At times, Microsoft will release a new build of the Office software that has a few inherent issues right from the onset. In these situations, troubleshooting the problem(s) is a fruitless effort because the software itself has the problem built in to it. Reverting to the previously installed (and functioning) build will resolve the issue until Microsoft releases a newer, better performing version of the software.

To begin, disable Office from automatically downloading updates to keep it from re-downloading the build version you are trying to stay away from. If the issue you are experiencing is preventing you from opening any Office program, this step may be performed after the downgrade, but you must be quick about it as Office frequently checks for new updates.

In any Office application, click on File > Account and select Update Options located underneath Office Updates. Select Disable Updates.

Open command prompt as an administrator and run the following commands based on which version of office you have installed:

Office 2013 32-bit:

cd %programfiles%\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX86

Office 2013 64-bit:

cd %programfiles%\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64

Office 2016:

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

Once the directory has been changed, run the following command to initiate the download of the software version of your choice:

Office 2013:

officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=15.0.xxxx.yyyy

Office 2016:

officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.xxxx.yyyy

In the above commands, “xxxx.yyyy” is the build number of the version you are wanting to change to. You can find the current build numbers for each release provided by Microsoft at this website. Locate the update channel you are a part of and fill in the build number accordingly.

Group Classes

Channel Version Build Release date
Current 1704 8067.2115 May 18, 2017
First Release for Deferred 1701 7766.2084 May 9, 2017
Deferred 1609 7369.2130 May 9, 2017
Deferred1 1605 6965.2150 May 9, 2017

Once you run the command, a window with a progress bar will appear showing you that the Office software is being updated. You may be prompted with a repair window first. Simply select Online Repair.

Once the update has finished, verify that Office is running on the desired build number and that automatic updates are disabled.

When you or your IT administrator have deemed it “safe” to re-enable automatic updates, simply click on Update Options and select Enable Updates.