SMBKitchen Archives: Managing Click to Run Office

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It’s been more than a year since this article was published to the SMBKItchen, so we’re now sharing it with the general public.


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Managing Office 2013 Click to Run

Click to Run is Microsoft’s newer way to deploy Office licensing. First starting with the Office 2010 retail skus, it is now included as an option with Office 365 Office deployments. With Office 365 volume licensing in fact, you have the choice of deployment via Click to run or deployment via the traditional MSI code. The major difference between Click to Run deployments and traditional Office deployments is in how the updates are deployed. In Click to run an App-V streaming method is used so that you get the entire Office image deployed to you as a whole. The next time there is an update, you’ll get the entire upgrade of the deployment. Traditional Office, you get your updates via Microsoft Update.

Click-to-Run is available for the following products from Office 365:

· Office 365 ProPlus

· Visio Pro for Office 365

· Project Pro for Office 365

· SharePoint Designer 2013

· Lync 2013

· Lync 2013 Basic

The products that are available to you depend on your Office 365 subscription.

Click-to-Run is also available for the following retail products:

· Office Professional 2013

· Office Home and Business 2013

· Office Home and Student 2013

Traditional Office updating

First a bit of background on traditional Office deployments. Office updating is controlled by Microsoft update, not Windows update. Windows update only offers up Windows updates only, that is, only updates for the operating system itself. On standalone unmanaged systems you must flip the machine over to Microsoft update in order to receive Office updates. Typically at the end of an install of Office the machine will ask you if you wish to stay up to take with Office updates. Saying yes at this step will do several things. Firstly it will opt you into Microsoft updates, secondly it will enable automatic updating.

If you have ever been convinced that your windows update settings spontaneously changed from what you set it to be, chances are you said yes at this user prompt and didn’t realize the impact of saying yes. Patches for traditional office can also be managed by third party patching engines such as WSUS

Click to Run

Beginning in 2010, Microsoft started deploying certain retail versions of office using their “features on demand” or “app-v” deployment. When you first start installing a click to run Office version, it will start to install the entire image to the machine. You will see indications of what it is doing in the background. You have to make sure you do not turn your computer off during this time otherwise you may need to remove the Office install and reinstall it. Click to run does not get updates via Microsoft update and thusly every patch Tuesday you will not see Office updates being offered up. Rather an entire new install will be streamed down to the workstations typically a day or two after the second Tuesday of the month.

Rolling back

But invariably the question comes up, what if there is an incompatibility with the streamed version of Office and some line of business add in? How can you roll back to a prior working version of Click to Run? It’s not as difficult as it might seem and also points out that in a domain or network setting, Click to Run can be centrally managed as well. In the case of the unmanaged workstation, you can roll back to a prior working version by doing a repair install.

The process to How to revert to an earlier version of Click-To-Run Office 2013 is as follows:

1. Disable Office 2013 updates. In Outlook Click File, Office Account, Office Updates and click Disable Updates.

2. In your Outlook calendar add an appointment reminder for a date in the future to remind you to re-enable updates.

3. Open an elevated cmd.exe (right click on “Command Prompt” and choose Run as administrator)

4. Change Directory to the path of integratedOffice.exe

In the command prompt type the following syntax depending in you are running 32 or 64 bit Office:

cd %programfiles%\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64\ For the 64 bit version of Office


cd %programfiles%\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX86\ for the 32 bit version of Office

5. Run the following command to revert to September 2013 version of Office 64 bit:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64>integratedoffice.exe REPAIRUI RERUNMODE version 15.0.4535.1004

Or for the 32 bit version of Office

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX86>integratedoffice.exe REPAIRUI RERUNMODE version 15.0.4535.1004

*Note*: Available versions are listed here:

You will need to determine the last working build of Office and roll back to that version.

6. This brings up the Online Repair dialog. Choose *Online Repair*

Once complete you can check your version to verify it updated properly.

