Microsoft 365 How to Change the Update Channels for Microsoft 365 Apps

Provided by the FMS Development Team

Having Microsoft 365 allows users to receive new and updated features to keep their Office apps like Access, Excel and Word current.

There are several Update Channel options that send new features, security updates and non-security updates at different periods of time. In this article, we will go over each Update Channel and how to change from one Update Channel to another.


Comparison of the Update Channels for Microsoft 365

Current Channel - Provides users with the latest features as soon as Microsoft releases them.

Monthly Enterprise Channel - Provides users with new or updated features only once a month on a schedule.

Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel - For organizations that have a more controlled environment.

Visit our page, Microsoft 365 Access Update Version Releases to see a full list of all the updates that were released for Microsoft 365.

Current Channel Monthly Enterprise Channel Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel
Feature Updates There is no set schedule and users can see possibly multiple updates per month but at least one update a month. Released on the second Tuesday of the month. Released on the second Tuesday of the month in January and July.
Security Updates Released on the second Tuesday of the month. Released on the second Tuesday of the month. Released on the second Tuesday of the month.
Non-Security Updates There is no set schedule and users can see at least one update a month. Released on the second Tuesday of the month. Released on the second Tuesday of the month.
Support Duration The Version is supported until the next Version is released. Any version is supported for two months. Any version is supported for fourteen months.

For more information on Microsoft 365 Update Channels, visit Overview of Update Channels for Microsoft 365 Apps.


Microsoft 365How to Change the Microsoft 365 Update Channel

The Current Channel is the default update channel for Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (previously referred to as Office 365 ProPlus) and for Business (previously referred to as Office 365 Business).

There are multiple ways to change the Update Channel:

When changing the Update Channel, there are considerations to be made, visit Microsoft's Considerations when changing channels for more information.


If the user installed Office for themselves, they can specify which Update Channel they want to install.

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Admin Center with the admin credentials.

  2. Click [Show All] located in the right hand section.
    Microsoft 365 Admin Center

  3. Click the drop-down option called [Settings] and select [Org settings].
    Microsoft 365 Admin Center Settings

  4. Under the [Services] tab, scroll down and select [Office installation options].
    Microsoft 365 Admin Center Services

  5. Choose one of the following Update Channels.
    Office installation options

  1. Verify the scheduled task "Office Automatic Update 2.0" is enabled on the device. This task is a required part of managing updates for Microsoft 365 Apps.

  2. Download the Administrative Template Files (ADMX/ADML) for Office Customization Tool for Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, Office 2019 and Office 2016.

  3. In the Group Policy Management Tool, enable the Update Channel policy setting and choose the new Channel from the drop-down list.
    The policy setting can be located under: Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2016 (Machine)\Updates

  4. The Group Policy refreshes in the background every 90 minutes. To refresh the policy assignment immediately, you can use the gpupdate command. For more information, visit Microsoft's page on gpupdate.

  5. After the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) has executed, the Office Automatic Update 2.0 task must run. The task will detect change and update channel. The device will not show the updated channel until a build of Office from the new channel is installed.

  1. Verify the scheduled task "Office Automatic Update 2.0" is enabled on the device. This task is a required part of managing updates for Microsoft 365 Apps.

  2. Download the latest version of Office Deployment Tool.

  3. Create a configuration file that specifies the new channel name.

    Example

    <Configuration>
    	<Updates Channel="MonthlyEnterprise" />
    </Configuration>
    

    Allowed values

    • Channel="CurrentPreview"
    • Channel="Current"
    • Channel="MonthlyEnterprise"
    • Channel="SemiAnnualPreview"
    • Channel="SemiAnnual

  4. Deploy the configuration file using your standard processes.

  5. After the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) has executed, the Office Automatic Update 2.0 task must run. The task will detect change and update channel. The device will not show the updated channel until a build of Office from the new channel is installed.

  1. Close all Office programs.

  2. In the Windows Search Bar, type in "Command Prompt".
    Windows Search Bar

  3. Launch Command Prompt.
    Command Prompt

  4. Type: cd C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun
    Click To Run

  5. Press the [Enter] key.

  6. Type: OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=MonthlyEnterprise
    Change Channel Setting

  7. Press the [Enter] key.

  8. Type: OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user
    Update User

  9. You'll see a window about updating Office. It may take a few minutes. Wait until it is complete.
    Downloading Office Update

  10. A window will appear when the updates have been installed.
    Updates Installed

  11. In any Office program (Access, Excel, Word), click [Account].
    Account Setting

  12. In the "About Access" section, the Channel should now say "Monthly Enterprise Channel".
    Monthly Enterprise Channel

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