Manage user software in Office 365

As an Office 365 admin, you can control which Office software your users can download and install from Office 365. The choices you make on the Manage user software through Office 365 page determine which software users can install from the Software page in Office 365. Whichever choices you make, they apply to all users in your organization.

If you choose to make both the 2016 and 2013 versions of the Office software available, users see two install choices on their Software page. The 2016 choice is always listed first on the Software page. As the admin, you should provide your users with guidance on which version they should install.

If you choose to make some software unavailable to users, they see a message on their Software page instead of an Install button. For example, if you choose to make Office unavailable, users see this message:

      Your admin has turned off Office installs. Contact your admin for more information about how to get Office in your organization.

Choose how often to get feature updates for Office 2016 apps

For the Office 2016 software, you must choose how often you want users to get feature updates. Which frequency you choose depends on several factors, including how many line-of-business applications, add-ins, or macros that you need to test any time that there are feature updates to Office, Project, or Visio. For example, if you use specialized Excel workbooks in your business, you may want to get feature updates only every four months. This gives you time to test that your Excel workbooks work with the new features that Microsoft releases.

If you want some users to get feature updates every month, but have other users get feature updates only every four months, you can manually download and install the Office apps for your users by using the Office Deployment Tool. This gives you the control to select different feature update settings for different groups of users.

For more information, read this overview.

Manually download and install the Office apps by using the Office Deployment Tool

If you don’t want your users to install software themselves from Office 365, you can download the software to your local network. Then, you can deploy the software to your users by using your existing software deployment tools and processes.

To manually deploy Office, as well as Project or Visio, you need to use the Office Deployment Tool. There are two different versions of the Office Deployment Tool available – one for Office 2013 and a different one for Office 2016. Each Office Deployment Tool works only with that specific version of Office. You can download them from the Microsoft Download Center using the following links:

You use the Office Deployment Tool to both download and deploy Office, such as Office 365 ProPlus, to your users. If you already use other tools, such as System Center Configuration Manager, to deploy software to your users, you can use the Office Deployment Tool along with those tools to deploy Office.

Manually download InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013

In addition to Office, you can download InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 in order to deploy them to your users. You can download them from the Microsoft Download Center by using the following links:

After you download the software, you can use your existing software deployment tools and processes to deploy InfoPath or SharePoint Designer to your users.

Additional considerations about managing user software in Office 365

  • The list of Office software that appears in the Software for PC section depends on the type of Office 365 plan that your organization has.

  • Users have to be local administrators on their computers to install Office software. If users aren't local administrators, you'll have to install Office for them.

  • For users to be able to install Office, you need to assign them an Office 365 license.

  • By default, Office installs all the apps that are included in your version of Office on the user’s computer. If you want to some users to get fewer apps, such as only Word and PowerPoint, you need to manually deploy Office to the users and exclude certain programs from being installed.

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