Office 2016 Click-To-Run Service - Is it necessary?

I noticed *two* Click-to-Run services running on my machine after installing Office 2016.  Needless to say, both were eating up more memory than I'd like.  I'm wanting to know if running this service is necessary for using Office products -- if so I'm seriously considering uninstalling the product.  I don't need more junk running in the background eating up my resources.  I'm an MSDN subscriber and installed the product from the MSDN site, I'm supposing via a 'click-to-run' installer, whatever that means.
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Unfortunately, yes CTR is required, not optional 

Office 2013 and 2016 run inside of the CTR "virtual" computer environment.  I don't know why you have 2 of them (I have been lucky enough to avoid CTR so far).

The only way I know of around it in 2016 is the volume license "MSI" install of Office Pro Plus.

Here is some general information about CTR

CTR- Click-To-Run
Overview of Click-to-Run Office 2016

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219427.aspx

Click-To-Run? Run! Away!

http://www.pptfaq.com/FAQ01094.htm

CTR Introduction (Identify CTR installation)

https://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/excel-help/click-to-run-introduction-HA101850493.aspx?CTT=3

Office 365 ProPlus articles on TechNet - Links to several about CTR

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg715562%28v=office.15%29.aspx

Overview of Click-to-Run for Office 365 (2013) setup architecture

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219420%28v=office.15%29

https://4sysops.com/archives/comprehensive-app-v-sp2-guide-about-client-operations/

2013 Click-to-Run V2 and Office on Demand - A Brief History - Side by Side Versions - 2 versions Outlook

http://blogs.office.com/b/office-next/archive/2012/08/27/click-to-run-and-office-on-demand.aspx

http://blogs.office.com/2012/08/27/click-to-run-and-office-on-demand/

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As computer scientists we are trained to communicate with the dumbest things in the world – computers –
so you’d think we’d be able to communicate quite well with people.
Prof. Doug Fisher

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Hi Kris,

 

Thank you for posting your query on Microsoft Office Community.

 

We understand how you feel about this issue, let me assist you further.

Office 2016 and uses the Click-to-Run technology to install.

Click-to-Run is a streaming and virtualization technology and Streaming allows users to use a Click-to-Run product before the complete product is downloaded.  

It is necessary to run Click-to-Run service in the background, if you remove the Click-to-Run service, you will not able to use office 2016.

If click to run service is using more memory in the background than usual, you may Repair Office 2016 and check if it helps.

You may refer to the suggestions from the following article to Repair Office 2016 installation and check if it helps.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-in/project-help/repair-or-remove-office-HA010357402.aspx

Note: Steps in the above article applies to Office 2016 also.

You may refer to the below article to know more on Click-to-Run service.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219427.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

 

If you have further questions related to this, feel free to ask.


Thank you.

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The poster isn't alone with that problem. On two completely different machines two "Microsoft Office Click-to-Run" processes are spawned and one of them is writing to disk for more than 30 minutes. The usage is that high so I can't use the system anymore until this procedure comes to an end.

This is good for nothing. I have a Office 2016 subscription but had never such problems in the past. Microssoft should really think about this "technology", which prevents me at every start from working with my system.

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Interesting piece of information. Makes sense too.

CTR is a virtual computer system that turns over control of updates to the applications totally to MS.  Which means that periodically MS "pushes" updates out to the user in the background.  So, it sounds like this spawned process (maybe "spawn of hell" if you are a gamer ... ) is what is doing the update download to be applied to the Office installation. Since we don't know what is being downloaded, we don't know how large the updates are or even how frequent they are.

I have a loosely similar problem on my computer. Too often, a background system service goes crazy doing disk IO (not indexing, not defrag, ???), slowing my system down to unusable.  In the last couple of days I have been playing with a tool called "Process Lasso" from Bitsum: https://bitsum.com/processlasso/?inproduct

It allows you to identify processes that are making excessive use of resources (like CPU, Disk IO, Network) and then to apply controls to limit that use to reduce the impact on your system.  Seems to have helped, but it is too soon to tell for sure.

