Office 365 Tip: Use the Office 2016 Offline Installer

Posted on January 2, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365, iOS, Office, 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Note that you will still need to update Office 2016, of course, so as time moves on and the offline setup gets more out-of-date, those subsequent updates will get bigger and bigger.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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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Office 365 Tip: Use the Office 2016 Offline Installer”

  1. 1503

    O365 for Business is similar with a few exceptions.  Using the Office 365 Deployment Tool, admins download the bits and configure the products and languages, as well as the network location for the install bits.  Using same tool, admin creates installation xml file which contains the network location of the install bits and future update bits.  When updates to O365 are released, admin downloads the new bits, puts them in the update location and clients automatically update (provided that feature is turned on).

    It is a lot more hands on, but there are ways to automate this and it prevents 1000+ computers from having to go out to Microsoft for install and updates.  Plus, as you know, us Corporate admins like to be in control :)

  2. 661

    in the article - you note "(Note that even those with 64-bit versions of Windows will typically want to use the 32-bit version of Office.)" Can you explain why this is recommended?




  3. 5615

    In reply to Simard57:

    Here's Microsoft's explanation for recommending 32-bit over 64-bit for Office 2013:

    They seem to have backed off of the explicit 32-bit recommendation for Office 2016 and offer a more detailed set of issues to consider before choosing 32-bit or 64-bit; but, note that the 32-bit version is still installed by default.


  4. 8908

    Thank you for the reference.

    I'm unable to install OneDrive on a Mac (works fine with Win 10). It hangs.

    I've tried with personal account and office 365 account.

    Is there a way to circumvent the dreaded Apple Store? I'm running latest OS X, btw.

    I'm hoping an offline/network install *might* help. 

    P.S. Extensive Bing and Google searches have come up with Zero help. Am I the only human being on earth with this problem?

  5. Mark Montgomery

    Can you change the default installation directory with offline installer? MS standard answer is that "click to install" will always default to the Windows install directory.

    It looks like you can override in the registry, but I can't locate instructions.

  6. Jayanth kumar

    Offline download is a great help but there is no difference if we perform online install or download it offline.

    This consumes the same time and bandwidth .

    The purview of us changes if installation goes faster.however most of this office installation stuck related issues are due to graphic drivers. Check with some tech before you install graphic drivers from unknown resources.