Office is the most widely used office suite in the world, one of the must-have programs for most Windows users. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are, for the majority, part of the essential programs that we can install on any PC. Generally we will all have a version of Office installed, probably the last one available on the net. However, what if, for some reason, we need to install two or more versions of Office? Can we do it, or Microsoft won’t let us?
Microsoft lets us download old versions of Office in case we have to use them if the new ones give us some kind of compatibility problem. Of course, as long as they still have support. However, being able to download these versions does not guarantee that we can install these versions correctly, but rather the opposite: Windows gives all kinds of problems when installing two or more versions of Office on the same PC. And it does it for our good.
Problems installing Office on a PC
If we have bought a new computer, we have surely noticed this. Unfortunately, new computers with an OEM operating system bring a lot of bloatware installed, programs that come by default and often give more problems than they solve.
If our computer came with a 30-day trial version of Office (something very common), surely if we have tried to install the Office ourselves by hand we have noticed that Windows returns an error and does not leave us. If we want to change the Office, the first thing is to uninstall the version we are using, and then install the new one.
In this way, Windows 10 avoids having dependency problems or problems with file associations. Initially, the latest version of Office supports all jobs created with an older version, so it is rare that we have problems.
Is it possible to install two Office in Windows?
Windows do not allow two versions of Office to be installed on the same computer. Not even Office 365 and a regular version of Office. The operating system will prevent the installation of the two versions with an error, as we have explained before.
However, there is an exception in which we could have two versions of this office suite installed: do it from an MSI installer. MSIs are installers designed primarily for business environments. Therefore, Microsoft does not apply the same restrictions to conventional EXE as to MSI.
If we have an MSI with any version of Office, we can install it in Windows 10 along with any other version. And both will work without problems, and we can even use them at the same time.
What if we have Word installed instead of Office?
Although when we try to install Office on our computer the entire suite is installed, there are ways to install only single versions, such as Word and Excel. If this is our case, and we want to install a different version of the office suite on our computer, we must know that we will not be able to.
The Office wizard itself will tell us that we already have previously installed programs and that we delete them before continuing with the installation. It can also happen that it recognizes that we have an older version and allows us to install the new one, but overwriting the old version and leaving only the new one.
32-bit or 64-bit, but never both
If in the end, we choose one of the tricks to be able to install two different versions of the office suite, what we must take into account is that both versions are of the same architecture. We cannot install a 32-bit and a 64-bit version. Both must be the same since dependency problems would make it impossible to use either.
In addition, just as if we are going to install two versions of Windows on the same PC, we must make sure to install the oldest one first and finally the newest one. This will avoid problems and we can use both without problems.
What if we download a portable version?
Office portable? Why not, this is the dream of many users. In this case, it would work, since we could have the 2019 version installed on the PC and use, in a portable way, 2010, 2013 or 2016 version without problems.
However, we remember that a portable Office will never be official from Microsoft. All these programs that we download will have been prepared by a user, who may have hidden malware and other threats within the pack. If we download a portable Office, it is most likely that we are endangering our computer.
This method would be functional, although the risks we take make it not worth it.
Do you need another office suite? Use LibreOffice
Finally, does it really make sense to install two Office on the same PC? The truth is that with having one of the latest versions we will be able to do everything and we will not have any type of problem.
In case you need, for some reason, a second office suite, it is much more recommended (and will give us less trouble) to opt for an alternative such as LibreOffice. The free suite gives us everything you need to be able to replace Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and it is also fully compatible with Microsoft programs.
Finally, in case you have to depend on two versions of Office on the same computer, it is possible that mounting a virtual machine, and installing the second version on it, saves us time, problems and headaches.