Configure a silent installation of Office 2013


Applies to: Office 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2016-12-16

Summary:  Provides information about how to configure a silent installation of the Windows Installer-based (MSI) version of Office 2013.

Audience: IT Professionals

You can configure a silent installation (unattended installation) of the MSI-based version of Office 2013 by using the Config.xml file or the Office Customization Tool (OCT). The Config.xml file is used to configure installation tasks and is used only when you run Setup. It is not installed or cached on users' computers. You can edit the Config.xml file to customize an installation.

A silent installation of an Office 2013 product requires no user interaction. You can modify the Config.xml file manually for the product that you are installing and specify options for Display element attributes so that the installation occurs silently and does not prompt users to enter information or wait for user input. The Display element specifies the level of user interface that Setup displays to users.

By default, the Config.xml file that is stored in the core product folder, core_product_folder_name.WW, directs Setup to install that product. For example, the Config.xml file in the ProPlus.WW folder installs Office Professional Plus 2013.

You can also use the OCT to set silent installation options.

In this article:

If you are using Key Management Service (KMS) activation to activate Office 2013 (MSI) for an enterprise deployment, a product key entry is not required because all Volume License editions of Office 2013 have a KMS client key pre-installed. KMS is one of the methods that are provided by Office Activation Technologies for activating products that are licensed under Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. When you install a Volume License edition of Office 2013, Office seeks a KMS host to activate against.

A Multiple Activation Key (MAK) key is another method that Office Activation Technologies provides for activating products that are licensed under Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. If you use MAK activation, you can add a MAK key by using the PIDKEY element in the Config.xml file. Note that the PIDKEY element is only used for volume license editions of Office 2013. It does not apply to Office 365 ProPlus which is licensed through subscription.

You can also use the AUTO_ACTIVATE property of the Setting element in Config.xml to specify that product activation occur automatically during Office 2013 deployment.

When the AUTO_ACTIVATE property is used for an installation, only one attempt is made to activate Office 2013. If that activation attempt fails (for example, because of proxy issues, user rights, or Internet connectivity issues), another attempt will not be made and users will later be prompted to activate Office 2013.

For more information about volume activation, see Plan volume activation of Office 2013 and KMS activation of Office 2013.

To configure a silent installation of an Office 2013 product that requires no user interaction, modify the Config.xml file for the product that you are installing, set the Display element's Level attribute to "none," and set CompletionNotice, SuppressModal, and AcceptEula attributes as shown in the following procedure. Then, save the Config.xml file. This example also shows how to set options to add a MAK product key, set automatic activation options, and prevent computer restarts.

You can complete tasks in all Office 2013 suites by using a mouse, keyboard shortcuts, or touch. For information about how to use keyboard shortcuts and touch with Office products and services, see Keyboard shortcuts and Office Touch Guide.
To specify silent installation options in Config.xml
  1. Open the Config.xml file for the Office product (such as Office Professional Plus 2013) that you are installing by using a text editor tool such as Notepad.

  2. Locate the line that contains the Display element, as shown in the following example:

    <!-- <Display Level="full" CompletionNotice="yes" SuppressModal="no" AcceptEula="no" /> -->

  3. Modify the Display element entry with the silent options that you want to use. Make sure that you remove the comment delimiters, "<!--" and "-->." For example, use the following syntax:

    <Display Level="none" CompletionNotice="no" SuppressModal="yes" AcceptEula="yes" />

    These options will direct Setup to run silently, prevent the prompting of users to enter information, and prevent the installation from waiting for user interactions. For more information about the syntax and Config.xml, see Display element in Config.xml file reference for Office 2013.

  4. To suppress restarts, add the following lines:

    <Setting Id="SETUP_REBOOT" Value="Never" />

    <Setting Id="REBOOT" Value="ReallySuppress"/>

  5. To add a MAK key, use the PIDKEY element to enter the 25 character volume license key. Add the following line to the Config.xml file:


    AAAAABBBBBCCCCCDDDDDEEEEE represents the product key. Use your organization's specific MAK product key for Office 2013.

