My 2009 MacBook's hard drive failed this weekend and I had to have it replaced on the spot or wait 3 days. I have successfully used a connection cable to connect the old hard drive to the new one and managed to get most files over without any problems.

I am wondering if there is a way to transfer Apps, like Microsoft Office over to a new drive without having to use a product key?

I don't think I have that info as the software came with the computer that I bought used.

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, only applications that were installed via drag and drop can be directly transferred from one drive to another via drag and drop.

Applications that use installers, such as Microsoft Office does, have to be properly installed from their installation media and you will need the product key in the case of Microsoft Office.

If you have a Time Machine backup of the old hard drive, you can get the product key out of its plist file and use it, if you can borrow a copy of the same version of Microsoft Office from a friend and use your product key to install it.

  • And, technically speaking, unless you have the receipt, media and product key you don't actually own the software. It is essentially a pirated copy. May 2, 2016 at 20:01
  • @SteveChambers, Well, technically speaking, even if you have the receipt, media and product key you still don't actually own the software! Software it typically not sold, it's licensed. May 4, 2016 at 10:44

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