I have 64-bit Windows; don't I need 64-bit Office?
No, and you'll be more productive with the default 32-bit version, described here. Microsoft recommends, and ITS agrees, that the best version for 64-bit Windows is 32-bit Office, so that all the Office add-ins in the world, which today are still 32-bit, continue to work as you expect. (The same goes for 32-bit ODBC drivers and data sources (DSNs).) With 64-bit Office, you lose your 32-bit add-ins and 32-bit ODBC drivers; the only gain might be in Excel with extremely large spreadsheets (> 3GB files), and then only if your computer has more than 4GB of physical memory. Here is Microsoft's explanation.
Why not both?
You cannot install both 32-bit and 64-bit Office versions side by side. You cannot mix the bitness of Office programs; e.g., installing 32-bit Word and 64-bit Excel. You cannot install different versions of Office on one operating system; e.g., Office 2010 and Office 2013. If you have a Windows Virtual Machine (VM), you could install a different version of Office in the VM, if you're willing to keep it updated. If you have the Citrix Receiver , you can run whichever versions of Office applications are available there, regardless of what you have installed on your computer.
What is an Office add-in?
An add-in is one of several types of programs that add functionality to one or more Office applications. If you synchronize your Outlook calendar, contacts, or mail with any systems (like Gmail or Google Calendar) or handheld devices, you're using an Outlook add-in. If you invoke EndNote from within Word, you're using a Word add-in. If you connect Project Online to Project Pro 2013, you're using a Project add-in (which may link to Excel add-ins like PowerPivot). The section below on Office Add-ins explains how to determine which add-ins you have, and whether they will be compatible with 64-bit Office.
The 64-bit version of Office 2010 or 2013 requires a 64-bit operating system like Windows 7 or 8.*. And it won't run well unless the computer has more than 4GB of physical memory. Most important, the 64-bit version of Office requires all 64-bit Office add-ins: no 32-bit Office add-ins will run. This has huge implications for Office functionality, so read the section below titled, Office Add-ins.
All licenses for Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 allow you to install either the 32-bit or 64-bit version. Both are included in any download or disc.
Lab and Classroom Availability
Since 64-bit Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 requires 64-bit Windows and is less compatible, it will not be available in any public labs or classrooms. In the OBSOLETE - ITS Training Room, when two of the test bed machines are migrated to 64-bit Windows, one of them will get 64-bit Office 2013 as well, for testing.
Labs and Classrooms
College Owned Equipment
The KBOX 1000 has Kscripts to install Office 2013 x64 SP1. Before this installation will run, all components of 32-bit Office --- applications, shared tools, languages, Compatibility Pack, Visio, Project, add-ins — must first have been uninstalled completely.
If it becomes necessary to remove 64-bit Office and revert to the 32-bit version, there are KBOX Managed Installs (MI), visible in the KBOX user portal to ITSSoftwareInstallers, to Install Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013. Before running this, all components of 64-bit Office must first have been uninstalled completely.
Microsoft has released FixIts to clean up after uninstalling Office 2010, 2007, or 2003. Sometimes these can fix problems--find them in W:\Windows\Office2010\Carleton\UninstallOffice2010-MicrosoftFixit50450.msi, UninstallOffice2007-MicrosoftFixit50154.msi, and UninstallOffice2003-MicrosoftFixIt50416.msi. For Office 2013, the FixIt is best accessed online here. You run these after first attempting uninstallation from Control Panel→Programs.
There are installation instructions in the Microsoft explanation linked at the beginning of this article.
Who To Call
The ITS HelpDesk x5999 will be gaining limited experience with 64-bit Office. S.Nissen originally authored the Windows information in this article, but after April 1, 2015, Rebecca Barkmeier will be responsible for the packaging of this application for Windows, so all questions should be directed to her.
Questions, Tips and Tricks
The key to whether you will be able to live with 64-bit Office is the Office add-ins: whether any of the 32-bit add-ins you require do not have 64-bit equivalents. The only way to know this is to check each Office add-in (see But wait... below):
In each Office application you might use, including Outlook, choose:
File→Options→Add-Ins→"Active Application Add-ins" and "Inactive Application Add-ins"
But wait... there is a free third party utility that lists all your Office add-ins and can export the list as an HTML report. Download, extract, and run Nirsoft's OfficeIns, then choose View→HTML Report - All Items. Now use that HTML report to perform the following checks.
If the add-in did not come with Office (see tables below), find out whether a 64-bit version of the add-in is available under our existing license. If not, can you effectively use that Office application without that add-in? If the answer is no, stick with 32-bit Office.
If the 64-bit version of an add-in is available, contact Desktop Systems with the licensing and download information, and we will see about preparing it: putting it into the software archive, documenting it, packaging the installation, testing it (if we can).
Here is a table of the add-ins that come with Office 2013, and so are available in both 32- and 64-bit versions. How do you recognize came-with-Office add-ins? When you see these in the "Application Add-ins" lists described above, note that the installation path is either "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office15 or "%CommonFiles%\Microsoft Shared". When you select one of the add-ins on the lists, in the detail section below the list you can see that the publisher is Microsoft.
Add-ins that come with Office 2013, 32- and 64-bit
Microsoft Actions Pane 3
Telephone Number (XML)
Instant Messaging Contacts
ActionsPane Schema for Add-ins
OneNote Notes about Word Documents
Analysis ToolPak - VBA
Euro Currency Tools
|Excel||Microsoft Office PowerPivot for Excel 2013|
|Excel||Microsoft PowerMap for Excel|
OneNote Notes about PowerPoint Presentations
Microsoft Exchange Add-in
Microsoft SharePoint Server Colleague Import Add-in
Microsoft Access Outlook Add-in for Data Collection and Publishing
Microsoft VBA for Outlook Addin
|Outlook||OneNote Notes about Outlook Items|
|Outlook||Outlook Change Notifier|
|Outlook||Outlook Social Connector 2013|
Windows Search Email Indexer
Below is a table of Office add-ins that are not part of Office 2013, but are known to be available in both 32- and 64-bit versions. The 64-bit versions may not have been packaged yet for KBOX distribution, so be prepared to contact the ITS HelpDesk at x5999 (who may contact the Desktop Systems group) for help with installation.
Add-ins for Office 2013 available in 32- and 64-bit versions
McAfee E-mail Scan Add-in
part of McAfee VirusScan 8.8
Here is an article that lists many types of software, including Office add-ins, that do not work with 64-bit Windows, so they won't work with 64-bit Office 2013 either.
If you're still not sure about the add-ins you're using, there is a free Microsoft tool that will generate a list you can send for analysis. From http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5857, install the Office Environment Assessment Tool (OEAT) in any accessible directory on your local hard drive, then run it. This generates an .XML report of all the Office add-ins on a computer. Choose the "Scan your system" button, answer No to reject the passive scan, and Exit when it's done. In the same directory as OEAT.exe, you'll find a long-guid-type-filename.xml text file you can send to Sande Nissen, asking for her analysis.
You can see the bitness of Office 2013, 32-bit or 64-bit, in any Office application: in the About section on the File→Help dialog, look for "-bit)" right after the long version number.
A note from a Microsoft knowledgebase article, on how to detect the bitness of Office from a script:
"If you have installed Office 2013 including Microsoft Outlook 2013, Outlook sets a registry key named Bitness of type REG_SZ on the computer on which it is installed. The Bitness registry key indicates whether the Outlook 2013 installation is 32-bit or 64-bit. This might be useful to administrators who are interested in auditing computers to determine the installed versions of Office 2013 in their organization.
- Registry path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook
- Registry key: Bitness
- Value: either x86 or x64"