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Office 2016 Standard Deployment and Management

We were planning on upgrading to Office 2016, but it appears Microsoft has pulled the rug out from under us by not allowing the usage of Group Policy to manage Office 2016 Standard deployments.  I arrived at this conclusion by noting the download for group policy stating it only supports Office 2016 Professional Plus and looking on the Microsoft web site where persons ask the same question and have snarky replies from Microsoft employees saying they answered their own question.

So, I know the guys at Admin Arsenal have written a nice BLOG on deploying Office 2016 with the Office Customization Tool.  I am curious if there are those who have deployed Office 2016 and use PDQ Deploy/Inventory to manage all of the Office settings similar to how you would do with Group Policy by relying exclusively on registry updates from PDQ Deploy?

Group Policy Template Download:




Date Votes
  • What are you trying to control? The OCT has some pretty great options as far as user experience is concerned baked in? Do you have a tester machine you can hack away at the registry on to see what keys need changed and what is stable for you?

    A package with your office setup silent as step one, and then a second step preferably as a Powershell step that leverages New-Item cmdlets to set and adjust the registry keys you care about.

    That should get you started at least. Let us know if you need more assistance.

  • The whole topic is confusing since ANOTHER web site at Microsoft states that Group Policy IS supported for Office 2016 Standard.

    At this point I am not sure what features we will deploy with vs. those we may want to implement in the future. As with most things, the deployment is the easy part...its is the ongoing maintenance that cost money.  My understanding is Microsoft is adding more data loss prevention options to the Suite so we may want to turn those settings on, or change settings over time.  Group Policy is a much better way to do this than playing with the registry.  Perhaps an updated to Office turns a setting we have turned off back to on, so Group Policy would correct the issue.  Case in point is Windows 10...settings get changed without your knowledge via patches... Group Policy would then correct those issues without any effort whatsoever.

  • I agree with you that Group Policy is the way to handle this. I actually saw the same article. My recommendation is to download the ADMX and test it and see if settings actually get applied. There really won't be any harm done to a client machine. Spin it up in a new GPO and just assign it to one machine that you can test against to isolate it from the rest of your network.