Admins: upgrade your users to the latest Office client using Office 365 for business

Help for Office 365 Admins

Are you responsible for upgrading users in your organization to the latest version of Office?

If so, you're in the right place! This article is for you.

If not, see How do I upgrade to Office 2016? for information about upgrading your personal older version of Office.

Getting ready to upgrade

As an Office 365 admin, you control what version of Office people in your organization can install. We highly recommend that you help users in your organization running older versions of Office such as Office 2007, Office 2010, or Office 2013 upgrade to the latest version to take advantage of its security and productivity improvements. See Why you should upgrade to Office 2016.

Office 2007 reaches end-of-support

Office 2007 reaches end-of-support on October 10, 2017, and anyone using Outlook 2007 in your organization won't be able to connect to their Office 365 email starting Oct 31, 2017. To make sure you and your users can continue accessing email, you'll need to install an updated version of Office or access your email from a web browser only by signing in to

In addition, since February 28, 2017, users in your organization can no longer download and install Office 2013 themselves from the Office 365 software page. See Office 2013 is no longer available for installation with an Office 365 subscription.

Tip: Check mainstream support end dates for all Office software at Microsoft Lifecycle Policy.

Upgrade steps

The steps below will guide you through the process of upgrading your users to the latest Office desktop client. We recommend you read through these steps before beginning the upgrade process.

Note: IT Professionals responsible for planning and testing large scale deployments in an enterprise should also see, Plan your upgrade from Office 2007 to Office 365 ProPlus.

Please leave us a comment to let us know if these steps helped.

Step 1 – Check system requirements

Check the system requirements for Office to make sure your devices are compatible with Office 2016. For example, Office 2016 can’t be installed on computers running Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Tip: If your current install of Office is on a PC or laptop running an older versions of Windows and you want information about upgrading your operating system, see Windows 10 system requirements.

Check application compatibility

To ensure a successful upgrade, we recommend identifying your Office applications--including VBA scripts, macros, third-party add-ins, and complex documents and spreadsheets--and assessing their compatibility with the latest version of Office.

For example, if you're using third-party add-ins with your current Office install, contact the manufacture to make sure they're compatible with the latest version of Office.

Step 2 – Check your existing subscription plan

Some Office 365 plans don't include the full desktop versions of Office and the steps to upgrade are different if your plan doesn’t include Office.

Not sure which subscription plan you have? See What Office 365 for business subscription do I have?

Subscriptions that include the fully installed Office applications

  Office 365 Business
  Office 365 Business Premium
  Office 365 ProPlus

  Office 365 Education E5

  Office 365 ProPlus
  Office 365 Enterprise E3
  Office 365 Enterprise E4
  Office 365 Enterprise E5

  Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium
  Office 365 Nonprofit E3
  Office 365 Nonprofit E5

  Office 365 U.S. Government E3
  Office 365 U.S. Government E4

Discontinued subscriptions:
  Office 365 Small Business Premium
  Office 365 Mid-size Business

Subscriptions that don’t include the fully installed Office applications

  Office 365 Business Essentials

  Office 365 Enterprise E1

  Office 365 Education

  Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials
  Office 365 Nonprofit E1

  Office 365 U.S. Government E1

  Exchange Online Plan 1
  Exchange Online Plan 2

  Project Online Essentials

Discontinued subscriptions:
  Office 365 Small Business

If your existing plan includes Office, move on to Step 3 – Uninstall Office.

If your existing plan doesn’t include Office, then select from the options below:

Upgrade options for plans that don't include Office

Option 1 - Switch Office 365 subscriptions   

Switch to a subscription that includes Office. See Switch to a different Office 365 for business plan.

Option 2 - Buy individual, one-time purchases of Office 2016, or buy Office through a volume license   

Step 3 – Uninstall Office

Before installing Office 2016, we recommend you uninstall all older versions of Office. However, if you change your mind about upgrading to Office 2016, note the following instances where you won't be able to reinstall Office after uninstalling it.

We recommend if you have third-party add-ins, contact the manufacturer to see if there's an update that will work with the latest version of Office.

Known issues trying to reinstall older versions of Office after an uninstall

Office through a volume license    If you no longer have access to the source files of these volume license versions of Office, you won't be able to reinstall it.

Office pre-installed on your computer    If you no longer have a disc or product key (if Office came with one) you won't be able to reinstall it.

Non-supported Office 365 subscriptions    If your copy of Office was obtained through discontinued Office 365 subscriptions, such as Office 365 Small Business Premium or Office 365 Mid-size Business, you won't be able to install an older version of Office unless you have the product key that came with your subscription.

If you'd prefer to install your older version of Office side-by-side with the latest version, you can see a list of versions where this is supported in, Install and use different versions of Office on the same PC. A side-by-side installation might be the right choice for you, if for example, you've installed third-party add-ins you're using with your older version of Office and you're not yet sure they're compatible with the latest version.

Select the version of Office you want to uninstall

Step 4 – Assign Office licenses to users

If you haven't already done so, assign licenses to any users in your organization who need to install Office, see Assign licenses to users in Office 365 for business.

Step 5 - Install Office

After you've verified the users you want to upgrade all have licenses, the final step is to have them install Office, see Download and install or reinstall Office 365 or Office 2016 on your PC or Mac.

Tip: If you don't want your users installing Office themselves, see Manage user software in Office 365. You can use the Office Deployment Tool to download the Office software to your local network and then deploy Office by using the software deployment method you typically use.

Leave us a comment

We value your feedback. Please let us know if you found this article helpful by leaving us a comment below. If it didn't, tell us more about you're trying to do and we'll use that information to help investigate your issue further.

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.