Microsoft’s Word update Version 2208 (Build 15601.20088) released on August 31 contains at least one major bug that interrupts high-speed repetitive functions, specifically including the Sets feature in our programs along with some native Word features.
Microsoft is aware of the issue; it is already fielding complaints from others of its customers.
THERE IS AN IMPORTANT UPDATE EDIT BELOW. Please read it before taking any action.
Until Microsoft distributes a patch:
We have one report that updating Word once, then repeatedly rebooting (2-3 times) your computer may solve the issue.If you try this approach and it works, please let us know.
We can recommend this workaround developed by Ariel Torres of InnerPC and brought to our attention by Paul Bartlett, who reports “it works like a charm.” It is reported by our customers to have worked 100% of the time.
Ariel’s article addresses a different bug in the same update, so the descriptions of the issues and their rollback date are different. That’s OK, ignore the differences. Concentrate on the process. We strongly recommend you carefully read through Ariel’s entire article and suggest you watch the video at the end, the video more for context than for it’s directions, before doing anything. Then follow the article one careful step at a time. The entire process requires just a few minutes, but precision is key. It’s not a time to rush.
This is critically important: You are updating Word. Before doing so make sure you’ve made “keep safe” backup copies of theformtool folder—normal location is at %appdata%>Roaming—and the program itself in Word’s Startup folder—normal location is at %appdata%>Roaming>Microsoft>Word—before doing the roll back.
Just in case. After all, what can go wrong?
Here’s a link to Ariel’s article: How to Revert Office 365 to a Previous Version
We recommend that for the “TargetVersion” use 16.0.15225.20204. That will roll Office back to its May 24th version, which seems to include substantial improvements, while the troublesome September 13th version does not. You can view Microsoft’s version descriptions here.
Download the two programs the article calls for by clicking here. We’ve prebuilt the config.xml for you so that its TargetVersion already points to 16.0.15225.20204, so you can skip step #3 in Ariel’s instructions.
Most importantly, turn off the automated update system. Let a month or two pass for most Office updates unless there is a serious security issue. These update bugs happen and they cause serious disruptions. You don’t need to be a victim!
Finally, if you prefer, our Service Desk will do the roll back for you as part of its fee-based Custom Call service.
We’d like to thank several customers for their assistance troubleshooting the issue and helping to create a workaround: Paul Bartlett, Michael Burnstein, Helaena Eichberg, Danette Lilja, and especially Marie Stockton, who gave up a good part of her Sunday for repeatedly testing our suggestions until we found the one that worked. We cheered your contributions last night in the office. Thank you!
IMPORTANT UPDATE EDIT:
Here are the relevant instructions, proven to work 100%, for using the TFT Rollback Package:
Drop the folder contents of the zip folder (2 files) into a new folder at the C:\ level named “Office Install”
Extract the files from Office Deployment Tool (officedeploymenttool_15601-20148) by clicking on it. Make sure the contents remain in Office Install.
Close all Office programs, like Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.
If you are on a server, advise the other users of the server to close all Office programs as well.
Open cmd prompt (if necessary, search for “cmd prompt”) as administrator
type the below:
cd C:\Office Install (space after cd and space between Office and Install)
and press Enter.
setup.exe /configure config.xml (there is a space after exe and a space after configure)
and press Enter.
An Office box will show briefly and disappear. You can close the cmd prompt once it closes.
Next, open Word and go to Account > Office Updates. Click Update Now.
Wait a five minutes, then reboot your computer.
You should be done.
When it has restarted, open Word again and go back to Office Updates. Check to see that you have the targeted update.
At TFT we’re divided whether to recommend always selecting the DISABLE UPDATES to prevent issues like this, or using Office’s semi-annual update setting, then manually checking for important updates as needed. The important goal is to allow someone else to be the test case for MSFT’s updates.