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How do you trigger an Office update without opening an office application?

I need this to update Office after an offline install of o365, specifically in instances where Office needs to be updated between installing o365 apps and actually deploying the system.

I know you can do this by opening an office app, then going to File > Office Account > Update Options > Update Now, but I am trying to avoid triggering the Office activation / trial countdown before actually needing to sign a user in.

***edit: I found a solution and posted it below. Please feel free to contribute additional solutions especially if this does not work for older versions of Office.

3 Answers 3

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From command prompt:

"C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe" /update user

This should trigger the Update GUI.

You can also do this silently by adding displaylevel=false forceappshutdown=true:

"C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe" /update user displaylevel=false forceappshutdown=true

source: WaybackMachine: TechNet Blog: Office365 and its associated command-line and switches

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  • 3
    I added an answer with some additional commands that are handy.
    – joeqwerty
    Aug 13, 2019 at 0:22
  • 1
    Link is broken but here's an archived copy since the options still seem to apply.
    – ashleedawg
    Sep 1, 2021 at 6:58
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If you need to change the Office update channel for a client to switch them to the monthly update channel, you can run the following:

"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe" /changesetting Channel=Current

If you need to do this for a group of computers you can use psexec and a text file with the computer names like such:

psexec @computers.txt -d -n 3 cmd /c "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe" /changesetting Channel=Current

AND

psexec @computers.txt -d -n 3 cmd /c "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe" /update user updatepromptuser=false forceappshutdown=true displaylevel=false
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The previous answers are spot on, but for anyone that is looking to update to a particular version, you'll want to use the following command:

“C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe” /update user updatetoversion=X.X.X.X

You'll want to replace the updatetoversion=X.X.X.X with the full build number found on the Microsoft Update History site.

As an example, if I wanted to upgrade (or downgrade) to the May 10 2022 Monthly Enterprise Channel release[1], I would use updatetoversion=16.0.14931.20392 as the version number. (Note: the current version number starts with 16.0.x.x for Office 2016, 2019, 2021, and 365 family of products.)


PS: The update history listing is split to show the four channels of updates. The Current Channel is the fastest and default setting for most office installs. Monthly and Semi-Annual are the "slow" and "slowest" in comparison which tend to be more stable. If you have a 3rd-party extension that stops working after an update, consider rolling back to the Monthly channel until there's a fix for the issue.

How to read the build number and channel [1] How to read the build number and channel

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