Office 2016: Selective Installation

A while back I posted about the Office 2016 release and why I wasn’t going to run it. One of the biggest complaints I had was the fact that there were no setup options. It installs everything whether you use it or not. Fortunately that has now changed, sort of. This post is discussing the steps you can take to install only the apps you want to install. It still is not perfect, it still makes no sense whatsoever and it still doesn’t make me want to recommend Office 2016. But at least I can now run it without all the wasted space.

Office Deployment Tool for 2016

The ODT is an IS administrator tool for automated installations of Office on client machines. Every version of Office has one and this is the key for controlling the installation. Go ahead and download it and extract it locally. The program creates a setup program and the configuration file (configuration.xml). It is the XML file that is used to configure the setup.

Let’s take a look at the XML file. The formal documentation is available here.

<!-- Office 365 client configuration file sample. To be used for Office 365 ProPlus 2016 apps, 
     Office 365 Business 2016 apps, Project Pro for Office 365 and Visio Pro for Office 365. 

     For detailed information regarding configuration options visit: http://aka.ms/ODT. 
     To use the configuration file be sure to remove the comments

     For Office 365 client apps (verion 2013) you will need to use the 2013 version of the 
     Office Deployment Tool which can be downloaded from http://aka.ms/ODT2013

     The following sample allows you to download and install Office 365 ProPlus 2016 apps 
     and Visio Pro for Office 365 directly from the Office CDN using the Current Channel
     settings  -->


  <Add OfficeClientEdition="32" Channel="Current">
    <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
      <Language ID="en-us" />
    <Product ID="VisioProRetail">
      <Language ID="en-us" />

  <!--  <Updates Enabled="TRUE" Channel="Current" /> -->

  <!--  <Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />  -->

  <!--  <Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="1" />  -->


For reasons I cannot fathom, this is not your ordinary XML file. Comments and blank lines cause a generic error to occur when the file is used so you’ll need to clean everything up. Remove all the comments and any blank lines. The Add element has a couple of attributes.

OfficeClientEdition (values: 32, 64)
This is the bit-ness of Office. Most people will choose 32.
Channel (values: Current, Deferred)
This is where the image will come from. The documentation states this is where the updates will come from. I removed this from my configuration so it would work properly.
The path where the image is stored. This is not in the default file. It should be either a local or network drive. Initially files will be downloaded here. Later the files will be installed from here.
The path to download the Office files from. This is an optional value. By default it will pull from Microsoft’s CDN.

Picking the Products

A single Office installation can install multiple versions of Office in multiple languages. Each Product element indicates the product to install. The current list of available products is defined here. For Office365 you would use O365ProPlusRetail. For a standard Office 2016 installation you can use ProPlusRetail. This ID isn’t listed but worked for me.

Each product can have one or more Language elements to indicate the language(s) to install. The current list of available languages is defined here. You can install multiple languages if you like. You can also specify MatchOS to match the OS language.

Picking the Applications

The last set of elements for the product is the applications to exclude, not include. The ExcludeApp element has an ID attribute that specifies the application to not include. The documentation has the full list but here’s the highlights.

  • Access
  • Excel
  • Groove
  • Lync
  • OneDrive (Pro)
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Publisher
  • Word

For any application you do not want installed add an element for it.

Additional Options

There are some additional options available. All these options are in their own elements outside of the Add element and apply to the entire installation.


Controls what the user sees during installation.

AcceptEULA (values: TRUE, FALSE)
Determines if the EULA is automatically accepted or not. Default is FALSE.
Level (values: None, Full)
Determines whether the user sees the installation screens or not. Default is Full.


One or more elements that specify additional properties to be set. Some of the supported properties are listed below.

AUTOACTIVATE (values: 0, 1)
Determines if Office is automatically activated. Default is 0.
Determines if any apps that are preventing installation should be forcefully shut down. Default is FALSE.
PinIconsToTaskBar (values: FALSE, TRUE)
Determines if shortcut icons for Office should be added to the taskbar.


Controls post-installation updates.

Enabled (values: TRUE, FALSE)
Determines if updates are installed post installation. Default is TRUE.
Determines the path to where updates are available. Generally this will be left off so it retrieves updates from the CDN.

Final Sample Configuration

Here’s the final configuration that I used.

  • Office 2016 Pro Plus, 32 bit, English
  • Download and installation path is C:\Temp\Office\Installer
  • Applications to be installed
    • Access
    • Excel
    • OneNote
    • PowerPoint
    • Publisher
    • Word

Downloading the Image

Now that everything is configured you can download the Office image, if it is not already downloaded. To do so go to a command prompt. Unless you’re downloading the image now and plan to install it later you should go ahead and do so from an elevated prompt so the installation will succeed later. Run the setup program with the /download option and specify the configuration file as a parameter. If you leave off the configuration file then it will download everything.

.\setup.exe /download configuration.xml

The download will take a while but when completed the image should be in the source path you specified in the configuration file.

Installing Office

It’s all led up to this moment. You can now install Office. If you did not already, ensure you are running the prompt as an elevated user. To install Office with your customized configuration you need to run the setup program again but this time with the /configure option and ensure you specify the configuration file again.

.\setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

Office should then begin installation.