Deploy and publish Office Add-ins

You can use one of several methods to deploy your Office Add-in for testing or distribution to users.

Method Use...
Sideloading As part of your development process, to test your add-in running on Windows, iPad, Mac, or in a browser. (Not for production add-ins.)
Network share As part of your development process, to test your add-in running on Windows after you have published the add-in to a server other than localhost. (Not for production add-ins or for testing on iPad, Mac, or the web.)
Centralized Deployment In a cloud deployment, to distribute your add-in to users in your organization by using the Microsoft 365 admin center.
SharePoint catalog In an on-premises environment, to distribute your add-in to users in your organization.
AppSource To distribute your add-in publicly to users.
Exchange server In an on-premises or online environment, to distribute Outlook add-ins to users.


If you plan to publish your add-in to AppSource and make it available within the Office experience, make sure that you conform to the Commercial marketplace certification policies. For example, to pass validation, your add-in must work across all platforms that support the methods that you define (for more information, see section 1120.3 and the Office Add-in application and availability page).

Deployment options by Office application and add-in type

The deployment options that are available depend on the Office application that you're targeting and the type of add-in you create.

Deployment options for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint add-ins

Extension point Sideloading Network share Microsoft 365 admin center AppSource SharePoint catalog*
Content X X X X X
Task pane X X X X X
Command X X X X

* SharePoint catalogs do not support Office on Mac.

Deployment options for Outlook add-ins

Extension point Sideloading Exchange server AppSource
Mail app X X X
Command X X X

Production deployment methods

The following sections provide additional information about the deployment methods that are most commonly used to distribute production Office Add-ins to users within an organization.

For information about how end users acquire, insert, and run add-ins, see Start using your Office Add-in.

Centralized Deployment via the Microsoft 365 admin center

The Microsoft 365 admin center makes it easy for an administrator to deploy Office Add-ins to users and groups in their organization. Add-ins deployed via the admin center are available to users in their Office applications right away, with no client configuration required. You can use Centralized Deployment to deploy internal add-ins as well as add-ins provided by ISVs.

For more information, see Publish Office Add-ins using Centralized Deployment via the Microsoft 365 admin center.

SharePoint app catalog deployment

A SharePoint app catalog is a special site collection that you can create to host Word, Excel, and PowerPoint add-ins. Because SharePoint catalogs don't support new add-in features implemented in the VersionOverrides node of the manifest, including add-in commands, we recommend that you use Centralized Deployment via the admin center if possible. Add-in commands deployed via a SharePoint catalog open in a task pane by default.

If you are deploying add-ins in an on-premises environment, use a SharePoint catalog. For details, see Publish task pane and content add-ins to a SharePoint catalog.


SharePoint catalogs do not support Office on Mac. To deploy Office Add-ins to Mac clients, you must submit them to AppSource.

Outlook add-in deployment

For on-premises and online environments that do not use the Azure AD identity service, you can deploy Outlook add-ins via the Exchange server.

Outlook add-in deployment requires:

  • Microsoft 365, Exchange Online, or Exchange Server 2013 or later
  • Outlook 2013 or later

To assign add-ins to tenants, you use the Exchange admin center to upload a manifest directly, either from a file or a URL, or add an add-in from AppSource. To assign add-ins to individual users, you must use Exchange PowerShell. For details, see Install or remove Outlook add-ins for your organization on TechNet.

See also