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Q: Should I install the 32 or 64 bit version of Microsoft Office 2013?


IS&T strongly recommends the 32 bit version of Microsoft Office (the default installation) on computers that are running both 32-bit and 64-bit supported Windows operating systems. This is due to issues with plug-ins and backward compatibility.

Office 2013 64-bit Known Issues:

  • There is no support for Office 2013 64 bit by the vendor for SAP GUI for Windows, only 32-bit version of Office 2013 is supported.
  • The 64-bit version of Microsoft Office isn’t compatible with any other 32-bit version of Office programs. So you must first uninstall all 32-bit versions of Office programs before you install the 64-bit version of Office.
  • Any add-ins you want to run for Office must also be 64-bit editions.
  • ActiveX controls library, ComCtl. Any solutions using these controls don’t work. No good alternatives are available for some of these controls.
  • Third-party ActiveX controls and add-ins. None of these work with the 64-bit version of Office.
  • There is no 64-bit version of Visual Basic 6, so many of these objects need to be ported and rewritten.
    Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) VBA only contains the Declare statement work in the 64-bit version of Office if you update the code manually.
    Compiled Access databases The .MDE and .ACCDE files, a common way for Access application developers to distribute solutions and protect their intellectually property, don’t work in the 64-bit version of Office. You must contact the application developer to recompile, retest, and redistribute the solution in the 64-bit version.

The only users that are likely to gain advantage from the 64 bit version are those that work with very large (larger than 2 gigabytes) Excel spreadsheets. Unless you are engaging in such computationally intensive activities with Office, the 32 bit version is strongly recommended.

Learn more about deployment considerations for 64-bit editions of Office 2013 at Technet: Choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Office and TechNet: 64-bit editions of Office 2013
IS&T plans to have a webform from the site that allows people to request a link to the 64-bit installer. That webform is not up yet; until the webform is ready people can contact to request the 64-bit installer.

The 32-bit version of Office is strongly recommended.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

August 16, 2013

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