Configure a silent installation of Office 2010


Applies to: Office 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-12-06

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You can configure a silent installation of Microsoft Office 2010 by using the Config.xml file.

The Config.xml file is used to configure installation tasks and is used only when you run Setup. It is not installed or cached on users' computers. You can edit the Config.xml file to customize an installation.

By default, the Config.xml file that is stored in the core product folder, core_product_folder_name.WW, directs Setup to install that product. For example, if ProPlus.WW is the folder name, the Config.xml file in the ProPlus.WW folder installs Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010.

If you are using Key Management Service (KMS) activation to activate Office 2010 for an enterprise deployment, a product key entry is not required because all Volume License editions of Office 2010 have a KMS client key pre-installed. KMS is one of the methods that are provided by Office Activation Technologies for activating products that are licensed under Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. When you install a Volume License edition of Office 2010, Office seeks a KMS host to activate against.

A Multiple Activation Key (MAK) key is another method that Office Activation Technologies provides for activating products that are licensed under Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. If you use MAK activation, you can add a MAK key by using the PIDKEY element in the Config.xml file. Note that the PIDKEY element is only used for volume license editions of Office 2010. It does not apply to Office Professional Plus for Office 365.

You can also use the AUTO_ACTIVATE property of the Setting element in Config.xml to specify that product activation occur automatically during Office 2010 deployment.


When the AUTO_ACTIVATE property is added to an installation, it triggers an attempt to activate Office 2010 only one time. If that activation attempt fails (for example because of proxy issues, user rights, or Internet connectivity issues), another attempt will not be made and users will later be prompted to activate Office 2010.

For more information about volume activation, see Plan volume activation of Office 2010 and Deploy volume activation of Office 2010. For information about Config.xml elements and syntax, see Config.xml file in Office 2010.

Modify the Config.xml file to configure a silent installation and automatic activation (using a MAK key)

To configure a silent installation (unattended installation) of an Office 2010 product that requires no user interaction, modify the Config.xml file for the product that you are installing and set the Display element's Level attribute to "none" (Display Level="none"), and then save the Config.xml file, as shown in the following procedure. The Display element specifies the level of user interface that Setup displays to users. The following procedure also provides instructions for adding a MAK key and the automatic activation option.

To specify silent installation options in Config.xml

  1. Open the Config.xml file for the Office product (such as Office Professional Plus 2010) that you are installing by using a text editor tool, such as Notepad.

  2. Locate the line that contains the Display element, as shown in the following example:

    <!-- <Display Level="full" CompletionNotice="yes" SuppressModal="no" AcceptEula="no" /> -->

  3. Modify the Display element entry with the silent options that you want to use. Make sure that you remove the comment delimiters, "<!--" and "-->". For example, use the following syntax:

    <Display Level="none" CompletionNotice="no" SuppressModal="yes" AcceptEula="yes" />

    These options will direct Setup to run silently, prevent prompting users to enter information, and prevent the installation from waiting for any user interaction. For more information about the syntax and Config.xml, see Display element in Config.xml file in Office 2010.

  4. To add a MAK key, use the PIDKEY element to enter the 25 character volume license key. Add the following line to the Config.xml file:


    AAAAABBBBBCCCCCDDDDDEEEEE represents the product key. Use your organization's specific MAK product key for Office 2010.

  5. To set the automatic activation option, add the following line to the Config.xml file:

    <Setting Id="AUTO_ACTIVATE" Value="1" />

    Not setting AUTO_ACTIVATE is the same as setting AUTO_ACTIVATE to a value of 0. The result is that product activation does not occur during Office 2010 deployment.

  6. Save the Config.xml file.


Make sure that no Office applications are running when you install Office 2010.

For example, to install Office Professional Plus 2010 after you modify the Config.xml file to specify silent installation options, use the following command:

\\server\share\setup.exe /config \\server\share\ProPlus.WW\config.xml


\\server\share is the path of the Office Professional Plus 2010 source files.

/config is a Setup command-line option that specifies the location of the Config.xml file. See Setup command-line options for Office 2010.

\\server\share\ProPlus.WW\config.xml is the location of your modified Config.xml file for Office Professional Plus 2010.


If you use the Config.xml file to set silent installation options as in the previous example, you will also want to use the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to create a Setup customization file (.msp file) to configure additional installation customizations. For example, you can use the OCT to specify earlier versions of Microsoft Office applications to keep or remove. You can also set feature installation states by using the OCT to change the default way in which Office features are installed. For a complete description of the areas that you can configure by using the OCT, see Office Customization Tool in Office 2010. The OCT is available with Volume Licensing editions of Office 2010 (and the 2007 Office system). To determine whether your Office 2010 installation is a Volume Licensing edition, check the Office 2010 installation disk to see whether it contains a folder named Admin. If the Admin folder exists, the disk is a Volume Licensing edition. If the Admin folder does not exist, the disk is a retail edition.
You can also set silent installation options by using the OCT. For more information, see the Licensing and user interface section in Office Customization Tool in Office 2010. The Level attribute of the Display element in the Config.xml file is equivalent to the Display Level option in the OCT. In enterprise deployments, we recommend that you set the Display Level to None if you use the OCT to ensure that Setup runs silently. This prevents prompts to users to enter information, and prevents the installation from waiting for any user interaction, even when files are in use. You should also ensure that the Suppress modal and Completion notice options are silenced and that the I accept the terms in the License Agreement check box is selected. As noted previously, administrators must also make sure that no Office applications are running during an installation of Office 2010.

The following example shows how to use the OCT to set silent installation options, enter a MAK product key, and specify the AUTO_ACTIVATE property value for automatic activation.

To configure silent installation and automatic activation options in the OCT

  1. Run the OCT by typing setup.exe /admin at the command line from the root of the network installation point that contains the Office 2010 source files. For example, use \\server\share\Office14\setup.exe /admin.

  2. To set silent installation options, select Licensing and user interface in the left pane, select None in the Display level drop-down box, select Suppress modal, clear the Completion notice check box, and then select I accept the terms in the License Agreement.

  3. To enter a MAK key, select Licensing and user interface in the left pane, and in the right pane select Enter another product key, add your organization's MAK product key for Office 2010 in the Product key text box.

  4. To set automatic activation options, select Modify Setup properties on the left pane, and then click Add in the right pane.

  5. In the Add Property Value dialog box, in the Name box, type AUTO_ACTIVATE. Note that property names must be uppercase.

  6. In the Value box, type 1, and then click OK.

  7. When you complete your customizations in the OCT, click Save as on the File menu to save the Setup customization .msp file.