Install Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise in Shared Computer Activation Mode on Windows Virtual Desktop / Citrix Server / Terminal Servers

Shared computer activation lets you deploy Microsoft 365 Apps to a computer in your organization that is accessed by multiple users. Shared computer activation is required for scenarios where multiple users share the same computer and the users are logging in with their own account. Normally, users can install and activate Microsoft 365 Apps only on a limited number of devices, such as 5 PCs. Using Microsoft 365 Apps with shared computer activation enabled doesn’t count against that limit. For more information, you can check the link on Microsoft Docs: Overview of shared computer activation for Microsoft 365 Apps.

Download Office Deployment Tool

Double-click the downloaded file to launch. Accept the License agreement and click Continue.

Extract the Contents of the Office Deployment Tool to any empty folder. I am using a folder called ODT in C:\kits location.

Extracted Contents in ODT Folder.

Next, you can either use any of the existing .xml files depending upon the version of Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise required 64-bit or 32-bit or you can use Office Customization Tool to create your own customized configuration.xml file from Microsoft Apps Admin Center.

(Office Customization Tool creates the configuration files that are used to deploy Office in large organizations. These configuration files give you more control over an Office installation: you can define which applications and languages are installed, how those applications should be updated, and application preferences). 

I have created a customized configuration file called configuration.xml and saved it in the same location as the setup.exe file.

configuration.xml file contents (you can customize it according to your requirement)

<!-- Office 365 client configuration file sample. To be used for Office 365 ProPlus apps, 
     Office 365 Business apps, Project Pro for Office 365 and Visio Pro for Office 365. 

     For detailed information regarding configuration options visit: http://aka.ms/ODT. 
     To use the configuration file be sure to remove the comments

     The following sample allows you to download and install the 64 bit version of the 
     Office 365 ProPlus apps and Visio Pro for Office 365 directly from the Office CDN using 
     the Monthly Channel
     settings  -->

   <Configuration>
   <Add OfficeClientEdition="64" Channel="Monthly">
    <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
      <Language ID="en-us" />
    </Product>
    <Product ID="VisioProRetail">
      <Language ID="en-us" />
    </Product>
  </Add>

<Updates Enabled="TRUE" Channel="Monthly" />
<Property Name="SharedComputerLicensing" Value="1" />
<Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
<Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="1" />
<Logging Path="%temp%" />
</Configuration>

Make sure configuration.xml file contains this line <Property Name=”SharedComputerLicensing” Value=”1″> for Shared Computer Activation.

Now the ODT Folder contains setup.exe and configuration.xml file along with other xml files. Configuration file will be used in the next steps to download and install the Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise in Shared Computer Activation Mode.

Open command prompt on the server -> Navigate to the folder where setup.exe file is existing and run below command. After you run this command, it will create a folder called Office in the same location as setup.exe file and download the Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise along additional components you specified in the configuration.xml file. The download process may complete in few minutes depending upon the internet bandwidth.

After the download of Office is complete. Run below command to install Microsoft Apps for Enterprise. Once you press enter, it will install it Silently in the background.

Verify the Installation of Microsoft 365 apps for Enterprise

Go to Control Panel -> Programs and Features and In the list of Applications you should be able to see Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise as shown in below screenshot:

Verify the shared computer activation mode

  • Open any office program for example Microsoft Word and Go to File > Account > About Word.
  • Use Registry Editor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration and find an entry for SharedComputerLicensing¬†with value of 1.
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