Get Insider builds of Office 2016 for Windows desktop

Office Insider builds can introduce you to new Office features and capabilities before they're released. You can also help find issues and try out new features, and send feedback back to Microsoft . The Office Insider forum and Twitter feed give you with a way to talk about new releases and report issues.

There are two programs, Office Insider and Monthly Channel (Targeted). Office Insider usually ships once a week and gives you access to the earliest builds. While you see new features early, you may also find issues that haven't been identified. The Monthly Channel (Targeted) program is shipped approximately once a month.

If you're an Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscriber, you can join either Office Insider programs from within any Office app.

If you're on a business premium or enterprise subscription, such as through your company or organization, you can also install either version of the Office Insider. However it can require the ok from your network administrator.

How Office 365 for home subscribers get Office Insider builds

If you're have an Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscription, you can get Office Insider builds by opening File > Account and opting in to Office Insider updates. After that, you install the same way you install non-Insider builds.

To check for your version of Office 365 Subscription, follow these steps.

  • Log on to your Office 365 starting page.

    Home subscription main screen

  • Click your name at the top right, and then click My Account.

    My Accounts button

  • If you're using Home, Personal, or University, you'll get a menu across the top.

    Subscriptions menu

    Click Services & Subscriptions.

    If you're using an Enterprise or business version, click Subscriptions.

    Enterprise subscription menu highlighted

  • In the subscriptions panel, you can see the subscription version (Home, Personal, University, Enterprise, etc). For example:

    If you're using Home, Personal, or University, it shows you only the type of subscription you have.

    Home subscription panel

    With these subscriptions, you'll be able to get Insider builds from within your apps. See Opt into Office Insider from within an app

    If you're using business or enterprise, you'll see more information listing the applications you're licensed for.

    Subscription screen on Enterprise

    With an enterprise or business subscription, see Get Insider for business and enterprise subscribers.

  1. From inside any Office 2016 app, click File, click Account, and then click Office Insider.

    Office Insider in-app opt in.

  2. Click Join Office Insider.

    Join office insider button

  3. In the Join Office Insider dialog, select Sign me up for early access to new releases of Office check box.

    Join Office Insider dialog box

  4. In the Join Office Insider dialog, choose your Office Insider level.

    Choose your Office Insider level

  5. Click and read the Program terms carefully. When done, click the I agree to the Office Insiders terms of use. checkbox, and then click OK.

    Office Insider Terms of Use agreement

To Install your Insider build

  1. In any Office app, click File>Account.

  2. Click Office Updates and then click Update Now.

    Get Office Insider updates now button

  3. Office will proceed to install and will let you know when it's done.

    Office updates downloading dialog

To check that Office Insider installed successfully, or to see which version of Office Insider you currently have, follow these steps.

  1. In any Office app, click File and then select Account or Office Account.

  2. On the Account panel, you should see the type of Office Insider plan, the version, and the build displayed. It should look similar to this:

    Regular Office 365 build

    Regular Office 365 subscription build

    Monthly (targeted) build

    Office monthly (targeted) Insider build

    Office Insider build

    Office Insider build

How Office 365 for business subscribers get Office Insider builds

If you're using a commercial subscription from your company or organization, your administrator can enable you to install Monthly Channel (Targeted) builds.

If you're the Office 365 administrator, or have responsibility for your companies Office 365 installation, here are the steps to enable you and your users to join the Office Insider program.

Getting Office 2016 Monthly Channel (Targeted) builds is a two step process. You start by opting into First Release for Office 365, and then you install Office 2016 for Windows Desktop.

Opt into First Release for Office 365

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.

  3. Navigate to Settings > Organization profile.

    In the admin center, navigate to Settings and then Organization profile.
  4. Next to Release preferences, click Edit. If you've already selected First release for selected users, click Actions, and then click Edit.

    Release preferences

  5. In Release preferences, do one of the following:

    • To disable targeted release, choose Standard release, then click Next, and say Yes to the confirmation. Skip to the last step.

    • To enable targeted release for all users in your organization, choose Targeted release for everyone, then click Next, and say Yes to the confirmation. Skip to the last step.

    • To enable targeted release for some people in your organization, choose Targeted release for selected users, then click Next, and say Yes to the confirmation.

    Release preference choices

  6. If you chose Targeted release for selected users, click Actions and then click Manage people for first release to add users individually. Search for their names and click + to Add.

