Office 365 system requirements changes for Office client connectivity
Published Apr 20 2017 08:54 AM 91.8K Views

Editor’s note:

Changes have been made to the Office 365 system requirements. Go here to see the September 6, 2018 update and announcement:


Today on the Office blog, we announced changes to Office 365 system requirements for Office client connectivity and how we will make it easier for enterprises to deploy and manage Office 365 ProPlus. In this post, we are sharing some more detail on what the system requirement changes mean for IT between now and 2020 and why we've decided to make this change.


As technology evolves, system requirements need to change

The new system requirements provide clarity and predictability for client connectivity to Office 365 services. When customers connect to Office 365 with a legacy version of Office, they're not enjoying all that the service has to offer - The IT security and reliability benefits and end user experiences in the apps is limited to the features shipped at a point in time.


When we release new on-premises apps and servers, we use that opportunity to update the system requirements. But there is not yet a common convention on when to update system requirements for a multitenanted cloud service that is always up to date. In absence of that, we are sharing these system requirement changes as early as possible and as part of a larger discussion of the Office 365 ProPlus roadmap for deployment and management capabilities.


As we get closer to 2020, we will share more details about implementation and the user experience for affected desktop clients. The updated Office 365 system requirements for Business Enterprise and Government plans state:


Effective October 13th, 2020, Office 365 will only support client connectivity from subscription clients (Office 365 ProPlus) or Office perpetual clients within mainstream support (Office 2016 and Office 2019). (Please refer to the Microsoft support lifecycle site for Office mainstream support dates.)


Here is a high level summary of  the implications for client connectivity in 2020, depending on how you use Office 365:


 Connectivity to Office 365

Impact of change

Technical implications

Recommended actions

Office 365 ProPlus or Office clients in mainstream support (Office 2016 and Office 2019)

No change

Plan for regular updates to stay within support window

No action required

Office clients outside mainstream support

Client connectivity no longer supported

Office desktop client applications, such as Outlook, OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business clients will not connect to Office 365 services

Upgrade to current version of ProPlus or mainstream Office clients or use browser or mobile apps

browser and mobile apps

No change

No change

No action required

Office desktop clients outside mainstream support not using Office 365

No change

Set your own desktop upgrade timeline, in line with your on-premises server upgrades. When planning to move to Office 365 services, an Office client upgrade will be required

No action required



2020 may sound like a long way away, but your feedback to us has been consistent on the more advanced notice for Office 365 changes, the better. Providing over 3 years advance notice for this change to Office 365 system requirements for client connectivity gives you time to review your long-term desktop strategy, budget and plan for any change to your environment.


For now, the key takeaway is: Office 365 ProPlus is our recommended Office client for Office 365 users. This is the Office client that stays up to date with frequent feature releases and ensures the best service experience.


Here are some resources to help you plan for a ProPlus upgrade:


Thank you!


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