Issues with Office Deployment Tool? Readiness Toolkit for Office VBA AddIns retired

[German]I'm putting two Microsoft Office-related topics in this blog post. A reader asked me whether there are any known problems with the Office Deployment Tool – in his environment there are suddenly crashes. In addition, Microsoft is retiring the Readiness Toolkit for Office VBA AddIns.


Issues with Office Deployment Tool?

The Office Deployment Tool (ODT) is a command line tool that administrators can use to download Microsoft 365 apps and deploy them to their clients. The Office Deployment Tool offers more control over an Office installation: administrators can define which products and languages are installed, how these products should be updated and whether the installation process should be displayed to users.

German blog reader Christian contacted me by email on January 10, 2024 because he was suddenly faced with problems that affect many of his customers with regard to the Office Deployment Tool. He wrote to me about this:

Hello Günter,

as the internet doesn't give anything away yet, but many of our customers are affected:

Have you heard anything about whether there are any problems on the clients with yesterday's Office Patchday?

The "yesterday" refers to January 9, 2024, when Microsoft rolled out various updates for Windows (but as far as I know there was nothing for Microsoft Office). According to Christian, however, there has been a problem since the patchday with Office crashing when clicking on a file and printing from the GUI no longer working (via CTRL+P).

If an administrator then tries to update the Office installation manually via the setup.exe from the Office Deployment Tool, the setup.exe hangs endlessly and no longer closes. The question that arises is "has anyone from the readership already experienced this problem and is there a known cause or remedy"?

Retiring Readiness Toolkit for Office VBA AddIns

The Readiness Toolkit for Office VBA AddIns enables developers to check the functionality of VBA add-ins for Office under all Office versions. The support article Office Readiness Toolkit retirement (via) states that the toolkit introduced in 2017 is no longer required. Since its introduction, the interoperability of macros and add-ins between supported Office versions, such as Office 2016, and Microsoft 365 apps has improved significantly. Above all, according to Microsoft, there are no disruptive changes in the VBA object model between Office 2016 and Microsoft 365 Apps.


Microsoft is therefore planning to decommission the toolkit on March 31, 2024. From this date, the toolkit will no longer be developed further and there will be no more fixes and security updates. Details can be found in the linked article.

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