Deploying Microsoft Office 2013 with SCCM 2012 R2

We recently decided to roll out Microsoft Office 2013 Standard x86 across the enterprise.  As part of this deployment, there were some unauthorized copies of Office 2013 Professional Plus x86/x64 that needed to be uninstalled and replaced with the Standard x86 version.  The solution to this second requirement will be addressed in a separate post.

Microsoft Office Customization Tool 2013

In order to deploy Microsoft Office 2013 Pro/ Standard, you must run the the Office Customization Tool (OCT) in order to create an MSP file which is saved to the “.\Updates” folder in your installation source files.  Please note these generated MSP files are architecture dependent and are not interchangeable.  You will need to run the OCT tool for the specified target architecture type for either x86 or x64.

To run the OCT, open a command line and browse to your installation source directory and type:

setup.exe /admin

  1. The following window will appear, go ahead and enter your organization’s name in the following screen:
  2. Under the “Licensing and user interface” go ahead and choose to use the KMS option if that is your environment, otherwise, go ahead and enter a MAK in the space provided:
  3. In the “Modify Setup properties” add the setup property AUTO_ACTIVATE with a value of 1. This will automatically activate against your KMS or Microsoft if using a MAK during the installation of Office 2013:
  4. Last but not least, under “Modify user settings”, make sure to turn off the “Opt-in wizard” (the prompt to join Microsoft Update on first start) and the “First run” introduction screens. The first is located under Microsoft Office 2013, Privacy, Trust Center and the latter is located under Microsoft Office 2013, First Run:
  5. Optionally, you can configure what Office applications are installed in the “Set feature installation states” section:
  6. Once finished, you can then click on File, Save and save the resulting MSP file with any name you choose under the “Updates” folder.  Setup automatically searches this folder for an existing MSP file, if it cannot find one, it will then proceed with a full installation:OCT7

XML Configuration Files

Next up, you will need to create two XML files, one to suppress the reboot and the other is optional but strongly advised to configure a silent uninstallation.

The first XML file will be named “Config.xml” and goes into the root folder of your installation source files where setup.exe resides. The contents of config.xml is below:

<Configuration Product="Standard">
<Display Level="none" CompletionNotice="no" SuppressModal="yes" AcceptEula="yes" />
<Setting Id="SETUP_REBOOT" Value="Never" />
<Setting Id="REBOOT" Value="ReallySuppress"/>
<Setting Id="AUTO_ACTIVATE" Value="1" />

If using the Professional Plus MSDN media the “Configuration Product” is “ProPlus” and if using the Retail media it will be “ProPlusr”.

The second XML file will be named “SilentUninstallConfig.xml” and goes into your “[Product Code].ww” folder in the root of your installation source files. The contents of SilentUninstallConfig.xml is below:

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

Again, it goes without saying to update the “Configuration Product” value accordingly.

Create Application Wizard & Program

Now that we have all the required files and configured for our specific business needs, we can proceed to create the application in SCCM.

  1. Right click and create an Application. Then select [Product Code].ww.MSI in your [Product Code].ww folder in your installation source directory then click on Next:
  2. Verify the imported MSI information and then click on Next:
  3. The application will be created and you will be given an opportunity to change some general information about the application.  Go ahead and change the “Installation program” command line to “setup.exe” (we only used the MSI option to import some information and save us some time). My application is 32-bit so I checked off the “Run installation program as 32-bit process on 64-bit clients.” and also, since I plan to use my application in a task sequence sometime down the road, I changed the “Install behavior” to “Install for system if resource is device; otherwise install for user.” Then click on Next:
  4. You will be given confirmation that the create application wizard completed successfully. Click on Close:
  5. Now you can look for your application in the application list and right click and select Properties.
  6. I also want to use this application in a task sequence so check off the “Allow this application to be installed…” checkbox and optionally fill out the “Publisher” and “Software version” fields. For the version number, I opened regedit.exe on a test machine with Office 2013 Standard x86 installed and browsed out to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{90150000-0012-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}” (See References for a list of Product Codes) and copied the value of “DisplayVersion”.  You will need this information later.  My test OS is Windows 7 x64 so I had to look under the “Wow6432Node”, if you have an x86 test OS, you won’t have this node, instead from SOFTWARE, continue onto Microsoft, etc…:
  7. In the Deployment Types tab, select a deployment and click on Edit:
  8. Change the “Content location” to the root of your installation source directory:
  9. In the “Programs” tab, verify that the program states “setup.exe” and modify the “Uninstall program” with a “/qn /norestart” switches.  The checkbox is optional but mine is checked because it is a 32-bit application.  In the product code, browse and select the MSI you used to add the application’s product code to this box or type it in manually:
  10. Under “Detection Method” click on the existing method and then click on “Edit Clause…”:
  11. Verify that the “Product code” matches the MSI product code.  Then optionally modify the radio button to specifically check for any version “Greater than or equal to”  the value you copied from step 6 which is currently “15.0.4420.1017”:
  12. In “User Experience”, verify the options are set according to the below screenshot:
  13. You can optionally add any requirements.  This is useful if you are creating one application with a two deployment types, either 64-bit or 32-bit.  You can specify to install to a particular architecture type depending on your target architecture.  Then click on OK:
  14. Click on OK to close the Properties window:

Distribution Points

Now that we have finished creating the application, we must now distribute it to individual distribution points or distribution point groups.  In a production scenario, I would distribute to the “All Content” group but for testing purposes, we can distribute the application to our local distribution point.

