Stop installation / configuration progress when running Office

I know this continuous loop of configuration progress is pretty annoying and the fact that you are reading my article on how to fix it just proves your desire to get rid of it even more. Maybe at some point you did hope that it will just go away, and it will be automatically fixed by some update or some other future action that you will do and without even noticing it, but this won’t be the case.

Most of the times, this happens due to previous older installations of the same or a different version of Office, that has some left-over (corrupted) files somewhere in your registry. This is messing with the automatic configuration which would pretty much set up your computer for future use of any Office application, like Excel, Word, PowerPoint and so on. At some point, another older version is detected and the whole process can’t be completely finished (registry keys can’t be read or modified, files that can’t be replaced or license that can’t be applied).

The correct way to deal with this would be to completely remove all the previous installations of the Office suite, run a registry cleaner or software to completely remove any traces of Office software from your computer, even files left in the old installation directory ( for example CCleaner for registry, manual removal for the left over files on your system) and whatever else you seem fit that would complete our objective, and that is to remove any trace of the old Office installation or of another version. This however implies a certain level of computer skills and even if you have that, sometimes it just won’t work. The truth is that it there are more possible causes, but I will just cover two of them in here.

One cause is the left over files on your system or on your system’s registry which sometimes it is not really easy to remove.

The second reason might be a licensing service OSPPSVC (Office Software Protection Service) that should check for the license status (running as a network service) but it can’t complete the verification due to limited rights. If this is the reason you will have to add the “Network Service” to the local Administrators group on the computer where you encounter the problem. This is also a security risk so it’s not something I would do, but it seemed to fix the problem in a testing environment.  To apply this possible solution, you would need Administrator rights. You can see below a print screen on how to do this:

1. Start – Run – compmgmt.msc [press Enter]

2. Navigate to Groups – double click Administrators – select “Add” button.

Stop Installation \ Configuration Progress dialog when running Office - Administrators Properties

3. Select from “Locations” button, your computer name, usually first in the list, especially if you are on a domain computer (scroll up) and confirm with OK.

4. In the same ”Select Users” window, where you also changed the location to point to your own computer if anything else in that textbox, in the “Enter the object names to select” textarea write “Network Service” and press first check names (if you did step 3 correctly, it should change the font of the text and underline it as you can see in the next picture), then Ok. Note that for security reasons I had to mask my computer name from “Locations”.

Stop Installation \ Configuration Progress dialog when running Office - Select Users

5. Confirm with Ok any other left window and start the Office application and it MIGHT work.

The instructions presented above don’t really make a solution I would encourage you to use, as most of the times they will only make you lose time and nerves and it won’t even fix your problem in most of the cases, unless the problem was any of those presented and you own a few technical skills that helped you complete the steps described accordingly.

SOLUTION to Stop installation / configuration progress when running Office  :

This will work when all the above failed, and I will present basically the same bypass, work-around or whatever word you seem it would be more fit for this easy fix but in two possible ways to apply and depending on your rights and computer policies that might block several possible instructions.

1. Open a command prompt window. Start – run – cmd [press Enter] or just simply press Win + R key on your keyboard to open a Run dialogue. The next steps can be done in any of the two dialogues.

2. Inside the command prompt/ Run dialogue window copy/paste below lines (to avoid any problem, copy/paste them one by one), depending on your Office suite version.

Office 2003:

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\excel\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\PowerPoint\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Access\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

Office 2007:

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\excel\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\PowerPoint\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Access\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1

After this is completely done, and no error message returned (if commands were successful you should get messages like “The operation completed successfully” for each command you paste), open any Office application once again, it MIGHT do another FINAL configuration process, but then it will never happen again.

As I said there are two ways to modify this registry key so that it will skip the verification loop, and this other one is the manual approach for those of you that manually want to follow these settings or by whatever reasons don’t want to apply the automatic ones above. To avoid any additional waste of time, I will only explain for one of the applications and you will have to treat them one by one (Excel, Powerpoint, Access, etc) by following the above paths.

For Word you will have to navigate to this registry key, again depending on your Office suite version:

Office 2003:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Options

Office 2007:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options

Note that if you don’t have “Options” key under “Word” you will have to create it with right click, name it “Options” and confirm.

Now, it also depends if you had the “Options” key. If you had it, you can just check for the “NoReReg” binary value. If you have it, just make sure you change the value from 0 to 1. If the “NoReReg” value is not there, right click “Options” key, select “New – DWORD value” name it “NoReReg”, confirm and double click it to add a value of “1”.

If all went right until this point, when you open an Office application, it should ask for the Configuration Process one last time. To make sure it won’t happen again, reboot your computer if possible after the last configuration and try another Office application or a file which you normally open with Office applications.

For any other particular cases I am willing to assist you as soon as you will provide me with the specific details of your problem. You can either contact me via comments, or Questions and Answers (Q& A) section.

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