Choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Office

There are two versions of Office available to install: 32-bit and 64-bit. Which version is right for you depends on how you plan to use Office.

The 64-bit version of Office has some limitations, but is the right choice when:

  • You work with extremely large data sets, like enterprise-scale Excel workbooks with complex calculations, many PivotTables, connections to external databases, PowerPivot, PowerMap, or PowerView. The 64-bit version of Office may perform better for you.

  • You work with extremely large pictures, videos, or animations in PowerPoint. The 64-bit version of Office may be better suited to handle these complex slide decks.

  • You work with extremely large Word documents. The 64-bit version of Office may be better suited to handle Word documents with large tables, graphics, or other objects.

  • You’re working with files over 2GB in Project 2013, especially if the project has many subprojects.

  • You want to keep the 64-bit version of Office that you’re already using. The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office programs aren’t compatible, so you can’t install both on the same computer.

  • You’re developing in-house Office solutions, like add-ins or document-level customizations.

  • Your organization requires Hardware Data Execution Prevention (DEP) be enforced for Office applications. DEP is a set of hardware and software technologies that some organizations use to enhance security.

If none of these situations apply to you, the 32-bit version of Office is probably the right choice.

Note   The 32-bit version of Office works well with both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Windows. If you are installing the 64-bit version of Office, you need the 64-bit version of Windows. If you’re not installing on Windows, you don’t need to worry about 32-bit or 64-bit options. Which version of Office do I have?

Ready to install?

To install 32-bit Office:

  • If you’re a home user, sign in to your account page and choose Install, or insert your installation disc. Office automatically installs the 32-bit version unless you already have a 64-bit version of Office on your computer.

  • If you’re a business user, sign in to the Office 365 portal and choose Install.

To install 64-bit Office:

  • If you’re a home user, sign in to your account page and choose Language and install options > Additional install options > Office (64-bit) > Install. Or, from a disc, go to the x64 folder and double-click Setup.exe.

  • If you’re a business user, sign in to the Office 365 portal. Choose Advanced > 64-bit > Install.

Note   If you decide to switch from 32-bit Office to 64-bit Office, you need to uninstall the 32-bit version first, and then you can install the 64-bit version.

Limitations of the 64-bit version of Office

The 64-bit version of Office may perform better in some cases, but there are limitations:

  • Solutions using ActiveX controls library, ComCtl controls won’t work.

  • Third-party ActiveX controls and add-ins won’t work.

  • Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) that contain Declare statements won’t work in the 64-bit version of Office without being updated.

  • Compiled Access databases, like .MDE and .ACCDE files, won’t work unless they’re specifically written for the 64-bit version of Office.

  • In SharePoint, the list view won’t be available.

If you have specific add-ins that you use in the 32-bit version of Office, they may not work in 64-bit Office, and vice versa. If you’re concerned, check your current version of Office before installing the new one. Considering testing the add-in with 64-bit Office, or finding out if a 64-bit version of the add-in is available from the developer.

If you’re an administrator who is deploying Office, we have more technical details available on TechNet.

Which version of Office do I have?

Here’s how to look up your Office version:

  • With an Office 2013 program open, choose File > Account, and then choose About [program name] (like About Word). The full version name is listed at the top.

    Office version number

  • With an Office 2010 program open, choose File > Help. The full version name is listed under About Microsoft [program name] (like About Microsoft Word):

    Office version number

Applies To: Office 365 End User, Office 2013, Office 365 Admin, Office 365 Small Business Admin, Office Setup 2013, Office Shared 2013



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