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Install and Activate Microsoft Office 365 for Free - A Step-by-Step Guide

This is a guide on how to install the latest version of Microsoft Office for free. For this method, we will use the Office Deployment Tool. The Microsoft Office Deployment Tool is a command-line program that IT managers use to configure and deliver Office products to PCs in their businesses, but in this guide, we will use it to install Microsoft Office with additional customization options and download it straight from Microsoft's servers.

You will not need to repeat this step again to upgrade. Just keep your Office up to date and you will not have any issues.

Make sure you have recently reloaded your number with at least 5GB of internet if you use your mobile internet through a hotspot to download. If your telecom offers extra bandwidth to exclusively access Microsoft 365 (a.k.a. your telco doesn't care about net neutrality), the download will use that bandwidth.

Special info for people in the Philippines

  • For people in Globe Telecom, save data by using a promo with GoWork. Downloading Microsoft 365 will use GoWork bandwidth, and based on my personal observation, may use MetaverseGo bandwidth as well.
  • Smart Telecom's "unlimited" plan will heavily throttle your speed if you use data to a certain point, or if they detect you are letting other devices connect through a mobile hotspot. If you download Office while throttled by Smart, expect the procedure to take several hours. Learn more

Part 1: Configuring Installation Using the Office Customization Tool

The Office Customization Tool is a simple website by Microsoft to create customization settings that the Deployment Tool will use to install Office on your computer.

If you just want to use the core Office apps and real-time collaboration features with language settings matching your OS, you can download this file and proceed to Part 2. This does not include Outlook, so if you want Outlook, please proceed with this section.

To use the Customization Tool, go to this page and adjust the settings according to your preferences. Here is what each option means:

Products and releases

Architecture: Keep it at its default 64-bit.


Office Suites - Select Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise to keep your Office always updated to the latest version and gain more features. You can also select the Office LTSC 2021 options, but your Office will be grounded to the 2021 version and will not have access to some cloud features. Do not select the options with SPLA to avoid complexities when activating later on.

Visio - Visio is a diagramming and vector graphics application. Most people would not need this, so you may skip it. If you do want to install it, you may choose any option except Plan 2, since it will cause activation problems.

Project - Project is software for project management. Most people would not need this, so you may skip it. If you do want to install it, you may choose any option except Online Desktop Client, since it cannot be activated.

Additional products - You can skip it if you don't use any other language than English. If you do, select Language pack.

Update channel:

Update channel - You can stay on Current Channel, or if you want to get access to new features and bugfixes earlier, select Current Channel (Preview).

Version - Keep it on Latest.

Apps: Here you can toggle the apps you want to install. Note that OneDrive (Groove) and Skype for Business have been deprecated, so use OneDrive Desktop and Teams as replacements instead.

Features: Disable the “Background service for Microsoft Search in Bing”. This is a service that makes it easier for you to search your organization's files, but if you're here, it's very likely you're not connected to an organization, so it would be useless to you.


Select your language, or select Match operating system.


Keep the default settings. If you want the install to be done in the background without prompts, disable “Show installation to user”.

Update and upgrade

Make sure that “Automatically check for updates” and “Automatically upgrade to the selected architecture” is turned ON. Automatic updates will not affect Office activation and will keep your device safe from exploits.

Licensing and Activation

Automatically accept the EULA: Turn it on.

Product key: Keep the default settings.

Product activation: Keep the default settings.

You can keep General and Application preferences at their default settings.

On the upper right of the page, press Export. You will be prompted for the Default File Format; select Keep Current Settings, then OK. Tick the checkbox and name your configuration. For this guide, we will name it OfficeConfig. Then click on Export. An XML file named OfficeConfig.xml will be downloaded to your device.

Part 2: Installation Using the Office Deployment Tool

Make a folder named Office Install on your desktop. Any other name will work; just remember the name you used. Move the OfficeConfig.xml file to that folder.

Download the Office Deployment Tool here. Open it, say Yes to the UAC prompt, accept the EULA, and select the folder on your desktop. If it was successful, you should see a setup.exe file in that folder. Open that folder in File Explorer, right click, and press Open in Terminal. This is for Windows 11; see this article on how to open the terminal in a specific folder if you're on Windows 10.

At the terminal, paste .\setup.exe /configure OfficeConfig.xml and press enter on your keyboard. Say Yes to the UAC prompt if one appears, and wait until the installation finishes.

Stay online!

Do not go offline or shut your device down until the installation finishes.

Restart your device when installation is done.

Part 3: Activating with MAS

Open the Terminal if you're on Windows 11, or PowerShell if you're on Windows 10. Paste & ([ScriptBlock]::Create((irm /Ohook and press enter on your keyboard. Say Yes to the UAC prompt. The terminal window will close itself when it's done. Restart your device again (optional), and boom, Office is now activated.

In case the Ohook activation method does not work, use & ([ScriptBlock]::Create((irm /KMS-ActAndRenewalTask instead.

Pub: 06 May 2023 07:02 UTC
Edit: 30 Sep 2023 13:36 UTC
Views: 24898