Office 2016 for Windows versions, quick guide


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There are at least SEVEN different versions of Office 2016 for Windows that are available at any time.  Here’s a quick guide to each and how to tell what you have.

Microsoft has three different ways to install Office 2016 for Windows plus various preview and feature bundles.  If you’re confused, join the club <sigh>.

Check from the File | Account pane in Word, Excel or PowerPoint or File | Office Account in Outlook.   Look for the terms ‘Subscription Product’, Click to Run’ or ‘Windows Store’ to indicate the type of installation.

Office 365 plans

The most common is an Office 365 subscription installed using ‘Click to Run’, which looks like this.

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One-time / Perpetual

A one-time perpetual licence is similar but shows the type of bundle purchased.

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(Thanks to Ron S. and Phil Y. for sharing their Account panes)

Office from the Windows Store

Office 2016 from the Windows Store is marked on the Account Pane.

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Other useful details on the Account pane:

Subscription or not?

Office 365 plan is shown, though not if it’s Home or Personal etc.  or the Office one-time bundle that was purchased eg ‘Professional Plus 2016’.

Version and Build

These exact numbers matter if you’re asking for tech support.  These days it’s not enough to say you have ‘Office 2016’, the operating system and version number matter too.  If you’re using an ‘Insider’ or preview of Office then the build number matters too.

Channel / Insiders

The latest public release is called ‘Current Channel’ but that’s changing to ‘Monthly’.

Enterprise customers have different labelling with the latest public release called ‘Deferred’ but that’s changing to ‘Semi-Annual Channel’.

If a preview or beta version of Office is installed, it will appear as ‘Office Insider’ or some other channel name.

That means there’s FOUR different ‘current’ releases of Office with old and new (Sept 2017) names:

  • Current / Monthly
  • Deferred / Semi-Annual
  • Insider Slow / Monthly Targeted
  • Insider Fast / Insider

Note: Microsoft has been tinkering with the wording of this pane.  Don’t be surprised if your Account pane looks different from the above, the same details should be there, just in a different place.

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