64bit Office 2016 vs 32bit Office 2016 questions

Honored Contributor

I'm glad to see that the 64bit version of Office is now available, but I was a little surprised to see that MS is maintaining a separate 32bit version. I understand the need to keep a 32bit version available - those darn plugins. But wouldn't it be possible to run the 64bit versions in 32bit mode? If it is possible, can it be done from the desk of the mac admin or does it have to be set in the GUI on the client machines?

Does the 64bit version require different resources like a different Containers and Group Containers and plist files? Since the version numbers are the same, how do you tell the difference via JSS which version is installed?

I have not installed the 64bit version yet because we rely on WebEx plugins that appear to only be 32bit now, but I've heard anecdotally that Outlook launches "so much faster - even with a huge mailbox". Can anyone confirm this?


Valued Contributor

Join the MacAdmins #microsoft-office Slack channel. Lots of active discussion on all of that and heavy participation from many MS product engineers.

The 15.25 version will be the only one released in both 32 and 64-bit flavor. From there on out it's all 64.

Supposedly there is a 64-bit WebEx plugin available. See this bulletin, links at bottom.

We're skipping 15.25, just out of extra caution, but plan to steamroll ahead with 15.26.

And yes, I see faster app launches.

Valued Contributor

15.25 32-bit version seems to be working with WebEx plug-in and WebEx Productivity Tools ver. 29.
Our WebEx support told us that WebEx ver. 31 should support 15.25 64-bit version.

New Contributor II

I'm using the WebEx productivity Tools version and 64-bit Office apps. From my testing, the water is fine, everyone can start jumping in the pool. Most of your answers are going to be here:

  • http://macadmins.software/docs/OfficeMac-64.pdf

I second the #microsoft-office channel for reading up on common questions relating to the migration. It's been highly valuable in saving time, knowing how to back off a patch if needed, and what's changing under the hood technically.

Valued Contributor


Mike, do you use WebEx.com, or your company has own WebEx server?

If you use corporate WebEx server - what version is it? Updated to 31 already?

Asking because our WebEx is ver. 29 yet

Contributor II

I've been testing our deployment of the updates. I noticed on my test machines that the 32-bit and 64-bit versions report differently in the JSS.

32-bit reports as 15.25.16081800
64-bit reports as 15.25.16081700

There is nothing obvious in the GUI on the client in my brief testing.

Valued Contributor

@Brad_G Strange but true, Paul Bowden informed of this on Slack and it's noted in this support bulletin.