Office 365 Tip: Use the Office 2016 Offline Installer

Posted on January 2, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in iOS, Office, Office 365, Windows, Windows 10 with 9 Comments

Thurrott Daily: January 1

Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers who would prefer to install Office 2016 repeatedly without having to download it each time can do so, thanks to an offline installer.

Note: This method works for both Windows PCs and Macs.

Not everyone will need this functionality. In fact, I suspect that most have the necessary bandwidth and/or simply don’t install Office enough to even worry about such a thing. But there are a number of reasons why this capability is useful, not the least of which is the ability to quickly recover from disaster while offline.

But those who live under strict bandwidth limitations should look into the Office 2016 offline installer. This will let you download Office 2016 once and then install it on multiple PCs without re-downloading the 2.7 GB set of Office Setup files each time, as is normally the case.

Note that you will still need to update Office 2016, of course, so as time moves on and the offline setup gets more out-of-date, those subsequent updates will get bigger and bigger. But it will be years, I bet, before this becomes less efficient from a bandwidth perspective. (And of course, Office 2016 users can manage updates too; navigate to File, Account, Update Options in any of the main Office applications to do so.)

To get the offline installer, navigate to the My Account page on Office 365. Then, select the Install button under the “Install” heading. Then, on the Office 365 Install page, select “Language and install options” instead of clicking the Install button for a normal streamed/downloaded install of Office 2016.

On the Language and Install Options page that appears next, select the “Additional install options” link. You will now see an Offline installer option. Select “Download offline installer.”

The Office Offline Installer will begin downloading. On Windows PCs, the installer includes both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office 2016 for Windows. (Note that even those with 64-bit versions of Windows will typically want to use the 32-bit version of Office.) On a Mac, you will, of course, get Office 2016 for Mac.

On Windows, the offline installer is a single disk image (.IMG) file. Just double-click it to add this virtual disk to File Explorer. Then, you can navigate to that drive, open the disk normally, and choose the installer you want: Setup32.exe for 32-bit and Setup64.exe for 64-bit.

On Mac, the offline installer is a Mac-friendly app package on the Mac. Just double-click it to begin the install.

Note that, in both cases, you can and should retain the offline installer so you can use it later.

After installing Office 2016, you will need to activate it against your Office 365 account. In the “Enter your product key” dialog that appears, select “Sign in with an active account instead” to enter your Office 365 credentials and get to work.

Note: What about Office 365 for business subscriptions? Microsoft recommends that you “contact your admin,” which isn’t all that helpful. But that’s because the commercial versions of Office 365 have an additional layer of management between you and the cloud. And the expectation here is that a business customer will be able to get online if they need to install Office 2016 from scratch. (That said, if anyone knows of a workaround, please let me know.)

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