How to revert to an earlier version of Office

Summary

Note: This article doesn’t apply to MSI versions of Office.

By default, installations of Microsoft Office are configured to automatically update your Office installation when new updates are made publicly available. Occasionally, you may have to revert to an earlier version or build of an Office installation. For example, an automatic update may introduce unexpected behavior by one of your Office applications. In this case, you may want to revert to the previous version until a new version is released that addresses the issue you experienced.

Important: This article provides a list of recommended steps to revert to an earlier version of an Office 365, 2019, or 2016 installations. This article doesn’t apply to MSI versions of Office.

More information

Consider the severity of the issue

Before reverting to an earlier version of an Office installation, weigh the severity of the issue that you're experiencing against the benefits of having the security, performance, and reliability improvements that are included in the latest update.

Revert to the previous version of Office

Follow these steps to revert to the previous version of Office.

Important: The Office installation is streamed from the Internet. Make sure that your connection to the Internet is reliable and persistent.

Step 1: Set a reminder to enable automatic updates at a future date

Before you revert an Office installation, you should disable automatic updates. To make sure that you don't miss future updates, set a reminder to manually check for future versions. When a new version becomes available, and if the new version doesn't exhibit the same issue that you experienced earlier, then you can re-enable automatic updates.

Create a reminder to re-enable automatic updates. You can do this in Microsoft Outlook, on Outlook.com, or by using another application that has a calendar.

For more information about Office updates, see the following article:

Update history for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise (listed by date)

Step 2: Install the previous version of Office

To install the previous version of Office, follow these steps:

  1. Determine and note the previous version number. Use the following Microsoft website to find the update version that is previous to the current version:

    Update history for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise (listed by date)

  2. Download and run the self-extracting executable file from the following Download Center link. This file contains the Office Deployment Tool executable (Setup.exe) and a sample configuration file (Configuration.xml):

    Office Deployment Tool

  3. Start Notepad and copy the following XML. Then, save the file as Config.xml in the same file location as the Setup.exe file from Step 2.

    <Configuration>
    <Updates Enabled="TRUE" TargetVersion="16.0.xxxxx.yyyyy" />
    </Configuration>


    Note In the XML, 16.0.xxxxx.yyyyy represents the full version number that you noted in step 1.

  4. Open an elevated Command Prompt window. To do this, click Start, type cmd in the Start Search box, right-click cmd.exe, and then click Run as administrator. Switch to the file location for the Setup.exe and Config.xml files.

  5. Run the following command:

    setup.exe /configure config.xml
    
  6. Start an Office application (such as Excel), and then select File > Account.

  7. In the Product Information section, select Update Options > Update Now

    For more information, see the Delay receiving feature updates from Semi-Annual Channel for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise

    Note If you are prompted to activate Office again, enter your Microsoft account and password. This step does not add your computer to your account a second time.

Step 3: Disable automatic updates for Office

This step is very important. Office automatically checks for updates on a regular basis. To prevent Office from automatically installing new updates, follow these steps:

  1. Start Outlook.

  2. Click File, and then click Office Account.

  3. In the Product Information column, click Update Options, and then click Disable Updates.

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