System Requirements for Office 2016 and Office 365

Office 365 always attempts to provide you with the latest versions of all the software it includes. That includes both web versions and standalone versions, if you have that plan. Office 365 has different packages that come with and without latest standalone versions. You may opt to run older standalone versions but they may create compatibility problems. The article focuses on Office 365 and Office 2016 system requirements.

Office 2016 System Requirements


Office 365 – With Office 2016 and IE11

We were talking about compatibility issues. If your Office 365 subscription comes with an option to use your own installed software, you can use older versions of Microsoft Office like 2013 or even 2010. But there will be heavy fragmentation if others use older versions like 2007- resulting in misplaced data. The objective of Office 365 is to keep users on the same platform – the latest platform – so that incompatibility issues don’t happen. Hence it is better to upgrade your standalone applications such as Word, Excel and Internet Explorer etc to the latest versions. That way, your workflow would be smooth and chances of non-compatibility do not pose problems.

Here is what it takes to use different packs of Office 365 on your computers.

Home, Personal and Student plans

  • If you are using a PC, you will need a processor with at least 1GHz speed. For Mac, it should be a bit higher speed and should be Intel.
  • Office 365 Basic can run on 2GB RAM on PCs. For Mac, it should be 4GB.
  • HDD space for running Office 365 home should be 3GB while for Mac, it should be 6GB and the HDD format for the latter should be what is called Mac OS Extended format or HFC plus.
  • Display requirements for both PC and Mac are 1280 x 800 resolution.
  • Browsers used should be the latest versions; in case you do not have access to latest versions, the immediately preceding version would do.
  • You will also need .NET 4 or 4.5 CLR; Though you can also do with 3.5, it may restrict some features.

Business and government plans

  • For PC, you will need a 1GHz processor of any make; For Mac, Intel processor is recommended.
  • PC would require 2GB RAM while Mac will require 4GB
  • Hard disk space should be 3GB for PC while Mac would require 6GB; Again, the format of HDD in Mac should be Extended Mac OS or HFC Plus
  • Operating system should be the latest as far as possible
  • Display resolution required for proper functioning is 1280 x 800
  • Browser should be latest versions as far as possible; if the latest version is not available, immediately preceding versions can be used
  • Your Microsoft Office clients should be in compliance with Office 365: Office 2010 through Office 2016; the latest versions on all your computers accessing Office 365 makes sure no inconsistencies occur

Individual Office Suites’ System Requirements

This section talks about standalone installations of Office suites such as home, personal, governmental etc. Check out the minimum system requirements for each Office edition. Remember that these are minimum system requirements meaning they can run Office but cannot guarantee speed etc. I would recommend keeping resources a little higher than what Microsoft suggests.

Office 2016 Home and Student edition

  • 1 GHz processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 3 GB of available disk space; better to have some extra space for temp files
  • Screen resolution of a minimum 1280 x 800
  • Windows 7 SP1 or above operating system; Works best on latest operating system according to Microsoft
  • The browsers used should be the latest versions or the versions immediately preceding the latest versions
  • At least .Net 3.5; preferred 4.5 LCR
  • A Microsoft account (that naturally has a OneDrive account attached to it).

Office 2016 Pro edition

The system requirements are same as that of Home and Student. But because of the extra features, I recommend a little higher resources. You will get touch features with Office 2016 so you to optimize your experience, you will need a touchscreen. While most of the functions can also be performed with a mouse and keyboard, having a touchscreen will further enhance your experience. For example, if you are inking something on Microsoft Edge, the latest browser app from Microsoft, you will need a stylus on a touchscreen. If you wish to share webpages with other users, you will have to install Windows 10 so that you can use the marking and sharing features of Microsoft Edge.

The above sums up the system requirements for Office 365 and Office 2016. The Android, iOS and Blackberry versions are pretty light, but still, you will have to have the latest versions and at least 2GB RAM devices to work on the apps properly.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN