If you’re using Windows 11 or Windows 10, you must have come across the Microsoft 365 (Office) app. The story of this app is complicated. It started as a free Office app designed to get you to try out and buy Microsoft’s productivity apps. Next, things have changed to such an extent that the Office app has become an Office hub of sorts. And then, it was rebranded to Microsoft 365 (Office) and tweaked even further. Read on to see what this app is all about, and if you don’t want it, how to remove it:
As of October 2022, the new Microsoft 365 (Office) replaces the previous Office app, and it comes pre-installed in all Windows 11 and Windows 10 versions and editions. However, if you don’t have it, you can always download and install it from its Microsoft Store page: Microsoft 365 (Office).
Like the previous Office app it replaces, Microsoft 365 (Office) is a hub for all the productivity apps in the Microsoft 365 suite. It provides a simple way to access the files and productivity apps you need. This app has a new name and logo, as well as an improved user interface.
On your Windows 11 computer or device, the shortcut to the Microsoft 365 (Office) app is displayed in the Pinned section from the Start Menu or directly on the taskbar, as highlighted in the screenshot below.
If you’re using Windows 10, this app should be shown as a tile on the Start Menu, similar to the screenshot below. You can see the new Microsoft 365 (Office) app logo on it.
If you don’t see it, you can always click or tap inside the search box on the taskbar, type microsoft 365, and then click or tap the Microsoft 365 (Office) search result.
When you open it for the first time, the Microsoft 365 (Office) app displays a welcome screen, explaining some of its features and navigation systems. It is a good idea to read them to familiarize yourself with the app.
If you’re using a local account in Windows 10 or Windows 11, instead of a Microsoft account, the app encourages you to sign in with a Microsoft account.
TIP: For more details about the types of user accounts in Windows, I recommend reading this comparison: Local account vs. Microsoft account: Which one should I use?.
The Microsoft 365 (Office) app is free for all Windows users. It’s designed to function as a hub for your Microsoft 365 apps and services, giving you quick access to your documents and other files and the services included in your subscription.
The Microsoft 365 (Office) app is split into a few major sections starting with its Home screen. In the top-right area of the Home screen, you have a button named Install apps, which takes you to a webpage where you can download the full Office apps included in your Microsoft 365 subscription. Under that button, there’s a section for creating all kinds of new documents, as well as guides on what you can do with your subscription. Further down, a Quick Access section lists the documents you’ve opened recently.
On the left, you have a column with several shortcuts that I present in detail later in this guide. Lastly, at the top of the Microsoft 365 (Office) app, there’s a bar with a search box and options for different tasks, and under it, a notice informs you that “The Office app is becoming the new Microsoft 365 app, your home to find, create, and share content and ideas.”
On the left sidebar, you find the following shortcuts:
- Create - gives you access to templates for creating documents using the Office apps that are part of your Microsoft 365 subscription. You can create Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel workbooks, forms, quizzes, lists, or pages (using Sway).
- My Content - you can access all the documents stored on your OneDrive.
- Apps - you see a long list of all the available apps that are part of your Microsoft 365 subscription.
- Word - you can see all your recent Word documents from OneDrive and get options for creating new ones.
- Excel - gives you access to your recent Excel spreadsheets and options for creating new ones.
- PowerPoint - see your recent presentations, and create new ones, starting from all kinds of templates.
- Outlook - opens the outlook.com website, where you can check your emails.
- OneDrive - opens the onedrive.com website, where you can manage all the files stored in Microsoft’s cloud service.
- Teams - opens the Teams app (if installed) or the Teams website, where you can download the app and use it to chat with others, join meetings, and so on.
- OneNote - opens the OneNote website or the OneNote app (if installed), where you can access your notes, create new ones, etc.
At the top, the Microsoft 365 (Office) app has a toolbar, which contains the following:
- A Search box in the middle - type the names of the files you want to find to search your OneDrive cloud storage and return the appropriate results. This search box also looks for Office templates that you can use, help topics on Microsoft Support, and web results on Bing.
- My Benefits - a button that looks like a diamond. When you click or tap on it, it opens a page that explains all the premium features and benefits you get with your Microsoft 365 subscription.
- Meet Now - it starts a Skype meeting. This feature works the same as Meet Now in Windows 10.
- Settings - it gives you access to the settings of this app. As you’ll see for yourself, you cannot configure much about how this app works.
- Help - opens a sidebar on the right with all kinds of tutorials and Help documentation.
- Your picture/icon - the last button on the top-right opens a list of links to web pages where you can manage your profile or your Microsoft account.
Now that you know the basics of this app and how it’s organized, play around with all the options, and see if it is useful to you. If it’s not, then you can remove it with ease. Simply continue reading to find out how.
TIP: If you want to install the Office apps included in Microsoft Office or your Microsoft 365 subscription, check this guide: How to download Microsoft Office on a Windows PC (3 ways).
If you don’t like what the Microsoft 365 (Office) app has to offer, you should remove it. A quick way to do that in Windows 11 is to open the Start Menu, right-click (or tap and hold) the Microsoft 365 (Office) shortcut, and choose Uninstall. Confirm your choice by pressing Uninstall again.
Similarly, in Windows 10, open the Start Menu and right-click (or tap and hold) the Microsoft 365 (Office) tile. In the menu that appears, choose Uninstall. When asked to confirm, click or tap Uninstall again.
The Microsoft 365 (Office) app is now gone from your computer. And if you need further help uninstalling apps, here are all the ways to remove desktop programs and Microsoft Store apps in Windows.
The Microsoft 365 (Office) app may not seem like it’s doing much, but it does a lot more than the older Office app did when it was first launched. For some people, the links and quick access to files, Microsoft 365 apps, and templates are very useful. However, for others, this app might seem redundant. What do you think: do you like the Microsoft 365 (Office) app? Do you need it, or did you just decide you don’t, and now you’re uninstalling it? Let me know in a comment.