Network customizations

In a domain or network setting you can control this process even more.
Click-to-Run for Office 365 products are based on core virtualization and streaming Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) technologies. Click-to-Run resources run in an isolated virtual environment on the local operating system.

To customize Click-to-Run for Office 365 installation settings for an on-premises deployment of Office 365 ProPlus, administrators who have signed up for Office 365 can use the Office Deployment Tool. You download the Office Deployment Tool from the Microsoft Download Center site. The download includes a sample Configuration.xml file. To customize a Click-to-Run for Office 365 installation, you run the Office Deployment Tool and provide a custom Configuration.xml configuration file. The Office Deployment Tool performs the tasks that are specified by using the optional properties in the configuration file.

You can specify the following Click-to-Run installation options in the Configuration.xml file:

Product and languages to install or remove

· Source path

· Level of user interface to display

· Logging options

· Product updates behavior

Download the Office customization tool from the Microsoft download center.


Click to extract the contents.

Accept the EULA


You will note you have a setup.exe and a configuration file.


The setup file has several switches


To begin the customization process open up the configuration file in notepad and edit the variables as follows:

<!– <Add SourcePath=”\\Server\Share\Office\” OfficeClientEdition=”32″ >
<Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
<Language ID=”en-us” />
<Product ID=”VisioProRetail”>
<Language ID=”en-us” />
</Add> –>

<!– <Updates Enabled=”TRUE” UpdatePath=”\\Server\Share\Office\” /> –>
<!– <Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”TRUE” /> –>
<!– <Logging Name=”OfficeSetup.txt” Path=”%temp%” /> –>
<!– <Property Name=”AUTOACTIVATE” Value=”1″ /> –>

In the first line you indicate where the click to run installer files will be located.

<!– <Add SourcePath=”\\Server\Share\Office\” OfficeClientEdition=”32″ >

Make sure that the user has read rights to that share location in order to install Office. Indicate the edition of Office, either 32bit or 64 bit.

<Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>

Edit the name of the product you are deploying in the network.

<Language ID=”en-us” />
Enter in the language you wish to deploy.

<Product ID=”VisioProRetail”>
<Language ID=”en-us” />
Enter in any additional products you wish to install.

If you download Office Pro Plus from Office 365 (e.g. E3 plan) and use the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run ( ) and use the scripts i.e. ‘setup.exe /download’ and ‘setup.exe /configure’ as per Technet articles for the tool ( , and )>, from an on-premises location, i.e. network share, the Office 2013 apps are NOT set to automatically update.

Open any Office app, click on File – Account, look under “Product Information” and click on the “Update Options” button to enable them.

Either use group policy or set the updates element to automatically update or point to a network location:

* GPO ( ) and

* Utilize the “Updates element” within the Click-to-Run configuration.xml file ( ) and set up a local network share for an “Update Path” ( )

Switching back to MSI deployment

Be aware you can flip Click to run back to a traditional deployment by downloading the msi file. In Office 365 you can find this msi download easily. Even if you are a retail customer you can log into the account portal and download the Office 2013 msi from there.

How to switch back to MSI (old fashioned MU updates) deployment

Managing retail Office 2013

Currently I can find no way around the need for a Microsoft account for a retail or keycard deployment. There are two means of managing these accounts.

One master account.

Using this method one master Microsoft account is set up for the entire firm. A manual spreadsheet must be maintained of which user has which product key assigned to them.

Each user gets a Microsoft account.

The second way is each user in the firm gets a Microsoft Live ID that matches their business email account. Each product key is then set up in each separate Live ID. You can rename and re-alias this account as the person leaves the firm. Log in with the Microsoft account credentials to manage the information there.


Not a Third Tier customer yet? Let me introduce:  We’re Third Tier. We provide advanced Third Tier support for IT Professionals and MicroStaffing for IT consulting firms. Come on over, create an account (no charge) and follow our social media locations.

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