How-To Geek

How To Create a Portable USB Version of Microsoft Office Starter 2010

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)


Microsoft Office 2010 Starter edition is a free, ad-supported version of Office 2010 meant to be included on new PCs. It only includes Word and Excel with a subset of features—but it does let you make a portable version. Here’s how to do it.

Update: looks like the link is dead.

Note: The download link provided in the following article is not exactly a “Microsoft Approved” link and may stop working at any time. Still, the Starter version of Office is meant to be ad-supported freeware, and they haven’t pulled the download despite widespread use of it online.

Creating Your Portable Office

The first thing you will have to do is grab a copy of Office 2010 Starter from this link. Once the download has finished, double-click on the file to launch the installation. The installer will attempt to download the actual files needed to install Office. Once it’s completed downloading, it will go through the installation—it’s really a very quick process.


Now that Office Starter is installed, head to the Start Menu, go to All Programs and open the Microsoft Office 2010 Tools folder, and then launch the Microsoft Office Starter To-Go Device Manager 2010—or you could just search for it in the Start Menu search box.


Again Office will now download more files.


Once downloaded you will be asked which drive you would like to install Office on.


Office will now be installed to your USB.


Once you see that the installation is complete your USB is ready to go.


If you open explorer you will see that your USB with Office on it has a nice new icon.


Office To-Go has a launch application on the root of the drive called Office.exe from which you can launch Word and Excel.


That’s all there is to it guys, enjoy your portable installation of Office 2010 Starter.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 10/28/11

Comments (34)

  1. D


    Can did be done with the owned/bought/fully legit copy of Office 2012 Professional edition as well?

  2. john payne

    Requires Windows Vista or above!

  3. chess


  4. Taylor Gibb

    @D unfortunately you cant, the utility used to create the USB uses a a spin off of the App-V technology owned by Microsoft it is custom built only to use Starter versions files, im sure that someone one will hack it soon, in any case if not i hope they include this in the next version of Microsoft Office

  5. YoungBud

    ok so it only works if your running a 32bit version of windows :( any 64bit, and does that mean if i install the 32bit i cant use it on a 64bit?

  6. Ted

    Thanks, great idea but does not work on XP :(

  7. slomem

    Will This download work if you have Office 2007 installed. Or will it comprise the installation of Office 2007?
    Thanks in advance for the help

  8. Arston

    Sadly it is only Windows x86 compatible. Isn’t there an alternative for 64?

  9. Hadi

    gr8. Can I repeat the same with an offline professional plus version?

  10. sundog65

    Hi I have this working on machines that are running x64 Windows 7 Home Premium.and on usb.

  11. Henry

    It does work on 64bit Window 7. I have it here now. Be warned though it does not uninstall cleanly and leaves disk drive Q in computer manager. Restore point gets rid of it though.

  12. Beverly Kurtin

    Frankly, I see nothing is to be gained by doing this. All word processors have the ability to save a document in one of the Word formats or .rtf I’d feel pretty stupid asking a person to let me use their computer to load a program into it. Also spreadsheets can be saved as .xls files or comma or tab delimited formats.

    I’m not going to download it. Besides, I usually carry my laptop or a tablet wherever I wander and with a portable hotspot…life is good!

  13. Taylor Gibb

    @Everyone this article was written on a 64-Bit installation onf Windows 7 Ultimate soi it does work on 64-Bit Windows 7, however i doubt it will work on XP.

  14. vince

    @slomem i have office2010 installed and it works – no interference

    i tested the Installation last week (for my tools-USBstick)
    The Installation was quite big, but you can reduce the size:
    – office.exe – 5mb (in USB-root)
    – invisible Folder: “VirtualApplications” (in USB-root) –> ~400MB?!

    solution: so, the installation-Files are stored directly on the Stick (oviously for the “click2run-installation”)
    if you delete those files (the
    – “click2run64.msi”,
    – “click2run.msi” and
    – “consumerc2r.en-us_14….sft” error…

    But I wan’t a ONENOTE-VIEWER!!! X) that small or a ONENOTE portable (evernote doesn’t fit for me)…argh

  15. vince

    there was sth. wrong in the post above:
    – – “consumerc2r.en-us_14….sft” error…
    – “consumerc2r.en-us_14….sft” shows an error…

  16. Arston

    Right, I’m sorry. It’s incompatible with my 64 bit Office, not the Windows. So I have to install it from someone else’s computer? On the flash I mean.

