Microsoft announced in April that it would make the transition from 32-bit to 64-bit for Office 2016 for Mac. Well, the time has come. The update is rolling out to those who are running Microsoft's productivity suite on OS X. Apple's desktop operating system has been 64-bit for a while now, but Windows still allows users to to choose between 32- and 64-bit versions. With this latest update, Office 2016 for Mac is making the permanent switch to 64-bit support which Microsoft says will boost performance and allow for new features.
This new update makes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote 64-bit for anyone running Retail, Office 365 Consumer, Office 365 Commercial, and Volume License installations of the software. What's more, the August release (version 15.25) will arrive just like any other update to the apps. You'll receive a notification on your desktop about the new version just like you do for other releases. If you don't see that message, you download the 64-bit update manually from the source link below. As 9to5Mac notes, this new version has been available to Office Insider beta testers, but this is the first time 64-bit software has been available to all users.
Microsoft does warn Office for Mac users that the switch to 64-bit software could affect third-party add-ins for the apps. Those companies have had a few months to make the necessary changes, but if you rely on any of those extras, you may want to double check before installing. If you've yet to make the leap, Office 365 for Mac costs $70 per year or you can make a one-time purchase of Office 2016 for Mac that's priced at $150.