Office 2013: what type of install?

How can you tell which type of Office 2013 installation you have?

Office 2013 comes with two quite different installation methods. Ideally there should be no difference between the two but the latest patch bug only affects some users with one type of installation called ‘Click to Run’.

Since there’s some differences between the two installations, you should be able to quickly see which installation type there is on a particular computer. After all, the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Office is important so that’s visible on the About screen.

The only quick way we can find is not obvious, quite indirect and only available since Office 2013 Service Pack 1.

In any Office 2013 program (Word, Excel etc.) go to File | Account and look at the Product Information column. image from Office 2013: what type of install? at

If you see an ‘Office Update’ option, then it’s a ‘Click to Run’ install. All Office 365 Personal and Home Premium customers have to use ‘Click to Run’ but some other higher priced subscriptions allow the MSI installation option.

If there’s NO ‘Office Update’ option, then it’s a traditional installation that Microsoft now calls ‘MSI Install’. image from Office 2013: what type of install? at

Amazingly there’s nothing on the About screen that indicates the type of installation. image from Office 2013: what type of install? at

Note also that Microsoft has returned to their bad, old habit of not putting the Service Pack detail on the About screen. The above is Office 2013 ‘Service Pack 1’ though you’d be forgiven for not realizing that.

Why Microsoft decided to obscure the type of Office installation is anyone’s guess. It’s the kind of thing that makes Office support (by companies and Microsoft itself) harder than it needs to be.

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