Resolve Access denied to installation source Office Error

The Microsoft Office Error code 0x4004f00d or Access denied to installation source appears when the Office application cannot access the source files it requires in order to execute the Office Applications.

Microsoft Office Activation Error 0x4004f00d

What’s causing the Microsoft Office 0x4004f00d error code?

  • 3rd party Firewall interference – As it turns out, this issue can be caused by some 3rd party interference due to an overprotective antivirus or firewall application. In this case, you can get the issue resolved by disabling real-time protection or by uninstalling the security suite altogether.
  • Active VNP Network or Proxy Server – Some Office applications tend to malfunction if they are forced to work with proxy serves or with private network connections hosted by VPN clients. Because of this, they tend to produce errors when having to do sensitive chores like validating the license key. If this scenario is applicable, you can fix the issue by disabling the VPN or Proxy server while using the Office suite.
  • Corrupted Office installation – Another potential culprit that will cause this problem is corruption inside the Office installation folder. To make sure you fix it entirely, you’ll need to uninstall the entire Office suite and ensure that you run a fix-it tool capable of removing every remnant file before reinstalling the program along with the license key.

Method 1: Disabling firewall interference (if applicable)

As it turns out, this particular issue can also be caused by an overprotective suite that is stopping the connection between your locally stored Office application and the external servers. In most cases, the connection is stopped due to a false positive.

Several different 3rd party apps are known to cause false-positive leading to this issue. Comodo and McAfee are among them. If you’re using a 3rd party that you suspect might be responsible, you should disable the real-time protection and see if the issue is still occurring.

Of course, the process will be different depending on which security suite you’re using – But in most cases, you will be able to disable the real-time protection directly from the taskbar menu.

Disabling the real-time protection on Avast Antivirus
Disabling the real-time protection on Avast Antivirus

However, if you’re using a 3rd party tool that includes a firewall, the same security rules will likely remain in place even if you disable the real-time protection. In this case, the only viable fix is to whitelist the Office communications in your firewall settings (This will be different depending on the security tool that you use).

In case you’re AV makes it hard to create exclusions, you can go the simple route and uninstall it along with any remnant files (at least until you activate your license). In case you’re looking for step by step instructions, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open up a Run dialogue box by pressing Windows key + R. Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ and press Enter to open up Programs and Features menu.
    Opening Programs and Features
  2. Once you’re inside the Applications & Features menu, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate the 3rd party security suite that you wish to get rid of.
  3. When you see it, right-click on it and choose Uninstall from the context menu. Once the uninstallation window is open, follow the on-screen instructions to get rid of the 3rd party security suite.
    Uninstalling your antivirus
  4. After the process is complete, restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved at the next system startup.
  5. To ensure that you remove any remnant files, follow this article (here) to ensure that there are no leftover files that might still enforce the same security rules.
  6. Try to open the Office application and complete the application once again.

If the same 0x4004f00d error code is still occurring, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Disable VPN/ Proxy interference (if applicable)

As it turns out, Office applications tend to malfunction when they are forced to work with Proxy servers, or private network connections created using VPN clients. They work for the most part, but they tend to produce errors when having to do sensitive chores (such as verifying the license status).

If you’re using a VPN client or a proxy server, that’s probably the reason why you’re encountering the 0x4004f00d activation error code. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the issue by disabling the Proxy server (or VPN client) before starting the problematic Office application.

To help you with this, we’ve created two separate guides: One for proxy users and one for those using a VPN client. Follow the instructions that apply to your particular scenario:

Disabling the Proxy Server

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialogue box. Next, inside the text box, type ‘ms-settings:network-proxy’ and press Enter to open up the Proxy tab of the Settings app.
    Run dialog: ms-settings:network-proxy
    Run dialog: ms-settings:network-proxy
  2. Once you arrive inside the Proxy tab, scroll down to the Manual proxy setup section and disable the toggle associated with Use a proxy server.
  3. After you do this, restart your computer and repeat the action that was causing the activation error to see if the issue is now resolved.

Uninstalling the VPN client

  1. Open up a Run dialogue box by pressing Windows key + R. Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl‘ inside the text box and press enter to open up the Programs and Features menu. When you see the User Account Control (UAC) prompt, click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
    Type appwiz.cpl and Press Enter to Open Installed Programs List
  2. Once you’re inside the Programs and Features screen, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate the 3rd party VPN that you suspect might be causing the issue. Once you see it, simply right-click on it and choose Uninstall from the context menu.
    Uninstalling a VPN tool
    Uninstalling a VPN tool
  3. Inside the uninstallation wizard, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process. When the process is complete, restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved at the next system startup.

In case this method wasn’t applicable or it didn’t resolve the 0x4004f00d activation error, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Uninstalling Office and running Fix It Tool

As it turns out, this particular issue can also occur due to some type of corruption present inside the Office installation. This can be caused by an unexpected machine interruption or a botched update.

In this case, you can resolve the issue by easily by uninstalling the office installation and running a Fix It tool capable of removing any remnant file that might still cause the same behaviour.

Several affected users have confirmed that this procedure has finally allowed them to launch apps from the Office suite without being prompted by the activation error. This confirms that the problem can very well be caused by a corrupted Office installation that is not validating the license key.

Here’s a quick guide on uninstalling the Office application, running the fix-it tool and then reinstalling it again:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialogue box. Next, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ and press Enter to open up the Program and Files window.
    Typing in “appwiz.cpl” in the Run prompt
  2. Once you’re inside, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate your Office installation. Once you see it, right-click on it and choose Uninstall from the context menu.
    Uninstalling Microsoft Office
  3. Inside the uninstallation window, follow the uninstall steps and restart your computer at the end of it.
  4. At the next startup sequence, visit this link (here) and scroll down to the Problems while trying to install Office section. Once you get there, click on the Download button.
  5. Once the download is complete, open the SetupProd_OffScrub.exe executable and follow the on-screen prompts to remove any remnant files that might still cause this behavior.
    Installing the SetupProd_OffScrub.exe
  6. Restart your computer once again and then re-install the Office client from scratch. Once the installation is complete, add your license key and see if the issue is now resolved.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Resolve Access denied to installation source Office Error

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