Office 2016 is the latest version of Microsoft Office for both Windows PCs and Macs. If you subscribe to Office 365, you’ll always receive updates to the latest version of Office. If you buy a traditional single system license, you have to purchase each new version to receive it.
The Latest Version is Office 2016
The latest version of Microsoft Office is Office 2016, which is available for both Windows PCs and Macs. Microsoft released the Office 2016 for Windows on September 22, 2015 and Office 2016 for Mac on July 9, 2015.
The Windows version runs on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and later operating systems, including Windows 10. The Mac version supports OS X 10.10 Yosemite and newer versions, including macOS 10.13 High Sierra.
There are also Office applications for iPhone, iPad, Android, and the web. These are always up-to-date with the latest software.
The versions of Office 2016 provided with Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service are actually a bit different than the traditional versions of Office 2016, despite the name. The Office applications available through the Office 365 subscription service receive new features before the standard standalone copies of Office 2016 do.
How to Check if You Have the Latest Version
To check which version of Microsoft Office you’re using on Windows, open an Office application like Word or Excel, and then click the “File” menu at the top left corner of the window.
Click the “Account” option in the sidebar menu. Look under “Product Information” at the right side of your screen and you’ll see which version of Office you’re using.
If you don’t see an “Account” option, click “Help” instead.
In the screenshot below, we’re using Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus on the semi-annual update channel. We have version 1708 of the software, which means we have the version of Office that was released in August, 2017.
You can also click the “About” button on the Account page—for example, “About Word” in Microsoft Word—to find more information.
For example, this window clarifies that we’re using the 32-bit version of Microsoft Word 2016. This means we have the 32-bit version of Microsoft Office 2016 installed.
On a Mac, just click the “About” option in an application’s menu to find this information.
For example, in Microsoft Word, click Word > About Word. In Microsoft Excel, click Excel > About Excel.
How to Update to the Latest Version
How you update depends on how you purchased Microsoft Office. If you subscribe to the Office 365 subscription service, you will always have the latest version of Microsoft Office.
You can check for updates by clicking File > Account > Update Options > Update Now in an Office application. However, unless you’ve disabled updates, which isn’t recommended, Office will always update itself in the background.
Office 365 has different update channels. Standard consumer versions of Office 365 are on the “Monthly” update channel that receive new features and other updates each month. However, if you installed a version of Office through your organization’s Office 365 ProPlus subscription, you may be on the “Semi-annual” channel instead. This channel only gets updates with new features once every six months. You’ll still receive security updates immediately—only new Microsoft Office features are postponed.
You can switch to the monthly channel if you’re on the semi-annual channel and want to receive more frequent feature updates. To do so, download and run Microsoft’s Office channel switcher fix. It will change your Office product’s update channel and automatically begin downloading the new version.
If you don’t have Office 2016, you can get it by either subscribing to Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service or by purchasing a single PC or Mac license of Office 2016 and installing it on your system.
If you opt to purchase Office 2016 instead of subscribing to Office 365, you won’t be automatically updated to the next major release of Office. However, if you subscribe to Office 365, you’ll automatically be kept up-to-date with the latest Office software.
Office 365 is a particularly good deal if you want to install Office on more than one PC. Office 365 Personal costs $70 per year and lets you install Office on one PC or Mac. However, Office 365 Home costs $100 per year and lets you install Office on up to five PCs or Macs—or any combination of the two. A single standalone copy of Office 2016 for Windows or Mac costs $150, and that’s just for one device.