Office 365 can’t be uninstalled completely

[German]On some Windows systems, a trial version of Microsoft Office 365 is pre-installed. It appears that there's trouble uninstalling this preinstalled version of Office 365 completely. This leads to issues, when installing Office 2016 in MSI version.


First of all: I will simply put the information here 'as-is'. I don't have access to systems with Office 365 pre-installed, so I can't test anything. Maybe blog readers can contribute some insights. The German edition of this blog post, has been published in 2018 here.

Office 365 uninstall: First report

I already came across a corresponding message at two years ago. The user affected wrote that he got his hands on a new Dell notebook with pre-installed Office 365 trial. When trying to uninstall this trial, he failed. Here is his description:

The Office applications were listed from the first start of the notebook in the Start menu. But the installation was never displayed in the Control Panel. So there was practically nothing to uninstall – logically.

So I used the Office 2016 Uninstall-Fix-It, which found the installation and asked for a restart after the alleged uninstallation. After the restart, however, all applications were still available in the start menu…

The user then installed an Office 2016 Standard above it (was planned for the purpose). As a result, he had all Office shortcuts (Word, Excel etc.) twice in the start menu. Here is a similar description. At the end of the day he was forced to setup the OEM as a clean install to get rid of the stuff – can't be true.

Office 365 Uninstall: Second Problem Report

uring a search in the web I came across this post from 2016 at HP in the forum, which seems to describe a similar problem.

I purchased a new HP ENVY Phoenix Desktop – 850-150qe with Windows 10 64 bit which came with Office 365 installed and a 30 day trial. I activated the trial and have two days left.

I purchased from Academic Superstore Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 – Lifetime License (WAH Download). I downloaded the the program and saved it on my hard drive. The instructions said to uninstall the current Office product using The Programs and Features menu from the Control Panel prior to installing the new purchase.

I uninstalled Office 365 and verified that it was no longer there. I then installed Office 2016 and everything looked good. My license key was showing in the product. A few minutes later Office 365 is back and all of my office products are telling me to renew.

I have uninstalled it three times from the Programs and Features menu and once from within ccleaner. Same thing happens each time.

How do I uninstall Office 365 from my machine forever so it does not come back?

A trial was also pre-installed here, but at least in the control panel there was the possibility to uninstall it. But the uninstalling did not work. A short time later Office 365 was back on the system. With the separately installed Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 the problem occurred that its license was specified as invalid.


Problem: Office 365 is installed as an app

What emerges from the two threads is the realization that Office 365 will probably be installed as an app on Windows in the future. Uninstalling it, as suggested by Microsoft in this article with a Fixit-Tool, does not seem to do it anymore either. I think the article at German site doesn't help either.

A Dell KB article about uninstalling

Dell had a KB article (now deleted) that also covers issues related to uninstalling Office. It describes further steps to get rid of the Office 365 trial junk.

1. First, open an administrative command prompt window.

2. Then you have to execute the various commands given below to delete installation remnants and tasks.

cd C:\Program files\Microsoft Office 15\root\integration
integrator.exe /U

And finally, the processes planned for Office 365 must be removed:

schtasks.exe /delete /tn "\Microsoft\Office\Office 15 Abonnement Heartbeat"
schtasks.exe /delete /tn "\Microsoft\Office\Office Automatischer Update"
schtasks.exe /delete /tn "\Microsoft\Office\Office Abonnementpflege"

In an English Windows you need to localize the option for the planned tasks. At this point, I was quite amazed at what Microsoft is being put on the system. All about, there are dozens of variants for uninstalling, which resemble a hurdle race.

On Facebook a user posted me the link to this Microsoft article. There you can find a script to uninstall apps.

What are your experiences?

Hence the question to the blog readers: Do you have concrete experience with pre-installed Office 365 trials on OEM systems? Has anything changed recently? Does the uninstallation problem depend on the OEM? Has something serious been overlooked?

Or is Microsoft Office 365 (Trial) changing towards PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Bloatware, which you can't get from the system anymore? Makes me fear for Microsoft Office 2019.

Similar articles:
Pitfall: Free Office 365 Personal or University subscription
Microsoft's obscure 'Self Service for Mobile' Office activation
Office Telephone activation is no longer supported error
Uninstall Office 365 and install Office 2016

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