  6. To set the automatic activation option, add the following line to the Config.xml file:

    <Setting Id="AUTO_ACTIVATE" Value="1" />

    Not setting AUTO_ACTIVATE is the same as setting AUTO_ACTIVATE to a value of 0. The result is that product activation does not occur during Office 2013 deployment.

  7. Save the Config.xml file.

If any Office applications are running when you do a silent install of Office 2013, a restart may be required at the end of setup. Instruct users to close any Office applications before you install Office 2013. Otherwise their open documents may lose unsaved changes during the upgrade.

After you modify the Config.xml file to specify silent installation options, you can install Office Professional Plus 2013 by using the following command:

\\server\share\Office15\setup.exe /config \\server\share\Office15\ProPlus.WW\config.xml


\\server\share\Office15 is the path of the Office Professional Plus 2013 source files.

/config is a Setup command-line option that specifies the location of the Config.xml file. See Setup command-line options reference for Office 2013.

\\server\share\Office15\ProPlus.WW\config.xml is the location of your customized Config.xml file for Office Professional Plus 2013.

If you use the Config.xml file to set silent installation options as in the previous example, you will also want to use the OCT to create a Setup customization file (.msp file) to configure additional installation customizations. For example, you can use the OCT to set feature installation states to change the default way in which Office features are installed. For a complete description of the areas that you can configure by using the OCT, see Office Customization Tool (OCT) reference for Office 2013. Note that the OCT is available with Volume Licensing editions of Office 2013 (and Office 2010 and Office 2007). To determine whether your Office 2013 installation is a Volume Licensing edition, check the Office 2013 installation disk to see whether it contains a folder named Admin. If the Admin folder exists, the product is Volume Licensing edition.
You can also set silent installation options by using the OCT instead of manually editing the Config.xml file. For more information, see the Licensing and user interface section in Office Customization Tool (OCT) reference for Office 2013. (The Level attribute of the Display element in the Config.xml file is equivalent to the Display Level option in the OCT). In enterprise deployments, we recommend that you set the Display Level to None if you use the OCT to make sure that Setup runs silently, to prevent prompting users to enter information, and to prevent the installation from waiting for any user interaction. This includes when files are being used. Setting the Display Level to None assumes that the Suppress modal and Completion notice options are silenced and that the I accept the terms in the License Agreement check box is selected. As noted previously, administrators must also make sure that no other Office applications are running during an installation of Office 2013.

The following example shows how to use the OCT to set silent installation options, enter a MAK product key, and specify the AUTO_ACTIVATE property value for automatic activation.

To configure silent installation and automatic activation options in the OCT
  1. Run the OCT by typing setup.exe /admin at the command line from the root of the network installation point that contains the Office 2013 source files. For example, use \\server\share\Office15\setup.exe /admin.

  2. To set silent installation options, choose Licensing and user interface in the navigation pane, in the details pane choose None in the Display level drop-down box, choose Suppress modal, clear the Completion notice check box, and then choose I accept the terms in the License Agreement.

  3. To enter a MAK key, choose Licensing and user interface in the navigation pane, and in the details pane select Enter another product key, add your organization's MAK product key for Office 2013 in the Product key text box.

  4. To set automatic activation options, choose Modify Setup properties on the navigation pane, and then choose Add in the details pane.

  5. In the Add/Modify Property Value dialog box, in the Name box, type AUTO_ACTIVATE. Note that property names must be uppercase.

  6. In the Value box, type 1, and then choose OK.

  7. When you complete your customizations in the OCT, click Save as on the File menu to save the Setup customization .msp file. You can save the customization .msp file in the Updates folder on the network installation point. Note that you can place only one Setup customization .msp file per product in the Updates folder for initial installations. For more information about using the Updates folder, see "Updates folder" in Office Customization Tool (OCT) reference for Office 2013.

    A network installation point is a secure shared location on the network to which you copy all source files, and any language packs that you want to deploy, from the Office 2013 installation media. For more information about the network installation point, see Create a network installation point in Customize Setup before installing Office 2013.

    To install Office 2013, users can run Setup from the network installation point, or you can use the network installation point as a starting place to distribute Office 2013 by using a software deployment tool, such as Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, or to create a hard-disk image or a custom DVD.