Using Project Online? Time to be sure you upgrade the client software

*** 1/25/2017 (and 1/27/2017 for final date confirmation)  We’ve been hearing from a number of customers that they need more time to get off Project 2013 so we have decided to extend support for Project 2013 working with Project Online for 6  4 more months. You now have until August 31, 2017  June 30th 2017 to move to Project 2016 (Date may change - could be a little earlier - 6/30/2017).

Note for customers who get Project 2013 through Office 365, that Office is still dropping support for 2013 on February 28th so you will no longer be able to get updates for QFEs.,-2017

Customers who purchased the perpetual license Project 2013 Standard or Professional - mainstream support continues to 4/10/2018 - but you will not be able to connect to Project Online after the final date in the summer.

I'll update the message center graphic once the new posting is live and dates are confirmed.


If you use Project Online, or any Office 365 subscription/program then I hope you all read the message center – or get someone who has access to read it for you (or even read it to you!) – at least once every week or two.  One of the recent postings is repeated below and relates to a change in which client software can connect to Project Online.

*** 1/5/2017 - Updated the graphic below to match the latest Message Center posting - MC89200 in place of MC75399 ***

*** 1/6/207 - Just fyi - the orignal Message Center post (MC75399) was first posted 8/19/2016 - this image is the more recent one ***

Project Online requirements are changing

Project Online requirements are changing

I’ll add the text at the end of the blog for the search engines and screen readers – but basically by the end of February 2017 you will need to be running a current version of the Project Online Desktop Client (aka Project Professional 2016 or Project for Office 365).  If you are running the subscription version you should be fine – as you should regularly get updated.  You can check the version numbers of the subscription client here - and we are also adding the Project bugs to this page too.  If you are running Project Professional 2013 then you will no longer be able to connect to Project Online – and will need to either upgrade to one of the new subscriptions that includes the desktop client (Project Online Professional or Project Online Premium) or upgrade to Project Professional 2016.  If you already run Office 365 then you may need to consider changing to Click to run Perpetual (C2R-P) in place of Project Professional 2016 MSI version – as you cannot mix msi and C2R for the same release of Office components.  See for more details – and this applies to Visio as well as Project.

*** 16/12/2016 - I also wanted to add that if you stay on the '2013' version of the subscription software - there will be no more updates for you.  So as well as not being able to connect to Project Online your other Office 365 applications may not get fixes that we will be making to the '2016' version. ***

One other question very much related to this – is can I carry on using Project Professional 2016, or the subscription client Project Online Desktop client to connect to my on-premises Project Server 2013?  And the answer is yes!  For the foreseeable future there is no plan to block connection to Project Server 2013 from the newer client.

Keeping up to date with the subscription version has other advantages – with new functionality added in the monthly updates.  Have you seen the new Timeline Bar labels just been released? (you will not see this just yet if you are in a deferred channel).  Also some accessibility improvements too!


And here is the text from the (new) image above:

Project Online requirements are changing
Published On : December 19, 2016
Expires On : March 28, 2017
Beginning in February 28, 2017, Project Online will require the latest version of Project to connect to Office 365. We are making architectural changes to features in Project Online which impact older versions of Project, connecting to Project Online. How does this affect me? If you are using Project 2016, you need to be on a supported build to connect to Project Online. For Project Professional 2016 customers, the RTM build (16.0.4266.1000) is the minimum build. For Office 365 customers using the Project Online Desktop Client (the subscription version of Project Professional 2016), you need to be on the previous Deferred Channel build (currently build 16.0.6741.2088) or any other build that is more recent. If you are using any prior version of Project, you will encounter issues connecting to Project Online. This change will not affect you if you are not connecting to Project Online. What do I need to do to prepare for this change? Make sure you've upgraded to a supported Project 2016 build, by February 28, 2017, to continue connecting to Project Online without interruption. Please click Additional Information to read more about the system requirements.

There is also an additional information link – which takes you to  which will now bring you back to this blog post!

Comments (7)

  1. Ian Bruckner says:

    If we purchase perpetual licensing, will Project Managers also need a Project Online Professional license, and will Portfolio Managers & Resource Managers need Project Online Premium license, both of which come bundled with Project Professional (subscription-based)… or will there be a Project Online license that allows that full access without needing to pay twice for the pro client? If so, what is that called?

    1. Hi imbruck2, best speak to your licensing/purchasing contact for Microsoft products – they will be able to give guidance on a Project Online license that allows for the fact that you already have the client software.
      Best regards,

  2. Kathy Bromead says:

    If you are making architecture changes, how will this impact the syncing of the task list into project online and vice version the custom data into project professional. Also if you using odata to pull task data using ssis or simply excel services will this be impacted?

  3. Alexander says:

    Hello Brian,
    what about environments where Microsoft Project 2016 (Click2Run) cannot coexist with Microsoft Office 2016 (volume license) – which is officially not supported by Microsoft (
    We currently survive with Microsoft Project 2013 (Click2Run), which is supported, but reading your update start wondering about coming changes.

    1. Sorry for the slow response Alexander – but the C2R-P addresses this specific compatibility issue – Hopefully you found out by now – but this might help other readers.

      Best regards,

  4. Brent Shuster says:

    My customer would like to know if access to MS Project 365 and SharePoint require MS Project 2016 on June 30th. They are using MS Project Desktop 2013 to update projects that are on MS Project Online (SharePoint Online platform, not server). Will current functionality stop working on or about June 30th?

    1. Correct Brent – that is exactly what is happening – Project versions below 2016 will no longer connect to Project Online as of the June data (or thereabouts). You customer will need to upgrade to the 2016 perpetual license of go for the subscription model with the Project Online Desktop Client included with Project Online Premium or Project Online Professional licenses.
      Best regards,

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