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*****
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As computer scientists we are trained to communicate with the dumbest things in the world – computers –
so you’d think we’d be able to communicate quite well with people.
Prof. Doug Fisher

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Hello,

I am encountering the same problem, and I would like to understand some of the stuff you have on the two links you gave in your post:

- why do we need this technology to constantly check for updates and apply them (without our agree)? I mean, there isn't any button to ask this service to not install those updates. I would really like a button somewhere that can allow you to block this - or even ask the service to not slow down your machine when it boots up, because it is already enough slowed down.

- why do you say that this technlogy allow you to run different versions of Office and then later recommend to only have one version of Office installed? This functionnality gets useless if we only run one version.

- cheap computers doesn't like virtualisation at all. Why do you force the users to use virtualisation in order to write text in a document or create a Power Point Document? I agree for the multi-user advantage, but why using virtualisation? A simple Atom-based service could be able to do the same?

- do you use virtualisation to try to make the Office products more secure?

Edit: Can we switch from CtR to MSI? I got Office from an offer my Dad got, will it be possible for me to switch?

I am sorry if I seem to be not kind, but this is because I am still learning english.

I am waiting for any answer, Regards

Adrien Burgun

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#1

- why do we need this technology to constantly check for updates and apply them (without our agree)? I mean, there isn't any button to ask this service to not install those updates. I would really like a button somewhere that can allow you to block this - or even ask the service to not slow down your machine when it boots up, because it is already enough slowed down.

#2

- why do you say that this technlogy allow you to run different versions of Office and then later recommend to only have one version of Office installed? This functionnality gets useless if we only run one version.

#3

- cheap computers doesn't like virtualisation at all. Why do you force the users to use virtualisation in order to write text in a document or create a Power Point Document? I agree for the multi-user advantage, but why using virtualisation? A simple Atom-based service could be able to do the same?

#4

- do you use virtualisation to try to make the Office products more secure?

#5

Edit: Can we switch from CtR to MSI? I got Office from an offer my Dad got, will it be possible for me to switch?

You are looking for "official" answers to your questions. You won't get them here. Event the replies Prabhavathi gives are just his/her own opinions.   Here are my opinions ...

#1 - MS says that CTR and Push updates are an improvement for the benefit of users. In reality "we", the users, don't "NEED" this technology.  It is put in place to make things easier for MS. Switching from "pull" updates where  users control which and when updates are applied to "push" from MS updates give MS control over update status. That way they can be more sure that all PC's connected to the internet are running the same program code. It is easier for MS to trouble shoot problems.

#2 The basic virtualization functionality does create separate "containers" for the programs to run only their own code in.  So yes, in theory, this does allow you to better run multiple versions of Office by isolated each versions program code. 

When CTR was first introduced with Office 2010 it actually allowed you to install and run multiple versions of Outlook, which is pretty much impossible using MSI installs.  There were still issues, both PSTs did not have the same emails in them.  This was actually advertised by MS as an advantage of CTR!  BUT, when the final "general availability" release of 2016 was published to the public, MS had added a "new and improved" feature.  The installer program, NOT CTR, did not allow multiple versions. It forced you to either cancel the 2016/365 CTR installation or to allow it to uninstall all previous versions.  VERY RUDE!  I, and others found that we were able to install older MSI versions AFTER 2016/365 was installed. And lately, in the last couple of months, people have been reporting (I have not tested it myself) that they were able to install 365 alongside older versions already installed.

And MS has updated it's articles about running different years of Visio/Project and Office on the same computer:

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/mt712177%28v=office.16%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

This is an EXCELLENT resource.

Starting on October 11, 2016, Office 2013 software that uses Click-to-Run can be installed on the same computer with Office 2016 software that uses Click-to-Run. 

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Special-offer-for-customers-with-Office-2016-and-Office-2013-standalone-applications-c32e3cad-e935-4163-a44f-50d896e10bbc

 

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/-We-need-to-remove-some-older-apps-error-a225347f-e102-4ea6-9796-5d1ac5220c3b

MS Video 365/2013 Propaganda – Shows installing 365/2013 CTR ALONGSIDE 2003 MSI ! - OOPS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbfIHR_52do

1hr 16 min, first part is about Office Deployment tool.

