Deploy Office 365

8/16/2018 18561 Contributors


This article provides guidance on deploying Office 365 2016 throughout your organization on machines that do not have any version of Office 365 installed. The installation of Office 365 is also covered in our blog post (includes video) located here: Silently Install Office 365.

EDIT 20161024:
There has been a change to the way the XML files are handled by the Office 365 installer. Due to this change, using the 
SourcePath="\\Server\Share" element in the XML file of Part II: Configuration could result in an "error code -2147418113" when Office 365 is deployed. Please note, the SourcePath element should be used in the download XML file (Part I, Step 5) if you are downloading the source to a remote share. Thanks to Ben S for bringing this to our attention.

Additionally, this article previously included instructions for configuring Office 365 2013. That has been removed. If you would like to install the 2013 version, the process is very much the same and the Office 2013 deployment tool can be downloaded here:

Important Notes/prerequisites:

  • You must be using PDQ Deploy in Pro Mode or higher to deploy in accordance with the provided instructions.
  • If Office 365 is already installed, the package may fail if the version is different than the version you are deploying (e.g. you cannot mix 32-bit Office installations and 64-bit Office installations). We recommend only installing Office 365 on machines that do not have Office 365 installed.
  • If other, older or newer, Office products are installed that are not Office 365 2016 (e.g. Office Pro Plus or Standard 2010, Office 2013), Office 365 should install normally; other version(s) should not be uninstalled or otherwise molested by the installation. While this is true,
  • Deploying Microsoft Office 365 2016 over Microsoft Office 2016 (non-365) will likely result in a false-positive successful deployment. This is due to the fact that both products are essentially the same, and the installation will not differentiate between Office 365 and regular versions of the same product. It is recommended you uninstall the corresponding non-365 Office product prior to deploying the Office 365 counterpart. For more information on uninstalling Office, please see, Silently Uninstall Office 2010.
  • Editorial: Installing the 64-bit version of Office of any flavor should be carefully considered. Unless your environment specifically requires 64-bit Office (e.g. you're an engineering firm designing the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D in Excel), install the 32-bit version.


Installing Office 365 has three basic parts (and considerations):

  1. Download the Office 365 source
  2. Configure the Office 365 XML for deployment
  3. Create the Office 365 Package in PDQ Deploy
  4. Considerations
  5. Troubleshooting

Part I: Downloading the Office 365 Source

1. Download the Office 365 Deployment Tool:

Office 2016: the Office 2016 Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run can be downloaded from Microsoft’s site:

2. Create the necessary shared folders to serve the Office 365 deployment: \\server\share\ (this can also be a local directory on the PDQ Deploy console machine, but must be shared -see Considerations at the end of the article for important information regarding Push and Pull deployments and deployments in larger organizations)

3. Install the Office 2016 Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run you downloaded in Step 1, choose the extraction location to the previously created \\server\share\

4. Copy the included configuration.xml to 2016download.xml or another name of your choosing, in the same directory.

5. Edit 2016download.xml from Step 4 to the following (optional: change OfficeClientEdition to 64 if you're deploying the 64-bit rather than 32-bit version of Office 365):

And for your copying pleasure:

<Add SourcePath="\\path\to\Office\Files" OfficeClientEdition="32" Branch="Current">
<Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
<Language ID="en-us" />

6. Open a command prompt and run the command below to download the source files for Office 365 2016 (use quotes if your paths contain spaces or because quotes are clean and tidy). A directory called "Office" will automatically be created in the \\server\share\ location when the command is run, which holds all the install files for Office 365.:

"\\server\share\setup.exe" /download "\\server\share\2016download.xml"

8. Wait for the download to complete, which can take some time. Once the command above has completed and you return to a prompt, you should now have the downloaded Office 365 files in \\server\share\Office.

Part II: Configure the Office 365 XML for deployment

9. Make another copy of the configuration.xml and name it something meaningful, like 2016config.xml.

9. Edit 2016config.xml as seen below. Optionally, change OfficeClientEdition to 64 if you're deployment is going to be 64-bit rather than 32-bit:

And copy-friendly code:

<Add OfficeClientEdition="32" Branch="Current">
<Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
<Language ID="en-us" />
<Updates Enabled="TRUE" Branch="Current" />
<Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
<Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="0" />


Part III: Create the Office 365 Package in PDQ Deploy

10. Open PDQ Deploy and create a new package, naming it something meaningful.

11. Create a Command step (delete the install step), modify to match your choices from above (don’t forget the quotes, even if your path is free of spaces, and make sure to use " quotes and not “ quotes):

"\\server\share\setup.exe" /configure "\\server\share\2016config.xml"

If the Success Codes are not automatically added, you may add them: 0,1641,3010.

12. Set the Conditions of the package deployment. For instance, it’s unlikely you will want to install Office 365 on server machines. Office 365 cannot be installed on XP or Vista, so excluding those is likely a good idea if you have them in your environment.

13. Set the architecture as appropriate. For instance, since you cannot install Office 365 2013/2016 64-bit versions on a 32-bit OS, you should change the Architecture for 64-bit Office installs to 64-bit.

14. Set the package Run As as "Deploy User (Interactive)."

15. Save the package.

16. Test the package (Right-click and Deploy Once).

Part IV: Considerations

As the installation files can be large, usually greater than 1GB, deployments may be facilitated by utilizing the Pull method to deploy the Office 365 package. For multi-site installations, DFS and the Pull method can be employed together to deploy the package, greatly improving network performance. For more information, please visit the following links:

Push vs Pull Deployments

PDQ Deploy: Understanding Push and Pull Deployments

DFS and PDQ Deploy

PDQ Deploy and Microsoft DFS

When utilizing DFS, ensure you are using the \\namespace.tld\share format when creating your shared directories rather than \\server\share on a DFS replicated share.

As with any custom deployment, it is strongly encouraged the deployment, and each/all steps therein, be thoroughly tested in a lab environment prior to releasing into production. While we do as much testing on as many machines with as many variables as possible, such testing is insufficient to cover all possible variables.

Part V: Troubleshooting

1. Check your directory structure.
Dan S had some interesting behavior deploying Office 365. After some troubleshooting the issue was directory structure. Having the Office source directory located in a different location than at the root containing the setup.exe and xml files will result in unexpected behavior.

Here is what the directory structure should look like.

Here is what the directory should not look like.

2. Failed installations (usually timeout errors or HResult errors not specified above)
There have been reports that on ocassion the Office source that is downloaded is corrupt. Typically, this results in every deployment failing, and often with errors that are not helpful. Delete the original source and download a new copy.

See Also:

Silently Installing Office 365
Silently Install Office 365 (blog post)
Install Office 365 2016 Skype for Business/Lync (and probably other Office 365 applications)
Push vs Pull Deployments
PDQ Deploy: Understanding Push and Pull Deployments
DFS and PDQ Deploy
PDQ Deploy and Microsoft DFS