Microsoft Office 2019 or 2021 Deployment
Below is a high-level overview of the deployment process for the current Microsoft Office family of products. Please visit Microsoft's site for comprehensive instructions to Office 2019 deployment or Office 2021 deployment.
These instructions involve working with the command prompt, which many users are not experienced with. Some basic navigation commands will be necessary.
In deploying previous editions, a physical disc was used for installation. With the 2019 or 2021 editions, there is no longer any physical media.
Remove existing versions of Office before installing Office 2019/2021 products
Microsoft recommends that you uninstall any previous versions of Office before installing volume-licensed versions of Office 2019 or 2021 products. To help you uninstall versions of Office that use Windows Installer (MSI) as the installation technology, you can use the Office Deployment Tool and specify the RemoveMSI element in your configuration.xml file.
1. Remove existing versions of Office
Microsoft recommends that you uninstall any previous versions of Office before installing volume-licensed versions of the Office 2019 or 2021 family. More information on this can be found here.
2. Download the Office Deployment Tool (ODT)
Use the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) to configure and perform deployments of volume licensed versions of Office 2019 or 2021, including Project and Visio, for users in your organization. . The Office Customization Tool (OCT) that you previously used for Windows Installer (MSI) is no longer used.
3. Create a configuration file
After obtaining a copy of the ODT, you need to create a configuration.xml file. You can create multiple configuration.xml files to be used with the ODT.
4. Download the install files
Once you have a copy of the ODT and have created your configuration.xml file, you can download the Office 2019/2021 installation files to your local network.
5. You can request a configuration.xml file from OETC or create your own.
Finally, when you have a copy of the ODT and have created your configuration.xml file (and downloaded the Office 2019 or 2021 installation files to your local network, if necessary), you can install Office 2019 or 2021.
Use the ODT to configure XML file
Instead of using a text editor to create your configuration.xml, we recommend using the Office Customization Tool (OCT). The OCT provides a web-based interface for making your selections and creating your configuration.xml file to be used with the Office Deployment Tool. For more information, see Overview of the Office Customization Tool. Please note that this is different from the Office Customization Tool that you might have used in the past to install volume licensed versions of Office that used Windows Installer (MSI) as the installation technology.
Notes: In reading the 2021 documentation, you’ll see it’s referred to as Office LTSC. That’s Microsoft’s new naming convention for the perpetual licenses (versus the subscription licenses).