case, follow these steps: 

  1. Uninstall Office Timeline from your computer.  In Windows, navigate to the Control Panel > Programs and Features, select Office Timeline from the list and click Uninstall.

  2. Press the Windows key on your keyboard to open windows search and type Regedit to open the Registry Editor.

  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Classes > CLSID (HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID).

  4. Right-click on the CLSID folder and select Permissions.

  5. In the permissions dialog, select the Office Timeline user’s name.  If the user's name is not listed, click Add... to add the user.

  6. In the Permissions for CLSID window, make sure the user has Full Control and Read permissions checked and click OK.

  7. Download the most current version of Office Timeline from

  8. Re-install Office Timeline.

  9. Once Office Timeline has re-installed, click on the Office Timeline tab in PowerPoint and click on the Upgrade button to re-activate your license with your product key.  See How to Activate Office Timeline