How to Downgrade from Office 2016 to Office 2013 & Block the Upgrade

Tina Sieber 17-11-2015

Microsoft Office 2016 is currently being rolled out to Office 365 subscribers An Introduction to Office 365: Should You Buy Into the New Office Business Model? Office 365 is a subscription based package that offers access to the latest desktop Office suite, Office Online, cloud storage, and premium mobile apps. Does Office 365 provide enough value to be worth the money? Read More worldwide. We have previously shown you how to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016. Upgrade to Office 2016 for Free Today with Your Office 365 Subscription Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows has landed and it brings many smart new features. If you have an Office 365 subscription, you can get it now for free and we show you how below. Read More  We warned you that you would not be able to downgrade, but fortunately, we were wrong.


Here we show you what steps to take if you would prefer to stay with Microsoft Office 2013 10 Simple Office 2013 Tips That Will Make You More Productive MS Office skills remain entrenched in the top common skills employers look for. So, be more savvy with these ten simple Office 2013 tips and grab more free time around the watercooler. Read More and how you can downgrade after all.

Block the Upgrade

You’re an Office 365 subscriber and you have not upgraded to Microsoft Office 2016, yet. If you are still running Microsoft Office 2013 and would like to keep it that way, here is how you can prevent the upgrade.

Use a Registry Key

This option will use on any Windows machine running Office. To open the registry, press the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R, enter regedit into the Run menu, press Enter, and confirm with Yes.

Now navigate to the following location:


Here, open Edit > New… > DWORD (32-bit) Value, name it enableautomaticupgrade, and set Value data to 0.


Alternatively, download an easy fix from Microsoft that will implement this registry change and restart your computer for it to come into effect.

Update Group Policy Settings

This option is available to Office 365 ProPlus & Business customers. On a machine that is joined to a domain, you can use Group Policy templates to prevent Microsoft Office 2013 from upgrading to Office 2016.

Within the Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Office 2013 (Machine) > Updates. Open Enable Automatic Upgrade, set it to Disabled, and click Apply.

Disable Automatic Update Office 2013


In case you cannot find this entry, the Office 2013 Administrative Template can be downloaded from Microsoft.

Be sure to restart your computer when you’re done.

Uninstall Microsoft Office 2016

Before you can downgrade from Microsoft Office 2016 to 2013, you have to remove the entire program from your machine. You can do so from the Control Panel Unlock Windows Potential: Control Panel Demystified If you want to be the master of your Windows experience, the Control Panel is where it's at. We untangle the complexity of this power tool. Read More . For a clean uninstall, we recommend using the Microsoft Fix it tool Is the Microsoft Fix It Service Really Any Good? [MakeUseOf Tests] Have computer problems? Microsoft's Fix It service attempts to fix them for you. If you've browsed Microsoft's help pages, you've probably seen a variety of "Fix It" programs you can run to quickly fix a... Read More .

To download the Microsoft Office 2016 uninstaller, click this Fix it link (direct download from Microsoft). Then open the file, click Next to let the tool scan your system, select Apply this fix, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the removal of Microsoft Office 2016.


Uninstall Microsoft Office

Microsoft has also provided a guide on how to manually uninstall Microsoft Office 2016 or Office 365.

Download Microsoft Office 2013

The process for downloading Microsoft Office 2013 depends on your Office 365 subscription.

Microsoft Office 365 Personal, Home, and University Subscribers

Browsing the Microsoft forums trying to find a way to downgrade to Microsoft Office 2013, you could get the impression that you’re out of luck. Customer service representatives will refer you to Microsoft’s Answer Desk.



Because they shy away from mentioning that you can — for a limited time — still download Microsoft Office 2013 from within your Office 365 account. We’ll show you how.

Log into My Office Account, click the red Install button, and go to Language and install options.

Office 365 Install Options

On the next page, select Additional install options at the bottom. On the final page, pick your Language and Version, then click the red Install button to download the installer.

Download Office 2013

To install Microsoft Office 2013, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions. Yes, it was that easy! You’re welcome.

Note that we don’t know for how long this option will be available. Unfortunately, what you’re downloading is an “online installer”, meaning the installation files are downloaded once you trigger the installer. The install from disc option, which previously enabled users to download a standalone installer (i.e. an ISO file), appears to have been removed.

