Saturday, July 9, 2016

Switching Between Microsoft Office 32-bit and 64-bit

Microsoft doesn't allow both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office to be installed simultaneously on Windows. There might be a time when you want to switch from one to the other. For example, with the widely reported HTML rendering bug that occurs with 64-bit Outlook 2016 but not 32-bit. However, you might run into another widespread issue where the installer says something like
We're sorry, Office (32-bit) couldn't be installed because you have these 64-bit Office Programs installed on your computer.
But you just removed the other version of Office. What gives? Microsoft's manual removal instructions don't work either. Try this:
  1. WindowsKey+R to bring up the run dialog
  2. Go to C:\Windows\Installer
  3. View -> Sort by -> Choose columns
  4. Click the box next to "Subject"
  5. Sort by the Subject column
  6. Launch the MSI wherever it has the word "Office" in the Subject column to uninstall
The MSI may error out but disappear afterwards. Retry your new installation and it should work this time.