Is Your Microsoft Office Still Getting Security Updates?

A boxed copy of Microsoft Office 2016 sitting on a laptop computer.Nor Gal / Shutterstock.com

Is your version of Office still receiving security updates? It depends on the version you are using. Microsoft has a published support lifecycle, but the information can be difficult to find. Here’s what you need to know.

Software updates are important to Office as for other applications. An outdated version of Microsoft Outlook is vulnerable to malicious emails, but even an outdated version of Microsoft Word is vulnerable to malicious DOC and DOCX documents that you might download and open. Even a malicious image that you copy-paste into an Office document can potentially compromise your system if you don’t have the latest updates.

Standard support or extended support

First, let’s take a look at the difference between “Consumer Support” and “Extended Support”. Just like the versions of Windows, each version of Office benefits from “Mainstream Support” for several years when it is first released. Microsoft will continue to update this version of Office with new features.

Several years later, he was put into a period of “extended support”. Microsoft will stop adding new features, but will continue to release security updates throughout the extended support period.

Organizations may also be able to purchase Extended security updates after the period, as they can with Windows 7.

As long as your version of Microsoft Office has at least Extended Support, it always receives security updates.

RELATED: What it means when Microsoft stops supporting your version of Windows

How long will Microsoft support your version of Office?

These versions of Office always receive security updates:

Office 365, available via a Microsoft 365 subscription, is always updated with the latest software.
Office 2019 for Windows and Mac will receive security updates up to October 14, 2025. The main support end date is October 10, 2023, while the extended support end date is October 14, 2025. (Source)
Office 2016 for Windows and Mac will receive security updates up to October 14, 2025. The standard support end date is October 13, 2020, while the extended support end date is October 14, 2025. (Source)
Office 2013 for Windows will get security updates up to April 11, 2023– as long as Service Pack 1 is installed. The standard support period ends on April 10, 2018, while the extended support end date is April 11, 2023. (Source)
Office 2010 for Windows will get security updates up to October 13, 2020. The standard support period ended on October 13, 2015, while the extended support end date is October 13, 2020. (Source)

Office applications normally receive automatic updates. Here is how to make sure automatic updates are turned on in Office.

The following versions of Office are no longer supported:

Office 2011 for Mac no longer receives security updates. Microsoft discontinued support on October 10, 2017. (Source)
Office 2007, Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000, Office 97, Office 95, and older versions of Microsoft Office no longer receive security updates. Office 2007, for example, reached the end of its extended support period on October 10, 2017. (Source)

Want to know if a Microsoft product is always receiving security updates? Head toward Microsoft’s Research Product Lifecycle page, and search for the name of the product you want to learn about.

What to do if your version of Office isn’t receiving security updates

If you are still using an older version of Office that does not receive security updates, you should immediately upgrade to a modern, supported version.

For example, you can get a Microsoft 365 subscription or buy a boxed copy of Office 2019. There are many Ways to get (or try) MIcrosoft Office for free.

You don’t have to spend money – you could try a free, open-source office suite as LibreOffice, use a web office suite like Microsoft Free Office Online or Google docs, or install Apple for free I work software for Mac.

Whatever you do, however, we recommend that you use modern, up-to-date office software with security updates.

RELATED: How to get Microsoft Office for free

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