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Roll-back to previous versions of Office

If an update for Microsoft 365 contains a relevant bug, we will inform you on AFo about workarounds and the planned fix date. But sometimes it is unavoidable to quickly roll-back such updates until the problem has been fixed by Microsoft.


This article will show three different methods to roll back undesired updates. See methods 1 and 2 for all click-to-run (CTR) versions of Microsoft 365 and Office. For MSI versions, use method 3 below.


Preparations


Following steps are necessary before rolling back the Office version, regardless whether using roll-back method 1 or 2.


a) Make sure to disable automatic updates:


From within Access or other Office Applications:


File -> Account -> Update Options -> Disable Updates









b) Check for Version, Build and Update Channel you are currently using


From within Access (or another Office application) go to File -> Account.



In this example the version is "2312", exact build "16.0.17126.20132" and update channel "Current Channel".


c) Find the version you want to roll-back to


Previous versions are listed here: Update history for Microsoft 365 Apps. Look in the column of your channel for the right version and build you want to revert to.




Note: All options in this article use the same sample build, i.e. 16.0.17126.20132 to be rolled back to 16.0.17029.20108. You have to replace the build with your desired version. The build has to have the format "16.0.xxxxx.yyyyy", i.e. if it is mentioned in format xxxxx.yyyyy you have to add "16.0." in front of the build.


Method 1: Using OfficeC2RClient.exe


This is the easiest way of rolling back the version of Office, as OfficeC2RClient.exe is supplied with M365.


Open a Command Line window as administrator:

Start -> (type) cmd <enter> -> Run as administrator


Execute following commands:

cd %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\

Followed by:

OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.17029.20108

Replace the version with your desired version and press <enter>. You will see message boxes informing you about the progress:


  • Downloading Microsoft 365 and Office updates.

  • Applying updates...

  • Updates were installed.


Method 2: Using the Office Deployment Tool (ODT)


a) Download and unzip ODT...


... to a folder of your choice.


b) Configuration.XML


Create a configuration file of type XML with a name of your choice.

<Configuration>
  <Updates Enabled="TRUE" TargetVersion="16.0.17029.20108" />
</Configuration>

Replace the target version with your desired version and save it as e.g. configuration.xml.


c) Perform the roll-back


  1. Open a Command Line window as administrator: Start -> (type) cmd <enter> -> Run as administrator

  2. Navigate to the folder where you unzipped ODT to.

  3. Run this command:

setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

Method 3: Roll-back MSI Versions of Office


MSI versions are only available until Office 2016 and hardly receive updates, with the consequence that they receive even less bugs. If you are ever in a situation of having to revert to an earlier MSI version you can do so from Control Panel:


Start -> (type) "Control Panel" <enter>, then navigate to:

Programs -> Programs & Features -> Uninstall a program -> View installed updates.



Find the culprit update and click uninstall.

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11 Comments


Kent Gorrell
Feb 19

What about the Access Runtime? Today's events (February 19) inflicted machines using the Runtime which I guess is 2312. Is there a way to prevent the runtime updating? and how can you roll it back to a previous version?


I don't understand how this happened today.

The application does a relink on the Backend Version table to ensure it is linked to the production database. This currently fails on the tdf.refresh even if the connect does not change. We have bypassed this check for now which gets up back up and running but...

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Kent, I've done tests today with the runtime, and the result - apart from finding out version and channel (no File->Account in backstage) - the rollback procedure will be identical. I'm going to add a note about it.

Re. turning off automatic updates in the runtime: this will be a registry hack.

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strive4peace2010
Feb 08

thanks, Peter! very nice summary.


Note: When using OfficeC2RClient.exe, you can only pick recent versions that are still available for download, not any version there has ever been ;)


kind regards,

crystal

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Replying to

Thanks, Crystal! This is also correct for ODT, except that you can provide a deviating source for setup, e.g. a local network location.

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Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson
Feb 06

Well done. Much appreciated.

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Richard Rost
Richard Rost
Feb 06

This a great resource. Thank you. I'm going to add it to my Troubleshooter page and share it with my Peeps. :)

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Thanks, Richard! :)

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Heinrich Moser
Heinrich Moser
Feb 06

Thanks for the write-up. In my experience, Method 1 also works with the C2R versions of the perpetual (= non-365) versions of Office (tested with Office 2016 C2R). Here are the corresponding Update History pages to get the relevant build number: 2016 (C2R)/2019: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office-2019 2021: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office-2021

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Replying to

You are correct regarding pertepual/C2R. This is also true for method 2. The distinction in this article isn't by subscription vs. perpetual, but C2R vs. MSI. Nowadays all downloadable versions of Office, whether subscription or perpetual, are C2R . MSI versions are still available, but only as part of Volume Licenses.

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