  1. With your application selected, click on the “Distribute Content” ribbon bar button:
  2. In the “Distribute Content Wizard” window, click on Next:
  3. Add an individual distribution point(s) or group to distribute to then click on Next:
  4. Confirm the settings by clicking on Next:
  5. Once finished, click on Close:

Deployment to Collection(s)

Once our content has been distributed to the selected distribution point(s) or groups, we can now deploy our application to a collection.  It is strongly advised to setup a test collection with a direct user rule prior to deploying this application in a production environment.

  1. Again, in the ribbon bar, click on Deploy:
  2. Choose a collection to deploy to in the “Deploy Software Wizard” window and then click on Next:
  3. You can optionally add more distribution points to deploy this application to, I usually leave this blank and click on Next:
  4. Verify that the “Action” states “Install” and choose either “Available” (installed via the Application Catalog and is user initiated) or “Required” (mandatory automatic installation).  If you choose “Required” you will need to choose an assignment on the next screen.  Our organization’s requirement allows us to choose “Available” for this deployment:
  5. If you need to schedule this deployment, choose a start time in UTC and then click on Next:
  6. Leave all settings at default and click on Next:
  7. Leave all settings at default and click on Next:
  8. Confirm the deployment settings by clicking on Next:
  9. When finished, click on Close:

Testing the Deployment

Now that all the pieces for a successful Microsoft Office 2013 deployment are in place.  We can now test out the application deployment.  We can either wait for our test client to receive its updated policies automatically or we can force the client to look for new policies.

  1. In the test client’s Control Panel, click on the “Configuration Manager” applet and then go to the “Actions” tab.  I usually force the updates by running the machine policy cycle followed by the user policy cycle and finally the application deployment cycle.  You initiate these by clicking on each respective cycle and clicking on the “Run Now” button:
  2. Now open the “Software Center” from your start menu and in the upper right corner, click on the hyperlink “Find additional applications from the Application Catalog”.  You will need to do this if you deployed the application as “Available” otherwise, you’re done after the previous step:
  3.  You should see the application listed in the Application Catalog, if it’s not, go back and double check your deployment settings or refresh the client policies using the procedure in step 1,  If it’s listed, selected and go ahead and click on Install:
  4. Confirm the installation by clicking on Yes:
  5. Once the application installation has started, you can close this window:
  6. Open the “Software Center” from your start menu and under “Installation Status” you should see the progress of the installation:
  7. When complete, you will see the confirmation window below:
  8. Now open Microsoft Word 2013 from your start menu, it should open directly to the templates view and not ask about activation.  Click on File and then Account and verify that the product activated successfully:


The following MSI product codes should help you differentiate which version of Microsoft Office 2013 media you have.

MSDN Media

Microsoft Office 2013 Standard x86 (Standard)

Microsoft Office 2013 Standard x64 (Standard)

Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus x86 (ProPlus)

Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus x64 (ProPlus)

Retail Media

Microsoft Office 2013 Standard x86 (Standardr)

Microsoft Office 2013 Standard x64 (Standardr)

Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus x86 (ProPlusr)

Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus x64 (ProPlusr)

Next Steps

Want to learn how to put SilentUninstallConfig.xml to good use and downgrade/ replace your existing rogue Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus installations?

Continue reading in this post.


  • Thanks for the informative article. Note there is an update to the OCT here

  • Keith

    Nice article. Don’t like the detection rule having “greater than or equal to” though.

    • Hi Keith, catching up to my comments! Lol. In this case, the detection rule “greater than or equal to” was used to make sure that the software does not get installed if it detects the same or a greater version.

  • Nalin

    HI ,

    Great Article and thanks. If I have two types of Odffice 2013 deployments ( eg: one set of users get one set of applications and the other group gets a slightly different set of Office apps). How do I tweak this ? I know setup.exe /adminfile option is there but when trying to use the command inside the application wizard doesn’t work.

    eg:setup.exe /adminfile “\\\packages$\core Packages\Office 2013 Pro Plus 32 bit Configured\MSO 2013 32bit\staff MSP” /config “\\\packages$\core Packages\Office 2013 Pro Plus 32 bit Configured\MSO 2013 32bit\config.xml”

    Any ideas ?

    thanks in advance for help.


    • Hi Nalin, the /adminfile would be the way to do it. Create separate MSP files using the Office 2013 Office Customization Tool: setup.exe /admin and make sure you are not storing all the MSP files within the Updates folder because all of them will be applied. Keep them in separate folders. Please note, the OCT is only available in Professional and not Standard. Also, make sure your test or service account user has access to the hidden share you posted “Packages$”. Lastly, if you are testing the setup.exe from a batch file, it could be that the path to the setup.exe may not be recognized. Try adding “%~dp0” to the setup.exe i.e: “%~dp0setup.exe”. This will force to add the path to the setup.exe in the front. Make sure to remove this when configuring the actual deployment in SCCM. I hope this helps.

  • Hi 🙂 I have one comment. You can easily get Office Build Number by clicking on Properties of the Setup.exe file located in the root of the office install folder. Then go to Details tab and voila ! 🙂
    Fantastic articel by the way – translated it to Polish and using instantly 🙂

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