Microsoft Office Upgrades

This page provides instructions and options for upgrading Microsoft Windows on TU-owned computers.

About the upgrade

All TU Windows computers using Microsoft 2016 and older will be updated to Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (M365). TU Macs will use Microsoft Office 2019.

Why upgrade?

The upgrade is required because Microsoft’s mainstream support for Office 2016 ended in October 2020, and only limited support is available.

Microsoft at TU

What's the difference?

Open Microsoft 365 on TU Windows computers, Office 2019 on TU Macs. Use a browser on any device to access Office 365.

See the Microsoft Office Version Comparison chart (PDF).

Need help?

The OTS Faculty/Staff Help Center can help with upgrade questions or problems.

How to upgrade

All TU-owned Windows computers are required to be upgraded. However, if you have hardware or software incompatibility M365 with your services or applications, you can request an exemption.

Select an upgrade option

In most cases, the M365 upgrade will not require an OTS visit. You have three choices to upgrade your university computer.

Option 1: Request to replace or upgrade your computer if you have one of these older models.

Check your computer model (PDF). If you have a Windows Dell OptiPlex 745, 755, 980, and 990 model (or earlier), request an upgrade through the Computer Trade-Up Program, the EduCycle Computer Reconditioning Program, or a department purchase. See more information and options (PDF).

Option 2: Self-Upgrade your system using the computer's Software Center (strongly recommended).

This option allows you to upgrade at a time convenient for you, and it's a great option if you often work on a Windows laptop offsite.

  1. Save all your work and close all your Microsoft Office applications.
  2. Click the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen.
  3. Type Software Center in the search field that appears.
  4. Once the Software Center launches, select Applications from the left-hand menu.
  5. Select Microsoft 365 Apps (Office). The upgrade will take approximately 20 minutes.

Option 3: Wait for OTS Client Services to contact your department to schedule a remote installation.

Here's what you need to know about this option:

  • OTS Client Services will contact your department to schedule the upgrade.
  • We will work with your department to provide communications throughout the process with instructions to ensure the upgrade is successful.
  • You will have one week to request an exemption for hardware and software compatibility issues.
  • OTS will send a reminder with specific steps for prior to the install.


The upgrade to M365 removed all Microsoft Office applications including Visio and Project. These are licensed separately. If you purchased them through OTS, you will be able to install the updated version of Project/Visio 2019 from the Software Center. If you do not see Project/Visio 2019 please contact the Faculty/Staff Help Center at 410-704-5151.

There are a couple of possible reasons for this:

  • Fonts are licensed for TU computers so you will not see them on your personal computer unless you purchase them personally.
  • O365 works through a web browser and fonts and templates stored locally may not work. Instead, Microsoft will substitute a general font in its place. This will make your fonts look incorrect and the overall template skewed, stretched, incorrect.
  • If you are using M365 installed locally on your TU computer and you are having issues with fonts and templates, contact the Faculty/Staff Help Center at 410-704-5151. Your computer may just need the TU fonts installed or repaired.

Office 365 cloud-based apps provide basic productivity so there are some features and tools that may not be available or work well through the browser. To improve creating and editing abilities in O365, expand the Editing menu at the top of the ribbon, and select the option to Open in Desktop App. Note: O365 is managed by Microsoft. TU has no control over the features/functionality of O365.

No. You might notice an “install button” when in Office 365 (online). This isn’t for installing M365, it’s for installing O365 on a personal device using one of your five personal licenses. TU installs M365 on university-managed computers.

If you don’t see M365 in the Software Center, or if you’re having trouble installing the upgrade contact the Faculty/Staff Help Center at 410-704-5151


You need to connect to the TU network at least once every 30 days or you will have reduced functionality until you connect to the TU network again. You might be prompted to sign into M365 again.

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