One of the issues I worked on this week was building a new Office 2016 installer after Microsoft began making Office 2016 available to its volume license customers. I have an existing process to build a combined Office 2011 installer using Packages, which I’ve used successfully for a while, so I decided to see if I could apply the same process to building an Office 2016 installer.
However, when I installed the combined Office 2016 installer with DeployStudio, then logged in, I was asked to sign into an account and activate Office. Since my work has a volume license, this isn’t a screen I should be seeing.
This is a problem that I’ve seen before with previous Microsoft Office 2011 installers and usually involves the license file not being applied when it should be. This behavior is seen on Macs in the following cases:
- Office 2016 is installed and then updated to 15.12.3 while nobody is logged in
- Office 2016 is installed and then updated to 15.12.3 without any Office applications being launched between the initial installation and the update.
These two scenarios will likely apply if you’re building a new machine using an automated deployment tool, but likely will not if you’re a home user.
The easiest fix I’ve found in my testing is to get the necessary volume license file from a machine that has Office 2016 installed on it and put it back on an as-needed basis.
The needed file is /Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.office.licensingV2.plist. If you have a volume-licensed version of Office 2016 installed on your Mac, you should have this file.
To address this issue, you can use Packages‘ ability to add resources to a Packages-built package. See below the jump for an example using an Office 2016 volume licensed installer package, the Office 2016 15.12.3 updates for Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word, as well the com.microsoft.office.licensingV2.plist license file to build a unified Office 2016 15.12.3 installer package that does not prompt for a product key.