    Manage people for first release option

  7. When you're done adding users, click Save and then Close.

Enable Office 2016 Monthly Channel (Targeted) build installs

Once Office 365 is setup for First Release, the administrator needs to enable software downloads for Office 2016. Here's how to do that:

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.

  3. Then, from the Office 365 admin center, go to Home >Office software > Software download settings.

    Office Software Software Download settings

  4. On the Software download settings page, under Software for PC and mobile devices, make sure Office is On under the 2016 desktop and mobile apps section and that Every month (Monthly channel) is selected.

    Setting the Monthly channel builds for PC users

  5. Click Save, and then click Close.

Users can now go to the My Software page and download Office 2016.

The Office 365 My Software Page for downloading Office 2016

You can get Office Insider builds, which are released more frequently than Monthly Channel (Targeted) builds, and give you access to the earliest previews of Office.

Note: These steps only work if your computer is not locked down by your company or organization's IT department. If you can install software on your computer, then your computer is probably not locked down.

When you install these builds, they are usually not supported by your company's help desk or IT department. You can join the Office Insider forum or use the Twitter feed to report issues and get help from other Insider users.

Important: The Insider level is part of the Office Insider consumer program and isn't supported for enterprise use. This level is best for users who want to use the earliest preview builds that are released more frequently to identify issues, provide feedback, and who don’t mind the risk in using unsupported builds. By choosing the Insider level, you agree to the program’s terms, which supersedes your agreement with Microsoft to use Office.

Use the Office Deployment Tool to install Office Insider builds. You can’t install Office Insider level builds from the Office 365 portal.

  1. Download the latest version of the Office 2016 Deployment Tool from the Microsoft Download Center. You may have to scroll down to see the download button.

    When you download, by default, the file is saved in your Downloads folder.

  2. Once downloaded, double-click OfficeDeploymentTool.exe and click Yes if you get a User Account Control dialog.

  3. Click the checkbox to accept the Microsoft Software License Terms, and then click Continue.

  4. Select a folder to store the extracted files. You may want to create a simple folder in the root of your Local Disk (C:) so you can get to it more easily later.

    To create a simple folder, do this

    1. Click Local Disk (C:) in the Browse For Folder dialog.

    2. Click Make New Folder.

    3. Type a simple name, such as Temp.

  5. When complete, click OK.

    This extracts the Setup.exe file and the sample configuration.xml file.

  6. Navigate to the folder you extracted the files to using File Explorer

    Use a text editor (like Notepad) to edit the OfficeClientEdition and Channel commands in the configuration.xml file:

      <Add OfficeClientEdition="32" Channel="InsiderFast">
        <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
          <Language ID="en-us" />

    This installs a 32-bit version of Office 365 ProPlus in English from the Office Content Delivery Network (CDN) on the Internet. Office will also get automatically updated from the CDN when a new Insider level build is available.


    • For the faster Insider level, the Channel setting remains InsiderFast.

    • For the slower Monthly Channel (Targeted) level, the Channel setting has changed from InsiderSlow or FirstReleaseCurrent to Insiders. The older settings have been deprecated, but they'll continue to work for those who've already created a config file.

    • If you want to install the 64-bit version of Office, use 64 for the OfficeClientEdition setting.

    • If you have the Office 365 Business or Office 365 Business Premium plan, use O365BusinessRetail, instead of O365ProPlusRetail, for the Product ID in the configuration.xml file.

    For more information about configuration.xml file settings, including how to install Project or Visio (if you have a subscription to those products), see Configuration options for the Office 2016 Deployment Tool.

  7. Copy setup.exe and configuration.xml to a folder on the computer where you want to install Office. For simplicity later, you may want to create a simple file at the root of the Local Disk (C:).

    Note: If Office is already installed on the computer, uninstall Office and restart the computer before performing the next step.

  8. Note: An Internet connection is required to install Office.

    Open an elevated command prompt by following these steps

    1. Click the Windows button in the lower right, and type CMD in the search field.

    2. Right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.

    3. Navigate to the folder where you put setup.exe and the edted configuration.xml file.

      From the command prompt, type CD \Temp or the path to the folder you selected.

  9. Run the following command:

    Setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

    This copies the Office files from the Content Delivery Network (CDN) on the Internet to the computer and starts the installation.

  10. After the installation is complete, open an Office app, such as Word, and go to File > Account. Under the Product Information section, you should see text that includes "Office Insider."

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