Best Guide to Deploy Office 2021 Using SCCM | ConfigMgr

In this post, I will cover the steps to deploy Office 2021 using SCCM or ConfigMgr. Microsoft has released Office 2021 and you can perform Office 2021 deployment using Office Deployment Tool.

In this Office 2021 Deployment guide, we will download the office deployment tool and use it to download Office 2021 setup files. Using configuration.xml file, we will deploy it to computers using SCCM or ConfigMgr.

The previous release of Office was version 2019 and yes, we used similar steps to deploy Office 2019 using SCCM.

Office 2021 uses only click-to-run installation technology. We know about this because Click-to-Run has been the installation technology for most Office products since the release of Office 2013.

When you deploy Office 2021 using ConfigMgr to domain computers, you can use Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager to help you deploy and manage updates to Office 2021.

Step 1 – Download and Install Office 2021 Deployment Tool

Before you deploy Office 2021 using SCCM, let’s download the Office 2021 deployment tool from Microsoft Download Center.

Right click the Office Deployment Tool executable and run as administrator. You will now see Microsoft Office 2016 click-to-run administrator tool. Accept the license terms and click Continue.

Download and Install Office 2021 Deployment Tool
Download and Install Office 2021 Deployment Tool

To extract the Office 2021 deployment tool files, create a new folder and name it as Office 2021 within sources folder. Select that folder and click OK. The executable extracts setup and configuration files inside the selected folder.

Office 2021 Deployment Tool
Office 2021 Deployment Tool

In the Office 2021 folder, you should see a setup.exe file and four configuration.xml files.

  • Configuration-Office365-x64.xml
  • Configuration-Office365-x86.xml
  • Configuration-Office2019Enterprise.xml
  • Configuration-Office2021Enteprise.xml

You can use Configuration-Office2021Enteprise.xml to download Office 2021 package, however we will use a custom config.xml file.

Office 2021 Deployment Tool
Office 2021 Deployment Tool

Step 2 – Create Configuration.xml File for Office 2021

In this step, we will create a new text file and rename it as config.xml. We will use this file when we deploy Office 2021 using SCCM. This file should be in the same folder where the setup.exe and other configuration files are present.

Here is a sample Office configuration file by Microsoft that you can use it with office deployment tool. In my case, I used the below custom configuration file for Office 2021 deployment.

This configuration file downloads Office 2021 64-bit version. If you want to download 32-bit version, specify the OfficeClientEdition value as 32. In addition, RemoveMSI All=”True” removes the previous Windows Installer versions as part of the installation process.

<Configuration>
<Add SourcePath="\\corpsccm\Sources\Applications\Office2021" OfficeClientEdition="64" Channel="PerpetualVL2021">
<Product ID="ProPlus2021Volume" PIDKEY="Enter the Key" >
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
<Product ID="ProofingTools">
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
</Add>
<RemoveMSI All="True" />
<Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
<Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="1" />
</Configuration>

The PIDKEY is the product key for MAK activation. You don’t need to use PIDKEY if you’re activating Office 2019 with Key Management Service (KMS).

Create Configuration File for Office 2021 Deployment
Create Configuration File for Office 2021 Deployment

Step 3 – Download Microsoft Office 2021 Installation Files

In this step, we will download Office 2021 installation files. You can download the installation files on the computer where you usually package the applications for SCCM.

Run the command prompt as administrator. Change the path to Office 2021 folder. Type the command setup.exe /download config.xml and press enter.

You must wait until all the Office 2021 installation files are downloaded to the folder.

Download Microsoft Office 2021 Installation Files
Download Microsoft Office 2021 Installation Files

The Office 2021 installation files are downloaded and placed inside Office folder. When you deploy Office 2021 using SCCM, this folder will act as a source location. The size of the Office 2021 folder is 1.84 GB.

Microsoft Office 2021 Installation Files
Microsoft Office 2021 Installation Files

Step 4 – Deploy Office 2021 Application using SCCM

Let’s look at the steps to deploy Office 2021 using SCCM or ConfigMgr.