Microsoft Office 365 Business, Business Premium, Enterprise E3, and ProPlus Subscribers

After removing Microsoft Office 2016 from your machine, you can use one of the following URLs, provided by Microsoft [Broken URL Removed], to download your version of Office 2013.

If you would like to download Microsoft Office 2013 in another language, refer to this table and edit the respective link above with the language code of your choice. The example below shows what this looks like for the Spanish version of Microsoft Office 2013 64-bit Business.

Alternatively, you may be able to use the Office Deployment Tool, provided your Product ID is supported.

Do remember that you will receive updates for the Office 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus until September 2016. After September 2016, updates for Office 2013 will be discontinued.

Think Twice Before You Upgrade

Upgrading can be fast and easy. But if you find out that the new version is no longer compatible with a critical routine or if something else went wrong, it can be a disaster. Even if you only upgraded a little too early and have to sit through some minor bugs, dealing with the consequences is a pain.

Take your time to read up on the new Microsoft Office 2016 version 13+ Reasons You Should Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 Microsoft Office 2016 is here and it's time for you to make a decision. The productivity question is -- should you upgrade? We give you the new features and the fresher reasons to help you... Read More before you decide to upgrade; it’s easier and will take less time than downgrading. Meanwhile, you can hide the Get Office notification How to Hide the Pesky “Get Office” Notification on Windows Uninstalling the "Get Office" app doesn't work, but here's a workaround to hide that nagging message once and for all. Read More .

What makes you want to stay with Microsoft Office 2013 Which Office Suite Is Best for You? You'll be pressed to find an occupation that doesn't require word or number processing of some sort. And you may wonder, is Microsoft Office really the best solution? Here are your options. Read More or downgrade from Office 2016? We’d love to hear what bugs you about the new Office suite or which issues you have run into!

Related topics: Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft Office 2016.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Germ Wijtse Rekker
    August 1, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft Office 2016 is NOT compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft Office 2013 is compatible.

  2. Bosko Mistrelovic
    April 19, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Because you made so many "improvements" to Microsoft Office 365 Business that most people I knew have a problem using it. Most people do not have the luxury to stop work and relearn how to use the new version.

  3. Sofia
    March 30, 2017 at 3:04 am

    I upgraded to Office 2016 a month ago. I am on a Lenovo P40. Before, Office 2013 would sometimes giveme problems by not saving a document properly, or saving it in a strange place so I couldn't find it... but that was rare.
    Now, with Office 2016, it is almost a daily occurrence, sometimes multiple times a day, that I have problems. Word and Excel, especially Word. Crash the computer. Freeze. Recover. Repeat.
    Needless to say, I am downgrading.

    • Tina Sieber
      March 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

      That sucks! Sometimes, a faulty installation causes these issues. Have you tried a fresh / clean installation of Office? And are you logged in with your Microsoft account? Good luck that those problems will disappear, either after downgrading or re-installing.

  4. Hamish
    October 19, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Reason for getting rid of this? PC is slow and sluggish.

    Imagine you are in 1995 and operating on dial-up.

    Office 2016 is EXACTLY like that.

    70 seconds to launch Word is stupid.

    And no, I will not move from Windows 7. If I have to change from Win 7, it'll be to Linux and OpenOffice.

    • Tina Sieber
      October 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      A 70 seconds launch time is unacceptable. It's strange that this would happen with Office 2016 and not with Office 2013. It could be that the installation was broken. Well, as long as 2013 works for you, that's all you need. And Windows 7 rocks...for at least a few more years. :)

  5. Genni
    July 25, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    My Dragon Naturally Speaking is not compatible with 2016

    • Tina Sieber
      October 19, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Genni, did Dragon Naturally Speaking receive an update to be compatible with Office 2016 in the meantime?

  6. Michael Jensen
    June 30, 2016 at 3:42 am

    RE: What makes you want to stay with Microsoft Office 2013 ... ?

    I'm an enterprise software developer. My client only just recently upgraded to Windows 7 / Office 2013 (32-bit). -- I need to work with and develop against the same version of Office that they're using. (The product I'm working on integrates with office.)

    On a side note -- the upgrade that Microsoft pushed out was super shady and misleading, it said it was only an "update", and nowhere did it state it was doing a full "upgrade". -- I never would have installed it in the first place (due to my situation) if the upgrade message had been worded honestly. -- As a Microsoft fanboy, it makes me a little sad when they're dishonest and misleading like this.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 30, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Thank you for your feedback, Michael!

