Before deploying Office 2016 to client systems, most organizations will want to customize their installation to align with their unique business needs and use cases. In this article, I’ll cover how to customize the Windows Installer–based version of Office 2016 and fully remove Office 2013. I’ll also describe some of the settings you may want to consider for your install.

Kyle Beckman

Kyle Beckman works as a systems administrator in Atlanta, GA supporting Office 365 in higher education. He has 17+ years of systems administration experience.

If you’re deploying Microsoft Office 2016 to client systems, you’ll first need to build an MSP file using the Office Customization Toolkit (OCT) for OS deployment and use automated software deployment solutions such as System Center Configuration Manager.

Customize the install ^

To begin, you’ll need a copy of the Microsoft Office 2016 ISO image (Windows Installer version, not the App-V version), as well as the Office Customization Toolkit (which also includes the Office 2016 Administrative Templates).  Extract both the ISO and the contents of the ADMX/OCT download. For my lab environment, I have a software file share on a file server, and I’ve created separate x86 and x64 folders inside my Office_2016 folder to store both installers. The network share and file permissions are configured so that Domain Computers have Read access and IT users have Full Control, but your permissions may vary based on your environment and software installation solution.

Copy the “admin” folder from the Office Customization Tool download into the folder where you’ve saved the Office 2016 install files. (In this tutorial, we’ll be using the x86 installer in a folder of that same name, but the process is the same for the x64 installer.) When you’re prompted, overwrite the files that are in the destination folder.

Copying the updated admin folder to the Office 2016 install files
Copying the updated admin folder to the Office 2016 install files

Next, you’ll need to open a command prompt and run setup.exe /admin to run the Office Customization Tool. When the OCT opens, leave the default Create a new Setup customization file for the following product option selected and click OK.

Creating a new Setup customization file for Office 2016
Creating a new Setup customization file for Office 2016

There are three main areas that you’ll definitely want to customize for your organization’s Office 2016 installation, at a minimum, inside the Setup section. Start by setting your organization name in the Install Location and Organization Name section.

Next, go to the Licensing and User Interface section. Most organizations with a licensing agreement will probably leave the default Use KMS client key option, but you can set a MAK key here if necessary. Select the I accept the terms in the License Agreement check box so that end users won’t see the license agreement when Office is installed. Last, set the display level to None and select the Suppress modal and No cancel check boxes. Leave the Completion notice check box cleared. These options will give you a silent installation without a final confirmation.

Setting the product key, license agreement, and display level for Office 2016
Setting the product key, license agreement, and display level for Office 2016

Next, go to the Remove Previous Installations section. Here you can choose which previous versions of Office applications are uninstalled when Office 2016 is installed. I’ve had some unexpected results in the past when using the Default Setup behavior. So, I usually configure all of the applications to be removed unless I need to leave certain applications installed on the client system.
Removing previous Office installations when installing Office 2016

Once you’re done with your customization, click File and then Save and save your MSP file to the same network share where you’ve saved the Office 2016 installer. I usually like to put it in the root of the same folder as the installer.

Install the customized Office 2016 ^

To install Office 2016 using the MSP file, you’ll need to run setup.exe with the /adminfile switch. Your command should end up looking something like this:

Installing Office 2016 using the :adminfile switch and an MSP file
Installing Office 2016 using the /adminfile switch and an MSP file

Remove Office 2013 (if necessary) ^

Depending on which components of Office 2013 were previously installed on a client system, you may still need to run an uninstall to remove Office 2013 completely. To do this, you’ll need the setup.exe and install files for Office 2013.

Create a new text file called SilentUninstallConfig.xml in the \Office_2013\ProPlus.WW\ folder with the following text (if the file already exists, make the following edits to the file):

Running the following command will remove the remnants of Office 2013:

Additional customization options to consider ^

In addition to the settings I’ve already covered, you can also pre-configure a number of user settings when Office is installed on a computer. These settings are included in the Group Policy ADMX files, but they can be useful if you don’t want to manage Office with Group Policy or if you need a pre-configured build for non-managed systems.