  • Launch the SCCM console.
  • Navigate to Software Library\Overview\Application Management\Applications.
  • Right click Applications and select Create Application.
Deploy Office 2021 using SCCM
Deploy Office 2021 using SCCM

On the General page, select Manually specify the application information. Click Next.

Deploy Office 2021 using SCCM
Deploy Office 2021 using SCCM

Specify the information about Office 2021 application such as Publisher, Software Version etc. and click Next.

Deploy Office 2021 using SCCM
Deploy Office 2021 using SCCM

On the Software Center window, click Next.

Deploy Office 2021 using SCCM
Deploy Office 2021 using SCCM

On Deployment Types window, select Add to add a new deployment type.

Add a new Deployment Type
Add a new Deployment Type

Choose the deployment type as Script Installer and select Manually specify the deployment type information. Click Next to continue.

Manually specify the deployment type information
Manually specify the deployment type information

This is a critical step. You must specify the content location of Office 2021. This is the folder where Office 2021 setup files are present along with configuration.xml files.

Next, specify the Office 2021 installation command.

"\\server\share\setup.exe" /configure config.xml

The uninstall command will be updated soon. Click Next to continue.

Specify Office 2021 Setup Command
Specify Office 2021 Setup Command

Adding a detection method is critical here. Add the Office 2021 detection method with following settings.

  • Setting Type – Registry
  • Hive – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  • Key – SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration
  • Value – VersionToReport
  • Data Type – Version
  • Select “This registry setting must satisfy the following rule to indicate the presence of this application”.
  • Operator – Greater than or equal to
  • Value -16.0.14527.20276

Note – The VersionToReport value should be defined correctly, else the detection method will fail. To get the VersionToReport value, go to the registry path mentioned in the detection rule and confirm if it’s the correct value.

Click OK to close detection rule box. Click Next.

Microsoft Office 2021 Detection Rule
Microsoft Office 2021 Detection Rule

Specify the Office 2021 user experience settings based on your requirements. Click Next to continue.

Office 2021 User Experience Settings
Office 2021 User Experience Settings

Microsoft Office 2021 is compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11 OS. You may specify the OS requirements for the SCCM deployment. These requirements will be checked before the deployment happens. Click Next.

Office 2021 Deployment Requirements
Office 2021 Deployment Requirements

Click Next on Summary window and close the Create Deployment Type wizard.

Also, complete the remaining steps of create application wizard and close it.

Close Create Deployment Type Wizard
Close Create Deployment Type Wizard

This completes the steps to package Office 2019 application in SCCM.

You can now go to Software Library\Overview\Application Management\Applications and deploy Microsoft Office 2021 to a device collection.

When you deploy the application, you must select the device collection. Click Browse and select the target device collection. Click Next.

Deploy Office 2021 Using SCCM
Deploy Office 2021 Using SCCM

On the Deployment Settings window, select the Action as Install and Purpose as Available. Click Next.

Deploy Office 2021 Using SCCM
Deploy Office 2021 Using SCCM

Complete the remaining steps of deploy software wizard and on Completion window, click Close.

Deploy Office 2021 Using SCCM
Deploy Office 2021 Using SCCM

Step 5 – Test Office 2021 Deployment on Computers

After you deploy Office 2021 using SCCM to your device collection, let’s test the Office 2021 deployment on client computers.

On the client computer, launch the software center. Click Applications tab and select Office 2021 application and click Install. Monitor the installation progress by opening AppEnforce.log file.

Troubleshooting Tip – In rare cases, if you haven’t specified a valid detection rule, the Office 2021 installs, but the software center shows it as failed.

Test Office 2021 Deployment
Test Office 2021 Deployment

Prajwal Desai

Hi, I am Prajwal Desai. For last few years, I have been working on multiple technologies such as SCCM / Configuration Manager, Intune, Windows 11, Azure, Security etc. I created this site so that I can share valuable information with everyone.

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