  17. vince

    i don’t know whats wrong! please delete the second post.
    consumerc2r.en-us_14….sft doesn’t show any error, it can be deleted!!
    an error occurs when you copy the files from one stick to another stick/hdd/desktop…

  18. RobCr

    Two questions –

    Is it truly portable ?
    Can you take your thumb drive (created as you described above), and place it into another PC, that has never had Office installed, and will it work in that other PC ?

    Are the adds embedded, or is it ‘calling home’ all the time ?

  19. bobly

    Thx a mill

  20. Cez Can

    Yes it is a good idea, but sorry not for me.
    Thanks I’m linux user and using Libre Office ………..

  21. William


    yes, that Office-to-go is portable.

    but you will notice that it is installing some prerequisites onto the hard drive from the startup screen when it is brought to another pc even though those prerequisites have already been installed on the usb drive.

    it takes around 15s to 30s to install those prerequisites.

    i think it is a common behaviour of portable apps. For some, they just don’t let you know they are installing things during startup. Microsoft is a honest guy.

  22. Anonymous

    Thanks for the info, but for Word and Excel documents I think I’ll stick with Open Office / Libre Office (Writer and Calc) where I can do all that and more!

    FYI: Open Office has had portable versions of their apps for years that will easily handle MS Office produced documents. Writer and Calc are 100% compatible with MS Office produced documents, are totally free, and don’t hog up a systems resources like the Microsoft counterparts do. There’s even other free apps for Power Point and data base stuff, just to name a couple, too. But perhaps best of all, there are Mac and especially Linux versions of Open Office / Libre Office available. So just why anyone would struggle with Microsoft Office is bewildering. That is unless you consider the “stupid factor” where stupid people believe they have to pay money to get something good – that’s just not true.

    About the only thing that Microsoft Office has which Open/Libre Office doesn’t is the horrible Outlook app. But for that, you really don’t need to look much further than Mozilla where their free Thunderbird app (and possibly a couple of free add-ons) will work even better.

    Quite frankly, these “free” versions of Microsoft’s Word and Xcel apps seems to be more of a reaction to the “free” marketplace than anything else. And just when haven’t we seen Microsoft react like this? STOP BUYING MICROSOFT OFFICE!!!

  23. Daniel

    The link does not work anymore unfortunately.

    Further more, it is still in Microsoft`s hands, but there is a lock and you need to be an OEM partner in order to get it else you`ll not come close to getting it from them ; so I am also unsure that it’s legal. I`ll stick with free version of OpenOffice or LibreOffice for the time being.

  24. William

    amazing! the link not work anymore !

    illegal ! ??? … a leakage ???

  25. Roi

    The file is no longer available, I get a 404 T___T

  26. Tony

    This needs windows vista to set up but once setup will it work on XP?

  27. Thomas Collis

    This link is no longer active but it was brilliant while it lasted, allowed me to fix the office starter on my new laptop. :-)

  28. Richard Belschner

    This product is terrible if you already have Microsoft Office. I downloaded and it worked ok, but couldn’t load it on a mobile device and now whenever I receive anything in Word or Excel it will only open in the Office Starter and you can’t uninstall it without help from Microsoft as far as I can tell. I have tried and tried but it will not uninstall.


  29. Alex

    This looks like a good deal to have for on the go. The only problem is that the link for the download on this post is dead, no longer working. Does someone have the new one?

  30. Chad

    The link is dead. The one offered on Lifehacker is dead too. They must have ended due too many downloads.

  31. seanixguy

    Starter link download is a 404

  32. jester

    Is there a way to include PowerPoint on the starter?

  33. Carl

    Your link for downloading the software is broken. On my machine it translated to this:

    Doesn’t work.

  34. Paul K

    The link nolonger works.
    Is there a way to get a copy of that file?

    Thank you

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