Downloads Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for downloading software from the Microsoft 365 admin center?

You must purchase a license for the products you plan to download and have access to a valid product key for each license to complete the installation. Verify your license agreement before you download products.

You can find the system requirements for each product by signing into the admin center and going to Your products > Downloads page > Product description.


Not all products require a product key.

What products can I download from the admin center?

If your download rights are associated with the Open License, Open Value, or Open Value Subscription program, you can download only those products you've already purchased. The admin center displays downloads only for licenses you’ve purchased.

Other licensing programs (Select Plus, Enterprise, Campus, or School) allow you to download any product from the catalog before you purchase licenses.

If your profile is linked to both Open and other licensing programs, you can view the entire catalog.

To determine if a product is eligible for download:

  1. Select Volume Licensing, and then select the product or View downloads.
  2. Under Download, if the product isn't available, you see “This product is not available for download.”

What is a Client Access License (CAL)?

A Client Access License (CAL) is a license that gives a user the right to access the services of the server.

You don't need a software download file or product key to activate a CAL. Instead, the product is activated and installed through the activation wizard directly from your computer.

Examples of CALs include:

  • Windows Server
  • SQL Server
  • Exchange Server
  • Skype for Business Server
  • SharePoint Server
  • System Center
  • Project Server

How do I download Microsoft 365 for Mac?

To run a volume licensing version of Microsoft 365 for Mac, you must download and install the following files:

  • The Volume License (VL) Serializer package located in the Microsoft 365 for Mac download file.
  • The Microsoft 365 for Mac installation package. Installer package files for individual applications are also available on the Microsoft 365 admin center. Microsoft 365 for Mac doesn’t require a product key because the VL Serializer is used to activate a volume licensed version of Microsoft 365 for Mac.

How do I download products in the admin center?

To download products in the admin center:

  1. Select Volume Licensing, and then select the product or View downloads.
  2. Under Download, select a component and select a download action or the download icon.

To access downloads in the admin center, a VLSC administrator in your organization can provide access by assigning you to one of these roles:

  • Administrator
  • Download
  • Software Assurance Manager

How do I change my download settings?

To access download settings in the admin center:

  1. Select Volume Licensing, and then select the product or View downloads.
  2. Under Download, select the Language and Operating System Type.


Pop-up blockers can block downloads. Make sure pop-up blockers are disabled when you download software from the admin center.

What are EXE and ISO files?

You can select two file types when you download products from the admin center:

  • Executable (EXE) files can be downloaded and installed on the same system, but you can’t create separate boot disks for installation on other computers.
  • ISO (International Standards Organization) image files are exact representations of the content and the logical format. You can install these on the computer used to download the package or write the files to disks for distribution and installation on other computers.


Not all products are available in all languages and in all formats.

How do I use ISO image file software to download and save ISO image file to a CD-R or a DVD-R disk?

If you're using a PC with the Windows operating system, you don't need additional software to burn a CD-R or DVD-R. Double-click the ISO file you downloaded, and then follow the steps in the Image Burner Wizard.

If you're using any operating system other than Windows, you might need additional software. If your computer is equipped with a CD/DVD burner, the software is probably loaded on your PC. Most CD-R/DVD-R writing software allows you to create a disk from an image file. Select a menu item such Copy Image to CD or Burn Image to access to access this feature.

How do I mount and access ISO files as a virtual device?

If you don't have a CD/DVD burner installed on your computer or media isn't available, you can mount the ISO file as a virtual drive. With this method, your computer believes that the file is a real disk drive, and you can read files from this virtual disk.


This approach is advisable only for installing applications such as Microsoft 365 or minor system upgrades. You can't install an operating system using this approach because the virtual drive disappears during the installation.

How do I get support for downloaded products?

For a list of support options, see Microsoft Support. Some Volume Licensing customers can use Problem Resolution Support, a Software Assurance Benefit. Review your Software Assurance Benefits to verify your eligibility.

Where can I find support for the topics covered in this FAQ?

For more training resources, including videos, see Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center training and resources.

How can I contact Microsoft Support?

For VLSC customer phone or web form support, see Contact Us. Microsoft responds to web form submissions within 24 hours.