As announced in April, Microsoft has begun the transition of its Office 2016 for Mac productivity suite from 32-bit to 64-bit. An update is beginning to roll out to users running the suite of programs, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.
Apple’s desktop operating system has been 64-bit for a while now, but Windows still allows users to to choose between 32- and 64-bit versions. With this latest update, Office 2016 for Mac is making the permanent switch to 64-bit support which Microsoft says will boost performance and allow for new features.
The new update is currently rolling out, and users running Retail, Office 365 Consumer, Office 365 Commercial, and Volume License installations of the software should begin receiving notifications that updates are available. If you don’t receive an update notification when starting up an Office app, simply check for an update from the app’s menu. It took us a couple of attempts before we received the notification.
Microsoft warns Office for Mac users that switching to the 64-bit version of the productivity suite could affect any third-party add-ins they might use with the apps, so check with the developer of the plug-ins to see if any updates are available. The developers have had a number of months to make their add-ins compatible with 64-bit Office, but it’s a good idea to double-check.