Are you a Windows user, but aren’t sure what version of the operating system you have installed on your PC? This article introduces three ways of checking your Windows version in just a few seconds: using a keyboard shortcut, via the Control Panel, or using the Windows Command Prompt (CMD).
Most Windows users probably know whether they are using Windows 7, Windows 10, or another version of the Microsoft operating system. However, some aren’t aware of the version number of their Office program. There are considerable compatibility issues between the different versions of Microsoft Office, which makes it difficult to exchange documents. For example, projects are sometimes formatted differently across individual Word versions, and Excel macros or Word templates often cannot be exchanged between Office versions.
To find out which Windows version you have installed, simply use the key combination Win + Pause.
For the smooth exchange of documents, but also when errors occur, it’s important to know which Office version you are using in order to determine the cause and find a solution.
- Quick guide: how to check your office version (from Office 2007)
- How to check your Office version – step by step (versions from 2007)
- How to check your Office version in OneNote
- How to check your Office version in Office online
- Older Office versions: find your Office version – here’s how
- Find out the last used Office version of a document
- Find your Office version, without starting Office
- What do the build numbers mean in Office?
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Quick guide: how to check your office version (from Office 2007)
- Click on 'File' in the top left menu bar.
- Click on 'Account' in the left sidebar.
How to check your Office version – step by step (versions from 2007)
If you’re a current user of a Microsoft Office program, you can find out the Office version you are using in just a few clicks. This method applies to Office versions 2007 and later.
- Click on 'File' at the top of the ribbon (applies to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, but not to OneNote!).
- Now click on 'Account' in the sidebar on the left. In some Office versions, this menu item is also called 'Office Account'.
- The name of the Office version used is displayed on the right below the logo. You can find out the internal version number by clicking on the 'About ...' button.
The Office serial number, which is also commonly referred to as the product key, won’t be discoverable using this method. To find your Office product key, special additional tools from third-party providers are needed.
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How to check your Office version in OneNote
OneNote has been part of the Microsoft suite since Office 2010. The version number can be found in the program. In principle, however, it is the same as the version number of the other Office components.
- Click on the icon with the three dots in the upper right corner and select 'Settings' from the menu.
- Click on 'About in the sidebar on the right to display the version number of OneNote for Windows.
How to check your Office version in Office online
The online version of Microsoft Office that you use directly in the browser without installation is automatically updated to the latest version. Nevertheless, you can find the number of the Office version you are currently using if there are problems or unexpected changes to the document.
- To do this, click on 'File' in the ribbon and then on “About” in the sidebar on the left.
- The build number of Microsoft Word Online currently in use appears under 'Diagnostics'. This method also works in Excel Online and PowerPoint Online.
The first Microsoft Office version for Windows appeared in the fall of 1990 and contained Word for Windows 1.1, Excel for Windows 2.0, and PowerPoint for Windows 2.0. Previously, the programs were only available separately. After several versions, Office 3.0 was the first Microsoft product to be released on CD-ROM in August 1992. There has never been an Office version 2. Since Office 95, internally referred to as Office 7, all individual programs included in the package contain the same version number.
Older Office versions: find your Office version – here’s how
Microsoft launched the modern interface with menu bars as of Office 2007. Up to and including Office 2003 there was a classic menu bar in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as known from other Windows programs.
If you want to find the version number of an older version of Microsoft Office, click on the question mark in the menu bar and select the 'About' option in the menu.
In many Office alternatives with classic menus, you’ll find the version number in the same way as described above!
Find out the last used Office version of a document
In each document, Microsoft Office stores the version number of the Office program that was used to create and save the document. Based on this number, Office recognises whether the document can be opened with a certain version and whether possibly incompatible macros or templates are included.
However, this version number is not displayed directly in the properties of the document. Luckily, there’s a trick to find it:
- First, create a safety copy of the document and change the file extension from .docx to .zip.
- Double click the zip file to open it.
- Open the folder '“docProps' here and launch the file 'app.xml'.
- In the penultimate line under 'AppVersion', you will find the office version with which this file was saved.
Find your Office version, without starting Office
If an Office program like Word can’t be launched, because it maybe doesn’t work anymore, you can look up the Office version directly in the program file. This method also works for local networks, to find out what version of Office is installed on different computer.
- In explorer, switch to 'This PC' and go to 'Program Files' > 'Microsoft Office' > “Office'.
- Here you will find the subfolder 'OfficeXX' with XX indicating the version number, for example '16' for Office 2016.
- There may also be several folders with different version numbers if you have additionally installed macros or add-ins from other Office versions. In this case, search for the WINWORD.EXE file and right-click on it. Select 'Properties' in the context menu.
- In the next dialogue box you will find the product name and the exact product version in the 'Details' tab.
What do the build numbers mean in Office?
In the properties of an EXE file from Microsoft Office and in the about window in Office Online you can find the build numbers that Microsoft uses internally as version numbers. The first block of digits of these numbers, for example '16...', points to the Office version. Up to and including Microsoft Office 4.3 from 1994, the first digits of the build number corresponded to the Office version.
Since the launch of Windows 95, Microsoft uses year numbers instead of version numbers for marketing reasons. The table shows which build number belongs to which Office version. For some versions, a macOS version of Microsoft Office appeared a little later with the same build number as the Windows version released shortly before.
|Office version||Operating system||Build number|
|Office 98||Mac OS||8|
|Office 2001||Mac OS||9|
|Office for Mac OS X||Mac OS X||10|
|Office 2004||Mac OS X||11|
|Office 2008||Mac OS X||12|
|Office 2011||Mac OS X||14|
|Office 2016||Windows/Mac OS X||16|
|Office 2019||Windows/Mac OS X||16|
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The build number 13 never existed with Microsoft Office – an old developer tradition, since programs with the version number 13 were often full of bugs and were rarely met with user approval.