Office Web Apps on Windows 2012 R2

Howdy Folks,

Once upon a time installing Office Web Apps server was a breeze.  Anyone could roll up and use Pat Richard’s script to download the ISO and prep everything to be done on the server.

Now that Windows 2012 R2 has been released and Microsoft has amended the download locations, the script that Pat Richard created will no longer work to install Office Web Apps server on a Windows 2012 R2 server. It’s still a fantastic script:  for most other roles within a Skype for Business topology, and Web Apps server can also still be installed – as this blog post will show you.

Allow me to walk you through the steps to get Office Web Apps installed and supported on Windows 2012 R2.


There is a really good helpful guide on TechNet – although it isn’t entirely straightforward.

Install .net Framework 4.5.2 –

Launch PowerShell as an Administrator and use the following:

Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Static-Content,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Security,Web-Filtering,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-App-Dev,Web-Net-Ext45,Web-Asp-Net45,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,InkandHandwritingServices,NET-Framework-Features,NET-Framework-Core,NET-HTTP-Activation,NET-Non-HTTP-Activ,NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45


Obtaining the ISO

This task requires its own section as it’s so awkward to find. – sign in and you want the Volume Licensing Service Center.

Once signed in using your Live ID, click Downloads and Keys.


Find the Office Professional Plus 2013 and select the Download tab.


Now the less intuitive portion.  Windows 2012 R2 only comes in 64 Bit, but the Office Web Apps ISO is located under the 32 Bit Section.


Once the ISO is downloaded you can mount the ISO natively in the Windows Explorer.

Now, you just kick off Setup and everything works… Easy?  Not exactly.  There are some significant gotchas to concern yourself with:

  1. You must have at least 2 processors. I was running this in a lab and trying to squeeze as much as I could out of it with a single V Core and it wouldn’t install – and the error gave me nothing to assist with troubleshooting.
  2. Don’t try to do any power management. Anything other than Balanced won’t do.

Likewise, any power management on the ESX or Hyper-V will stop the installation.


Now we’re able to launch Setup…

  • open the .iso file directly and run Setup.exe
  • On the Read the Microsoft Software License Terms page, select I accept the terms of this agreement and click Continue
  • On the Choose a file location page, select the folder where you want the Office Web Apps Server files to be installed (for example, C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Web Apps) and select Install Now. If the folder you specified doesn’t exist, Setup creates it for you.
  • When Setup finishes installing Office Web Apps Server, choose Close
  • Download and install Office Web Apps Server SP1 which is required for Windows Server 2012 R2.

Installation of Language Packs

Language packs can be downloaded from:

Launch the wacserverlaguangepack.exe

In the Office Web Apps Server Language Pack 2013 Wizard, on the Read the Microsoft Software License Terms page, select I accept the terms of this agreement and select Continue.

When Setup finishes installing Office Web Apps Server, choose Close

Important notes:

  • If you want to add the language packs after you create a farm, think again. You have to remove it out of the farm and then add it back in.
  • If you want a language pack to work, it needs to be on all of the servers in the farm.

Create the Office Web Apps Server farm.

This depends on what flavour of OWA you’re working on.  In my lab I only require one to function.  In production it is highly recommended you deploy a farm of no less than 2 Office Web App servers and, dependent on the load, you could require more.   In addition, anything more than a single server will require a Hardware Load Balancer to be in place to load balance the HTTP traffic.

From PowerShell:

For a single server in the farm you use the following configuration.

New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalURL “http://servername” -AllowHttp –EditingEnabled

Validate that it’s responding as you would expect, with http://servername/hosting/discovery from the browser of your choice.


Expected results will be similar:


I have enabled HTTPS in mine which will add the step of creating a certificate request on the local machine, then utilising the Web Tool on the Certificate Authority and creating the relevant certificate.   Add this certificate to the trusted personal store.  If the OWA server will be used externally the certificate installed must be from a public certificate provider.

In addition, the PowerShell required to create the Farm is slightly different.

New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalUrl “” -ExternalUrl “” -CertificateName “OfficeWebApps Certificate” –EditingEnabled

This can be validated by visiting the URL

As always if you have any comments or questions feel free to ask!

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