Convert Office 2013 Click to Run to MSI installation

Last reviewed on March 3, 2014

Retail and small business copies of Office 2013 are only available as "click to run". While this should work the same as the traditional installed (aka MSI) version, a few add-ins that haven't been properly updated for Office 2013 may not work (including Sage and SalesForce). Other users think they are missing something by not using the MSI (they aren't). Regardless of the reason, more than a few users complain that they want the old-fashioned installed version of Office.

You may need to repair Office frequently (weekly, if not more often) if you use this method.

If you have an Office 365 E account that includes Office 2013 you can convert to an MSI install. While the MSI install supports custom configurations, it's my experience that activation fails if you use a custom install and remove some applications.

I haven't tested this with the Office 365 Small Business P accounts, it may or may not work with it. It won't work with Home Premium accounts (Office suites are different).

  1. If installed, uninstall Office 2013 "Click to Run".
  2. Download and install the evaluation copy of Microsoft Office 2013 from TechNet.
  3. When prompted to activate, you'll need to use your Organizational Account, not the Product Key. If the Enter your Product Key screen comes up, click the link to Sign in with an active account instead.
  4. switch to use an active account to activate

Office may need to reconfigure and reboot a couple of times when you first use it.

Note: this uses one of your account's 5 Office 2013 installations. If you previously had Office 365 Click to Run installed, log into Software management portal and verify the computer is using only one license. If the computer is listed with two licenses, delete the older license.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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