Patch Tuesday disaster breaks Office 2013 for thousands; here's how to fix it

Click-to-Run installations of the popular office suite fall prey to a crippling bug that leaves the software unable to launch whatsoever.

Microsoft's latest batch of Patch Tuesday updates broke Office 2013 for some users, leaving the productivity suite unable to run whatsoever, the company admitted in a Friday blog post.

"Shortly after the release of the June Public Update, we received notification of a potential issue affecting a subset of Office 2013 Click-to-Run users," the Microsoft Office engineering team wrote. "In some cases, users running Office 2013 may not be able to launch Office products after the June Public updates are installed."

Office's Click-to-Run technology relies on Internet streaming to virtualize aspects of the Office experience, allowing you to begin using the suite mere minutes after beginning the download. Click-to-Run installations--which differ under the hood than traditional software installations--also receive product updates automatically. Both Office 365 and downloaded versions of the various Office 2013 software bundles rely on Click-to-Run to install Office on PCs.

Microsoft says that less than one percent of all users are affected, though that seemingly insignificant percentage still translates to a sizeable number of real-world users. In late April, the company revealed that it has 4.4 million Office 365 Home subscribers; one percent of that equals 44,000 people, and that total doesn't include installations from people who purchased Office 2013 as standalone software rather than on a subscription.

Fortunately, it's pretty easy to fix your borked Office 2013 install if you've fallen prey to the bug. As detailed by a Microsoft representative here, you'll simply need to uninstall your current Office 2013 installation using this Fix It, and then reinstall the software from Office's My Accounts page. Naturally, you'll need to be signed into your Microsoft account to do so.

The Office team is working on a more permanent solution to the problem. Last Tuesday's Patch Tuesday was notable in another way, as well--it wasn't pushed to Windows 8.1 users who have yet to install April's Spring Update. Windows 8.1 users have to install the update to receive any more bug and security patches from here on out.

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