Starting at about 29min in they installed  Office 2010 MSI along side Office 365/2013 CTR, AT THE SAME TIME! They are both installed alongside 2003 which was already installed.   

#3 MS has gone to the all CTR installation because it is better for them. I don't know about the issues of trying to run Office on low end computers.

#4 Yes, CTR does help make the program code a little more secure, but that is not a reason that MS has used.

#5 In theory yes you could. Your license allows you to run Office 365/2016, it does not specify CTR only.  For example, your license allows you to run either 32 or 64 bit versions at your choice.  But, in practice, no, unfortunately we cannot switch from CTR to the better MSI installation. This is simply because for Office 2016 the only remaining MSI installation that I know of is 2016 Pro Plus.  All other 2016/365 bundles are exclusively CTR installations.  And Pro Plus is a very limited distribution bundle that is hard to get. For the general public, to the best of my knowledge it is only available through the HUP and Volume licenses.

.
*****
.
As computer scientists we are trained to communicate with the dumbest things in the world – computers –
so you’d think we’d be able to communicate quite well with people.
Prof. Doug Fisher

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I have this problem too.  However, all the solutions/explanations seem to deal with Office 365 subscription.  I have locally installed (non-network) version of Office 2016.  Based on the explanations that I've read here, the click-to-run process is not needed.  So, I don't know why it's installed.  I usually have to use Task Manager to shut down the click-to-run process to reduce the excessive disk (and sometimes, CPU) usage.

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Essentially all Office licenses are installed inside CTR these days, for MS's convince.

Based on my subsequent testing, mentioned below, it appears that CTR is not a VM for running Office INSIDE of. It now appears to me to be a "support" APPLICATION that is run for MS's convenience that is included with essentially all Office bundles.

I just learned something interesting today.  I have a 2016 Pro Plus license that "includes"  CTR.  I was surprised when you said you killed the CTR. I thought it was intrinsic to running Office. Apparently it is not.  I stopped the service in the Services dialog, I was still able to open new copies of 2016 application.  Then I checked Task Manager and found it STILL running, (WTF? I stopped the service and confirmed that it is not shown as running!) so I killed it there too.  You cannot imagine my amazement when I found that I could still start new Office application windows.

So, apparently CTR is NOT the VM I thought it was. That goes a huge way to explaining why there are problems installing Office 2016/365 alongside of older Office bundles.

I now infer that CTR is primarily required to allow MS to push updates out to us.  It is also required for doing installs and Office Repairs. I have seen error codes in those situations that specifically identify CTR not running as the cause, and FIX.

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*****
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As computer scientists we are trained to communicate with the dumbest things in the world – computers –
so you’d think we’d be able to communicate quite well with people.
Prof. Doug Fisher

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Rohn,

If CTR updating is disabled [through the UI or through the Registry] does Windows update then install Office updates correctly? 

Office 2016 updates are listed in the Microsoft update catalog so that makes me think WU could take over the job as long as the other MS products switch in WU has been set.

The reason I'm asking is that, if WU does cope, the use of metered properties for internet connections coupled with manual WU checks when on another [free] network would also encompass all Office updating with no other measures being necessary.

Denis

Try*3 - a user
Dell Inspirons 7779, 1545, 9300; Windows 10 Home x64 & Pro x86; Office Pro 2007; HP DJ2540; HTC UPlay [Android 6.0], MyPhoneExplorer

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sorry Denis, I don't know the answer to your question.  I have not had the need nor inclination nor the resources to investigate the question.

You really should ask this as a new question. That way more people will look at it. Most of us ignore old questions that have been marked as answered when they come back up in the index.

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*****
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As computer scientists we are trained to communicate with the dumbest things in the world – computers –
so you’d think we’d be able to communicate quite well with people.
Prof. Doug Fisher

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Last updated September 7, 2021 Views 52,312 Applies to: