We use to tell our customers to always update Outlook with its latest updates, but – with Office / Outlook 2013 – updating Outlook it’s not as easy as it should be. This tutorial describes how to update Outlook 2013, depending on its installation method.
What Outlook 2013 version do you actually use?
Well, if you are using Outlook 2013 and you are asked about your Outlook version, you will probably answer simply with “Outlook 2013″, right? Or maybe you would say “Outlook 2013 for Office 365″. Actually, from an Outlook 2013 update perspective, Microsoft separate Office / Outlook 2013 in two other groups:
– Office 2013 installed through the new “Click to Run” method (installed by clicking on the download /install link provided in your Microsoft account);
– Office 2013 installed from a disk / by running the MSI installer (which can also be obtained from your Microsoft account, by clicking on the “Install from a disk”).
To identify which one of them you are using, simply open Outlook 2013, go to File -> Office Account and look under the Product Information area: if there is an “Update Options” button, then you have the “Click to run” Office 2013 version.
So, here is a screenshot of the Product Information area of a “Click to run” installation:
And here is a screenshot of the Product Information area of a disk / MSI installation of Office / Outlook 2013:
As you can see from the above screenshots, the Update options are simply NOT available in the disk / MSI installation! There is no mistake from Microsoft, in fact it’s exactly how they wanted it to be. As a result, when you are looking to update Office 2013, you must be aware of its installation method so you can choose the proper update way.
Anyway, here is how to update Office Outlook 2013 depending on your Office installation type:
Updating Outlook 2013 for an Office “Click to run” installation
To update Outlook 2013 “Click to run”, simply click on the Update Options button as described above (under the Outlook File menu, click on Office Account and look for the “Update Options” button, then click on “Apply Updates” if it tells you that there are updates available):
Updating Outlook 2013 for a disk / MSI installation of Office
Luckily, you have two solutions to update an Outlook 2013 disk / MSI installation:
1. Change your Windows Update settings to include updates for Other Microsoft products: simply open your Windows Control Panel, then go to System and Security -> Windows Update -> Change Settings -> mark the option “Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows”. However, please note that this update method will only give you Outlook updates and it will NOT include Microsoft Outlook hotfixes!
2. The best way to properly update Outlook 2013 is by using the free Microsoft Office Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT). This tool is provided by Microsoft and it was introduced for Office 2013. You can download it from this Microsoft page (here is the direct download link to the setup file: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=286211).
The Office Configuration Analyzer Tool
Simply install and run OffCAT from the above links, then click on “Start a scan” -> select Outlook -> type any name you want in the label section and click on “Start scanning”. Not only that the OffCAT tool will search for updates and fixes on your Outlook 2013 installation, but it will also scan your Outlook installation for other potential issues, as you can see on the OffCAT screenshot from below (click on it to enlarge):
Once you scanned your Outlook 2013 installation, simply click on each report section to see its details & solutions.
To update Outlook 2013, simply navigate to All Issues -> Office Update: Installed Updates -> Expand “You do not have the most recent files for Outlook 2013″, then click on the “see possible solutions to this issue” link: it will open a new browser window with ALL your missing Outlook updates and their download links.
The same update methods apply for all Office 2013 products (Word, Excel, etc).