There are quite a few settings in Features > Modify User Settings, but following are a few you might want to consider for your installation.

Modify User Settings section in the Office 2016 Office Customization Tool
Modify User Settings section in the Office 2016 Office Customization Tool

ApplicationSub-SectionSetting NameNotes
Microsoft Office 2016Privacy > Trust CenterDisable Opt-in Wizard on first runWhen set to Enabled, suppresses a dialog end users don’t need to see
Microsoft Office 2016Privacy > Trust CenterEnable Customer Experience Improvement ProgramEnables/disables Customer Experience Program; some organizations don’t want their PCs participating
Microsoft Office 2016Privacy > Trust CenterSend Office FeedbackAllows/prevents end users from sending feedback to Microsoft about Office; some organizations don’t want their PCs participating
Microsoft Office 2016Privacy > Trust CenterAllow including screenshot with Office FeedbackAllows/prevents PC from sending screenshots with Office Feedback
Microsoft Office 2016Services > FaxDisable Internet Fax featureDisables Internet Faxing in Office apps
Microsoft Office 2016MiscellaneousShow OneDrive Sign InShows/removes option to sign into OneDrive
Microsoft Office 2016MiscellaneousControl BloggingPrevents end users from using Office apps to post to blogging platforms
Microsoft Office 2016MiscellaneousBlock signing into OfficeBlocks/allows signing into Office (consumer) and Office 365 services; Org ID only only allows Office 365 access and blocks OneDrive consumer access
Microsoft Office 2016First RunDisable First Run movieWhen set to Enabled, suppresses a dialog end users don’t need to see
Microsoft Office 2016First RunDisable Office First Run on application bootWhen set to Enabled, suppresses a dialog end users don’t need to see

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24 Comments
  1. mikehak 2 years ago

    One point you don't need to do. You don't have to copy the customizing tool. This is included in the package.

    And in addition you can copy the language files in the same directory and manage them with a config.xml which also have to be added on the install string like this.

    \\fileserver\fileshare\Office\2016\X64\setup.exe /config \\fileserver\fileshare\Office\2016\X64\proplus.ww\config.xml /adminfile \\fileserver\fileshare\Office\2016\install\Admin_x64.MSP

    and the lines in the config files are

    Now the languages are installed directly in one step. And you can copy the files from Visio, Project also in the Same folder to safe disk space because Language files and office tools are the same.

    And 2013 installation will be removed automatically. Only discontinued programs (like infopath) will be left on the System.

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    • Author
      Kyle Beckman 2 years ago

      Yes, the Office Customization Tool is included, but it is not the latest version. As an example, oct.dll is version 16.0.4266.1001 in Office 2016 Pro Plus and the current download for OCT has 16.0.4297.1000. I also remember there being an issue when the ISO for Office 2013 SP1 was released... so I always go and download the latest version of the OCT before building an .MSP file for an Office install.

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  2. Jason R 2 years ago

    Based on my experience you don't need to run setup.exe with the /adminfile switch, all you have to do is put the MSP file in the "updates" folder and run vanilla setup.exe. I've done this and my install has abided by the settings defined in the MSP.

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    • Author
      Kyle Beckman 2 years ago

      That appears to work in Office 2016 also, but I would caution against doing it that way. Most larger environments I've seen use more than one .MSP file. In my case, we'll probably have at least three if not more. One for our Pilot that leaves Office 2013 installed, one that will be our final production MSP, and one for kiosks that only has a few applications like Word and Excel. Having the .MSP files in another directory also keeps someone from accidentally deploying Office on a system in your custom configuration if they were expecting to be able to customize it.

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  3. Neil 2 years ago

    Thanks for this - incredibly helpful. I've tried many ways to push this out, including Microsoft's Deployment software, and this method is the only one that worked for me!
    I'm still working on fully removing 2010 (we didn't go to 2013 here), including pinned icons on the task bar. I also need to add the Danish language pack, but can't seem to see a 2016 language pack download on our volume license subscription. Any pointers for this?
    Thanks again for taking the time to share.

