Upgrade Office 365 from 32-bit to 64-bit with Microsoft Intune – Part 2

In Part 1 of this tutorial, we looked at using the Company Portal app and the built-in Microsoft 365 Apps wizard in Microsoft Intune to upgrade Office 365 32-bit to Office 365 64-bit. While that process works completely fine as far as functionality goes, the time it takes for the upgrade process to complete is a little longer than most organizations would probably prefer.

In Part 2, we are going to look at creating our own Win32 application package to convert Office 365 32-bit to Office 365 64-bit using Microsoft Intune. While we are still going to use the Company Portal app to deploy this package, we want to see if we can shrink the time it takes for the upgrade process to complete by including the Office 64-bit source files in our application package.

Download Office 365 64-bit Source Files

To start out, we will need to download the Office 365 64-bit (Microsoft 365 Apps) source files. To do this we need to download the Office Deployment Tool (ODT).

Microsoft has some documentation here which can help you get started with the ODT. We are going to download the latest ODT and run it to get started. After running the ODT (officedeploymentool_14729-20228.exe), the following files were extracted:

Office 365 ODT

I am going to open up the configuration-Office365-x64.xml file to see what configuration it contains.

Office 365 configuration xml

As you can see, We have some commented information at the top about the file and then below that we can see the actual configuration. For this particular use case, I just want to be able to download 64-bit Office files and I want Current Channel and English as my language. For that particular configuration, this is what my XML will look like:

Office 365 configuration xml

Once I save that, I can proceed to download the files I need. To do this, I am going to run the following command (use command prompt) inside the folder where my ODT files are: setup.exe /download configuration-Office365-x64.xml

As you can see, I now have a new folder called “Office” that contains my 64-bit source files.

Office 365 source files

Now, in order to upgrade the Office architecture, I once again will need to create a configuration XML file with the MigrateArch parameter in it. I am going to take the same XML configuration I used in Microsoft Intune and copy and paste it into a new XML file called UpgradeArch.xml.

Office 365 64-bit Upgrade

Create 64-bit Office Upgrade Package in Microsoft Intune

Now that I have the 64-bit source files downloaded and my UpgradeArch XML file created, I need to package all of that up. Since I created my own XML file, I don’t need the sample configuration XML files that were extracted from the ODT. After deleting those, I will be left with the following contents to package:

Office 365 64-bit upgrade package

Microsoft Intune utilizes a specific prep tool called the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool in order to package content for Intune to deploy. The tool will gather all the specified content and package it into an .intunewin file format which you can then proceed to upload to Intune. You can take a look at the Microsoft documentation here to read more on this process and how to download the Win32 Content Prep tool.

Once this process is complete, I now see my file in the .intunewin file format;

Office 365 64-bit upgrade Microsoft Intune package

Create Win32 Office Upgrade App in Microsoft Intune

Now that I have my package created, I need to create the application in Microsoft Intune.

Begin by going to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager portal. Go to Apps and then Windows apps and select Add.

Microsoft Intune Windows appa

In App Type, select Windows app (Win32).

Win32 apps
Win32 apps

You will be prompted to Select app package file. This is the 64BitArchUpgrade.intunewin file that we created.

Win32 app package

As you can see, its a large package overall at about 3.17GB. Select OK.

Win32 app package file

Now we can begin filling out application information. I will give my package a name, description and provide the publisher. Select Next.

Microsoft Intune Win32 App information

Now this is where I need to provide the install command. This command will run the Office setup using the configuration file which will upgrade the Office architecture to 64-bit. This will be a system install and I will leave the device restart behavior as no specific action.

Note: Ignore the uninstall command I am using. If I was going to uninstall Office using a package, I would create a new XML configuration file to perform this (something like setup.exe /configure uninstall.xml). Since we aren’t focusing on an uninstall here, I just put a placeholder as it is a required field.

Microsoft Intune Win32 program

For requirements, I have a few required fields here I need to address. This is for a 64-bit operating system so I will select 64-bit for OS architecture. Then for minimum operating system, I usually choose an older version of Windows 10 like 1607 in this case.

Win32 app requirements

The next big piece of this is the detection method. Microsoft Intune allows you to utilize a script for detection or they allow you to manually configure detection rules. In this case, I am going to select manual and then add a rule.

Win32 app detection rules

I need a detection rule which will check and confirm if Office is 64-bit once the architecture upgrade is complete. I want to utilize a registry setting for this. If I navigate to the following registry path on a machine with 64-bit Office installed, I can see my configuration. If you look at the “Platform” value, you can see its set to x64, which is what I want it to detect after the upgrade completes.

Office 365 registry configuration
Win32 detection rule

This detection rule will do a string comparison and check if the value “Platform” is equal to “x64” or 64-bit Office in this case. Once this is filled in, you will see the following rule:

Win32 detection rules

I am going to skip dependencies and supersedence and go to Assignments to deploy my Win32 app. Similar to Part 1, I am going to assign this as “Available for enrolled devices” which will make it available in the Intune Company Portal app on my device. Remember, this could be deployed as a “Required” application which would force the upgrade to 64-bit Office on the device as soon as it checks-in. I don’t want to do this for a deployment like this so we are making this available for an end user to perform when its convenient for them.

Win32 app assignments

Lastly, I am given the summary of my Win32 application deployment.

Win32 app review

I will go ahead and click “Create” to create my new Win32 application. A notification will appear letting you know its uploading the new application. In this case, my Win32 application is over 3GB so it might take a few minutes to finish.

Office 365 64-bit upgrade win32 app

I will receive another notification when this completes.

Microsoft Intune notification

Run Office 365 64-bit Architecture Upgrade

I am going to go to my test device and open the Intune Company Portal application to see if my new Win32 application is there which it is.

Intune Company Portal App

I am ready to run it so I will select install. Once it begins, I will be given a progress bar letting me know its downloading the package.

Intune Company Portal download

I will also get a toast notification from the Intune Management Extension letting me know the download and installation are in progress.

Win32 app status toast notification

Once its complete, I will receive another toast notification and the application will show as installed in the Company Portal app. I also will check and make sure my Office applications are showing that they are 64-bit now as well.

Win32 app status toast notifications
Win32 app installed
Office 365 64-bit

Final Thoughts

This time, you can see the Office 64-bit architecture upgrade took a little less than 30 minutes which is much faster than our deployment in Part 1. Adding the 64-bit Office source files to a Win32 app definitely made a difference.

I wanted to note a few final things to consider:

  1. Even though this tutorial is specifically using Intune, you could also use a similar approach in ConfigMgr or other deployment tools. Instead of using the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool, you could just take the original files we downloaded with the ODT and deploy them using the same command line of setup.exe /configure UpgradeArch.xml to run the upgrade.
  2. If you want to try and shave even more time off on the 64-bit upgrade process, you could try to stage all the installation files locally on the device. That way the content doesn’t need to be pulled down from Intune or the Office CDN.
  3. Once again, it’s not mandatory, but I would recommend a reboot after the install/upgrade is complete.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on upgrading Office 32-bit to 64-bit using Intune!

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