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Determining if an Office Installation is Click-to-Run or Not

Determining if an Office Installation is Click-to-Run or Not

It's useful, sometimes, to determine which installation version of Office 365/2013 is installed on a system. Office 365/2013 comes is provided in two distinct installation types: MSI (legacy installation method) and Click-to-Run (downloaded and installed from the web). In an environment where the two different installations are used for whatever reason, it's helpful to know which updates are applicable to which systems for better targeting the deployment of the patches.

There's a myriad of ways to identify which version is installed and the method you choose will depend on your familiarity with scripting. In this article, I'll give you a couple quick ways to get started.

In the App

One method is probably the simplest to use, but requires direct access to the PC. If you're helping an end-user through email or over the phone, you can just have them open an Office product, and have them navigate to File – Account.

If the installation of Office was performed via Click-to-Run, there will be a specific Office Updates section that says "Updates are automatically downloaded and installed" as shown in the next image. However, if the MSI installation method was used, this section will be missing.


You might think that because the whole idea behind the Click-to-Run installation method is that updates are delivered automatically, you shouldn't have to worry about manually installing new patches. That's the case in most situations, however just recently Microsoft had to deliver a fixed patch for PowerPoint that required a manual installation. So, the potential is there.


Another method to locate this information is by browsing or querying the WMI repository. WMI is a database that sits on every Windows computer and contains every piece of information about a Windows computer including software, hardware, networking, and even Windows itself.

You can also locate Click-to-Run information in the computer's registry and by querying WMI. In the following example, I used Goverlan's new WMIX utility to locate the Office 15 Click-to-Run Extensibility Component. If this WMI database branch exists, the installation method used was Click-to-Run.

WMIX is an awesome tool that allows you to connect to a remote computer and dig through the WMI repository, but it also will generate WMI queries and scripts to use to automate information retrieval.

The Goverlan WMIX tool released in January and has become invaluable. Check it out here: Goverlan Releases a Free Tool to Simplify Working with WMI

P.S. It's free.

If you use a centralized management application like System Center Configuration Manager, you can use this WMI information to create reports and collections.

Windows Registry

If you want to dig into the Windows registry to find Click-to-Run information, you'll need to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{90150000-008F-0000-1000-0000000FF1CE}. If this key exists, the Office was installed using the Click-to-Run method.

You can either connect to the computer's registry remotely or can script a remote solution to retrieve this value. 

Have a better method? Or, a method you like best? Let me know.


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