I’ve installed the Microsoft Office suite on different machines over the years. But one thing had always bugged me: the default Office installer installs a lot of applications that I never use (looking at you, OneNote and Skype). I wanted a way to cherry-pick only the Office apps that I needed to use and exclude everything else from the installation. It turns out there is a way to accomplish this.
Download the Office Deployment Tool
The Office Deployment Tool is a command-line tool provided by Microsoft to download and deploy Microsoft Office on a computer. It’s mainly targeted at enterprise users but can be used for personal installations as well.
Download the installer (the
exe file). When launched, it asks for a folder to extract its content. Say, you choose
D://ODT/. After extraction, you can find a
setup.exe file in the selected folder. This is the Office Deployment Tool.
Mounting the Office installation
This step is needed only if you’ve downloaded the Office installation as an
imgfile. If you have an
isofile, extract it in a folder (say,
Right-click the Office installation
img file and select Mount.
This mounts the file as a drive (say
Generate install configuration with the Office Customization Tool
The Office Deployment Tool requires a configuration file that describes which applications from the Office suite need to be installed. You can generate this configuration file using the Office Customization Tool.
Open the browser and launch the Office Customization Tool. Choose the architecture, the Office version, etc. At the bottom of the Products and releases section, you’d find a list of applications that you can toggle for installation. Pick and choose what you want and complete the rest of the configuration.
After you’re done with your configuration, hit the Export button to download the configuration file. This is an
XML file. Copy this file in the folder where the Office Deployment Tool was extracted (that’s,
D://ODT/). Open the file in an editor. A sample configuration file for Office Professional Plus would look like this.
Configuration ID="fc113a98-bff0-4eda-8928-41de78dcac57"> <Add OfficeClientEdition="64" SourcePath="G:"> <Product ID="ProPlus2021Retail" PIDKEY="<product_id_for_activation>"> <Language ID="en-us" /> <ExcludeApp ID="Access" /> <ExcludeApp ID="Lync" /> <ExcludeApp ID="OneDrive" /> <ExcludeApp ID="OneNote" /> <ExcludeApp ID="Publisher" /> <ExcludeApp ID="Teams" /> <Product> </Add> </Configuration> </
SourcePathpoints to the location where the Office installation files are available. That’d be
G:in our case.
- the value of the
PIDKEYis a valid product id for activating the Office.
Deploy the Office suite
Open PowerShell as the administrator at the location where the Office Deployment Tool was extracted (that’s,
D://ODT/) and execute the following command.
./setup.exe /configure ./Configuration.xml
This command launches the customized install.
And that’s how you can do a clean install of the Office suite ensuring you install only what you need.