      It's a shame that Microsoft isn't more respectful of people's preferences and choices, especially since they know that people are using the software in an Enterprise environment, where compatibility is crucial!

      Hope the downgrade was smooth for you.

  7. Roshan Mohamed
    June 14, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Hi Tina,

    Is there a way to install Office 2013 using an Office 2016 license. I have an application that is currently compatible with office 2013 only. Is the only way forward to install 2016 and downgrade to 2013?

    • Tina Sieber
      June 14, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Roshan, I'm afraid you can only downgrade to Office 2013 if you have an Office 365 subscription. In that case it works as described above and you don't need to install Office 2016 first. In fact, you'll have to uninstall it.

  8. Malcolm Reed
    May 6, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Thank you so much, I downgraded my Office 365 personal and my Adobe toolbars are back again in Word. I was beginning to panic but I'll relax again now!

    • Tina Sieber
      May 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Glad to hear the downgrade worked for you, Malcolm and that everything is back in order! :)

      Just a question: Aren't Adobe toolbars available for Office 2016, yet or what's the issue with upgrading?

  9. Alter
    January 28, 2016 at 8:41 am

    The option to download, as a subscriber (I get the university package for free with my uni e-mail) does not seem to be available anymore. All I get are 32-bit/ 64-bit options. No 2013.

    Which is deeply unfortunate, because my brand new laptop has catastrophic machine_check_exception errors while trying to do completely mundane things with Word 2016 because of their inability to code for the Broadwell Intel processors. There's a BIOS upgrade from MSI that I could do, but doing so runs the risk of bricking my new PC. And it'd be so much EASIER if they'd just let me have something actually functional! I'm a writer, I NEED Word, why can't they make a product that works? Glad I didn't pay for a subscription, because this is ridiculous.

    • Tina Sieber
      May 6, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Alter, I'm sorry to hear that you don't have the downgrade option. Have you been able to fix the issues in the meantime? Did you try the MSI BIOS upgrade after all?

  10. Elaine
    January 7, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you!!! Just downgraded back to 2013 because I couldn't use my database in Access anymore you just saved me a LOT of work

    • Tina Sieber
      May 6, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you for the feedback, Elaine!

      It's weird that Access databases wouldn't work anymore. Can you specify what the issue was?

  11. Ross
    January 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    On the prompt from office 365 I upgraded to Office 2016, from there my PC just went slow and sluggish and I didn't think I could downgrade...until I saw this article. Thanks to your simple instructions I am now back on 2013 and I'll be sticking with it!! Thanks for your help!!

    • Tina Sieber
      January 4, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Happy to hear my work is helpful. Thank you for the feedback, Ross!

  12. Niko
    December 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    The registry entry you're telling me to edit does not exist on my machine, and I do not have access to Group Policy Settings even if I WAS using ProPlus/Business, because of the version of Windows 10 I'm using. According to My Account, I am using Office 365 Home. I don't know if that's different from Home Premium, but I DO know I used to have the free upgrade to Office 2016, so I DO have access to it. I don't WANT access to it! Please help? Why don't I have the registry entry?? There is no "Office" folder in the "Policies" folder.

    • Tina Sieber
      January 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you for the feedback, Niko! Unfortunately, I didn't come across another registry tweak or method for blocking the upgrade. Are you on Windows 10 Home then? Did you find a solution in the meantime?

      • Niko
        January 4, 2016 at 3:30 pm

        Yes, I am using Windows 10 Home. And no, unfortunately, I have not found a solution (aside from setting Office to not install updates via my account settings, but who knows if that will actually work?). Every time I search for a solution to this problem, every site gives me the exact same instructions this one does, word for word. :(

        • Tina Sieber
          January 4, 2016 at 5:09 pm

          Making the setting via your account should be sufficient, at least for now.

        • Niko
          January 4, 2016 at 9:31 pm

          I just hope for now will be enough. :(

  13. Kevin
    December 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I'm downgrading to 2013 because the search function in Outlook 2016 seems to be broken. Despite the fact that many users have had this issue, (see, Microsoft wanted to charge me $500 to have a "professional service" tech review my problem.

    • Tina Sieber
      May 6, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      With delay, but thank you for the heads-up, Kevin!

      • Kevin Grierson
        May 6, 2016 at 8:47 pm

        Just to update, the search function issue does appear to be resolved now, so I've moved back to 2016.

        • Tina Sieber
          May 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm

          Thank you, Kevin!