Here’s how to turn off Office 365 upgrade ads


Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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Office 365

If you don’t use locally installed Office 2016 apps and you are being harassed by Microsoft’s upgrade notifications, we might be able to provide some assistance in the matter.

Users who are currently Office 365 subscribers using Office 2013 have definitely noticed the pop up add that appears from time to time, on their notification tray in the taskbar, inviting them to  upgrade to Office 2016. The three options it offers are “Upgrade,” “Later,” and “See what’s new”.

Selecting “Later” (if you don’t want the update), would not dismiss the notification permanently and the ‘”Upgrade” option takes you to the installer for upgrading to Office 2016, which may or may not be free – based on your actual Office 365 subscription plan. Whereas, the “Learn more” option will redirect you to a website which elaborates the new aspects of Office 2016.

The ad can be bothersome for a few reasons, one being – it is nagware and the other that it is clingy and won’t go away easily. Moreover, it is illusive and in some cases, even after subscribing to the Office 365 Business Essentials plan, it still does not authorize users to the locally installable Office 2016 apps, instead provides them with Exchange access.

Coming towards the solution of the vexatious pop-up ad dilemma, what you need is an easy fix file, run it, then follow the steps described by the wizard.

When Microsoft was asked to provide insight on the problem they responded:

The notification is meant to provide existing Office 365 subscribers who are using an older version of Office an easy way to upgrade to Office 2016. The team is actively working to identify the right frequency and are also evaluating ways to make adjusting the notification simple based on customer feedback. In the meantime, customers can turn off the notification by first clicking here. Then, in the File Download dialog box, click Run or Open, and follow the steps in the fix wizard.

But don’t worry, as the fix will not affect your subscription, and users who are on the older, locally installed versions of Microsoft’s office apps, can continue to use it  and still get security fixes from Microsoft for free.

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