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  4. Rui 2 years ago

    Hi,

    Neil. You can find the language packs on VL site when you ask to download any Office 2016 package.

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  5. Gary Caselman 2 years ago

    I was able to get my test install done but I don't think it grabbed the msp file because even though I checked accept license and display level none, I was prompted to accept the license, plus there was a screen for custom install and I don't want the user to have those choices. Where exactly do you define the \\fileserver\software\Office_2016\x86\setup.exe /adminfile \\fileserver\software\Office_2016\x86\Office_2016.MSP

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  6. Chapier 2 years ago

    as far as I understood from here first from the he Office 2016 Office Customization Tool it is possible to hide the Office Feedback (or Send a Smile).

    I have already installed Office 2016. How can I disable the Office Feedback or Send a Smile

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  7. Tim V 1 year ago

     change the Enabled (DWORD) Value from 1 to 0 at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Feedback to disable the feedback functionality.   

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  8. litty 1 year ago

    There's an almost endless number of customisations that you can put into your Office 2016 deployment in order to reach your desired deployment result. As a result depending on your unique set of requirements you will come up with a methodology which works for you, but I thought I would share my personal approach the problem.

    If you are part of a large, dispersed organisation with thousands of Office clients which run a number of different languages, understanding what your best approach is from the start is really important. We have very specific requirements that we need to keep in mind such as; Office 2010/2013 being fully removed, Office 2016 being deployed in the local language of the client + English "for our support team", and performing thousands of client installs using SCCM without visiting a single client.

    The first problem to overcome is the removal of Office 2010 / Office 2013. If Skype and Outlook are open the removal will normally fail in a fairly substantial number of the clients. So we created an SCCM application which runs the following command to force the closure of the key offenders 'fixing this particular deployment problem' : taskkill.exe /F /IM outlook.exe /IM Lync.exe /IM iexplore.exe.

    Microsoft don't support upgrades of Office for Enterprise clients "so Microsoft Premier support tell me". I find that the best way to completely remove older versions of Office is to use Offscrub : https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/odsupport/2011/04/08/how-to-obtain-and-use-offscrub-to-automate-the-uninstallation-of-office-products/

    The utility cleans the client of all traces of Office products (good and bad), including personalised settings etc. It's great because it will get the job done but the major caveat is that you lose all of those settings that the users love such as the personalised quick action toolbar, Outlook settings etc.

    You can run a command such as : OffScrub15.vbs ProPlus /ByPass 1 /Force /NoCancel /SkipSD /Q. You can of course use a command line to remove Office 2013 pro Plus in a traditional way but I find that it can be less consistant than using Offscrub depending if the client still has all of the cached install files on the hard disk. Offsrub overcomes that problem.

    Once the older Office products have been removed you can then move onto the deployment of Office 2016. Kyle's article does a pretty great job of summarising the steps involved. I agree with Kyle that you should download the latest OCT tool, it's the first thing which Microsoft Premier support will check if you log support calls. We personally only add service packs into the updates directory "and during the Office 2013 deployment the KB to upgrade Lync to Skype", opting to store the MSP file(s) and config.xml in the root of the install directory and then using a command line to define what is run.

    If you support multiple languages.  First download the required language support by grabbing the multilanguage support download from the volume licencing site and drop them into the main Office 2016 install source folder is a great way to simplify the deployment. Make sure you edit the config.xml to either match the OS language or stipulate which languages should be installed as part of the deployment.

    Finally, if you are deploying thousands of Office clients then bringing all of the above together in a seamless SCCM deployment which allows you to get from A to B will save buckets of time and will allow you to complete your deployment with ease.

    By using SCCM application dependencies you can daisy chain the deployment types so that your Office 2016 SCCM 'deployment type' has a dependency to first run the Office 2013 SCCM offscrub application which will remove Office 2013, that will have a 'deployment type' dependency to run the  SCCM application which will force the Office programs to close.

    So when you come to deploy Office 2016 it will do things in reverse order which is: 1) Force Office programs to close 2) Remove Office 2010/2013 3) Install Office 2016.

     

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  9. Keith 1 year ago

    We installed Office 2016 Pro plus (From ISO) using Symantec's Altiris product to distribute it.  We customized and (at the time) it was requested by Management to set Skype for Business as not available.

    As we all know, things change.  they now want it installed.  I know I can manually copy a new MSP file to the machine, run setup and select add/ remove products to add skype, but we have over 3000 systems to update.  Any suggestion how to automatically update the product to add skype ?

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  10. Litty 1 year ago

    Hi,

    We had a requirement to do something similar with the Office 2013 deployment. You can create a new MSP file enabling the Skype components / setting up the shortcuts, then create a new deployment using the command line : "msiexec.exe /p MSPFILENAME.MSP"

    Cheers, Litty

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  11. Alex 1 year ago

    Hm, using setup.exe /admin does not work, one klick installer runs immediately. Does this mean, it is the App-V Version?

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  12. Litty 1 year ago

    You've probably obtained the click-to-run source files. If you have access to VLC download the source files from there.

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  13. zak 1 year ago

    Hi I've used setup /admin to customize my office 2016.  I set the display to none, so that it installs silently.  I then copied the msp to the update folder.

    all of this is fine, except when I double click on setup.exe I still get the licence agreement paged.  It then installs silently thereafter.  I have checked in the customization tool, and I have definitely selected yes to the licence agreement.

    any idea's on that the problem might be.

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  14. Litty 1 year ago

    I've not tried it, but you could edit the 'Config.xml' file which you will find within the 'proplus.ww' directory. Edit the 'display level' line so that it is something like :

    <Display Level="basic" CompletionNotice="no" SuppressModal="yes" AcceptEula="Yes" />

    Replace the word basic with whatever the value is for a silent install 'probably the word silent'.

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  15. Timo 1 year ago

    It's "none", not "silent".

    AFAIK Office 2016 uses same config.xml syntax as office 2013 uses, and for 2013 there is a very good reference for that file in Technet site: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179195.aspx

    At least I haven't found (yet) anything that doesn't work on 2016 that works on 2013. Unfortunately I have no idea if there are any new features in 2016 that are not listed there.

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  16. Patrick 9 months ago

    Kyle,

    Initially reading I also was wondering like mikehak why you would download OCT.  Of course reading your reply, the point is clear.  Maybe add the reasoning behind it in your article?

    I've always referenced the .msp when calling it instead of dumping it in the updates folder.  Exact same reasoning you provided for situations where you would be using multiple .msp files.

    Litty,

    Very nice descriptive workflow! I've copied your post into my notes in case I ever need it.  Thanks!

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  17. Steve 8 months ago

    Kyle,

    Is there a way to slipstream updates/patches?  I'm trying to simplify deploying a fully patched Office 2016 via SCCM 2016 (and without WSUS) to about 4,000 clients.

    Thanks!

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    • shai 5 months ago

      great question.

      if you ever get an answer please  publish it

      thanks

       

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    • Ralph 1 month ago

      Did you ever figure this out? Been searching for a solution all day and finding nothing.

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  18. John Baker 6 months ago

    Great blog.

    I am new to packaging Office.  I have used the OCT and use KMS client key option.

    The KMS server has been setup.  Is there a need to point the KMS clients to the host name, or does this happen automatically?

    I see the property AUTO_ACTIVATE, but from what I read this does not work with OCT and instead use the OCT "Add installations and Run Programs" using the command C:\Windows\System32\cscript.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /ACT

     

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  19. Sil 3 months ago

    Thank you for this awesome step by step.

    My question now is how do i customize the deinstall process or what is the easiest way for lets say just using arguments the same way (or a MSP) to deinstall it the way I installed it?

     

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  20. Bob 2 weeks ago

    to slipstream updates do the same as you did with 2013 - use WSUS offline tool to download the update packages, extract them from the cab (both files), put them in the UPDATES folder.

    Be aware that it executes the files in alphabetical order so if your .MSP is in the updates folder ensure it starts with a _ or similar to execute first!

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