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Getting started guide for deploying Office 365 ProPlus

Applies to: Office 365 ProPlus

Topic Last Modified: 2016-12-16

Summary: Provides a guide to the articles, downloads, resources, and videos that help IT Pros deploy Office 365 ProPlus.

Audience: IT Professionals

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The following table describes resources that are available to IT Professionals who are deploying Office 365 ProPlus.

Deploying Office 365 ProPlus roadmap for IT Pros

Getting started

Start here

So you’ve made the decision to deploy Office 365 ProPlus, or you’re thinking about it. Either way, you’ll be glad to know that Office 365 ProPlus is just like Office 2013 in many ways. Office 365 ProPlus is a full version of Office that installs on the user’s local computer. The system requirements are the same. We still recommend the 32-bit version for most users. The Office applications have the same new features as Office 2013. Even many of the management tasks are the same, like managing Office by using Group Policy, assessing Office compatibility, planning for authentication, and planning for security.

The big differences are how you deploy, license, and activate Office 365 ProPlus. Think back to your prior deployments of Office. You likely deployed a volume-licensed version of Office that you activated by using Key Management Service (KMS) or Multiple Activation Key (MAK). And you deployed the Windows Installer-based (MSI) version of Office by using network installation points, Group Policy computer startup scripts, or System Center Configuration Manager, to name several.

For Office 365 ProPlus, you’ll be using a new installation technology, known as Click-to-Run. It provides a faster installation, so users can be up and running Office in a matter of minutes. You’ll also use new deployment, licensing, and activation methods. But don’t worry—many of your old deployment methods still work as well. If you have ten minutes to spare, you can find out more about Click-to-Run in a video that is part of our Garage series. Watch the video "Who moved my MSI?".

What’s new with licensing? The big difference is that it’s no longer computer-based. Instead, Office 365 ProPlus is offered as a monthly subscription on a per-user basis. Users can install Office 365 ProPlus on up to five computers by using a single Office 365 license.

Activation is different, too. It happens automatically the first time that a user runs Office 365 ProPlus. Activation requires Internet connectivity, but after that, the user only has to connect to the Internet at least once every 30 days to check the status of the subscription. If the computer goes offline for more than 30 days, Office enters reduced functionality mode until the next time a connection can be made.

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Plan an Office 365 ProPlus deployment

When you plan your Office 365 ProPlus deployment, you’ll have to decide how you want to deploy Office 365 ProPlus. You can do this in one of these two ways:

  • Have users install Office directly from the Office 365 portal.

  • Download the Office software to your local network and then deploy Office to your users in the ways you’re familiar with.

Before you deploy Office 365 ProPlus, here a few more things to consider:

You’ll probably find that Click-to-Run works fine for most users. For a few particular deployment scenarios, such as computers that aren’t connected to the Internet, the MSI version of Office is available from the Volume Licensing Service Center.

123 steps

Deploy Office 365 ProPlus

If you choose the Office 365 portal installation and you have provisioned your user accounts, you’re practically done. All users have to do is go to the Office 365 portal and install Office, which is streamed down from the Internet and installed on to the user's local computer. Just make sure that your users are local administrators on their computers.

You also have the option of preventing users from installing Office client products from the Office 365 portal.

To deploy Office 365 ProPlus from an on-premises location, such as a local network share, you use the Office Deployment Tool to download the Office software from Office 365. The Office Deployment Tool uses a Configuration.xml file. This file contains the instructions for what Office software to download from Office 365.

After the Office software is downloaded to your network, you can use any number of methods to deploy Office 365 ProPlus to your users. For example, if you are already using Group Policy computer startup scripts to deploy Office, you can use them to deploy Office 365 ProPlus. In other words, your favorite Office deployment tools still work when you have downloaded Office 365 ProPlus on-premises.

Whichever on-premises deployment method you choose, you'll again use the Office Deployment Tool and a Configuration.xml file. This time, the Configuration.xml file is used to specify information that’s needed to install Office 365 ProPlus on the user's computer.

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Troubleshoot Office 365 ProPlus

Troubleshooting tips for Office 365 ProPlus

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Reference information

Configuring the deployment tools:

Network details:



There are two different versions of the Office Deployment Tool available – one for Office 2013 and a different one for Office 2016. Each Office Deployment Tool works only with that specific version of Office. You can download them from the Microsoft Download Center by using the following links:

Download the files to customize Office by using Group Policy settings:

Download the language and proofing tools:

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Watch the Micorosoft Mechanics series videos.

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Resources for end users

Here are some helpful resources that you can send your users to when they start using Office 365 and Office 365 ProPlus:

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Ask questions and provide feedback

If you have questions about how to deploy Office 365 ProPlus, you can submit your questions in the Office 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus - Planning, Deployment, and Compatibility forum on TechNet.

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Learn more by taking the free Office 365 ProPlus Deployment for IT Pros on-demand training course on Microsoft Virtual Academy.