How to change the update channels on Office 365

Reading Time: 4 minutes
How to change the update channels on Office 365
Reading Time: 4 minutes

When it comes to Office 365 update channels, you can not simply restore or uninstall an update; rather, Office updates are distributed based on the appropriate update channel to which the system (or organization) is subscribed.

Take, for example, one of my clients. His question was to switch the update channel to a semester, which restored them to the latest major version and restored the link between their application and MS Office.

This article will discuss how to make changes at the individual and organization levels to make sure your updates work in the way that works best for you and your organization. Microsoft is constantly changing how these updates work, so we’ll talk about upcoming changes.

Update channels for Office 365 desktop applications

Monthly Channel: It is the “Current Channel” version, the default set by Microsoft, and the most updated. New updates apply as soon as they are available and without a schedule.

Monthly Channel (Targeted): This channel was previously called the “Insiders” build, now called the “Current Channel Preview” build. This channel has an overview of the next monthly issue of the channel. Suitable for testing the next monthly channel update.

Semi-Annual Channel: The “Broad” or “Deferred” channel. Drives minor updates once a month on the second Tuesday but gets the latest features to update only twice a year in January and July. We at OnlineOfficeSetup365.com recommend this for those who want to avoid significant updates and stay on the oldest supported version.

Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted): It’s the “Preview” track for the semi-annual build. Although it is still updated with significant feature updates only twice a year, it is ahead of the delayed channel. With a semi-annual enterprise channel, you will be able to update channel policy settings with security updates and non-security updates as well.

Beta Channel: The “Insider Fast” build is the experimental beta version of the Office365 suite. Recommended only for those who want to test the bleeding edge.

Monthly Enterprise Channel: This is one of the newest channels. New feature updates are available monthly on the second Tuesday of each month. Updates on the monthly channel release are applied on a monthly basis to a regular schedule.

How to Alter the Microsoft 365 Update Channel

The current channel is practically the default update channel for Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (formerly designated Office 365 ProPlus) and Business (previously called Office 365 Business).

There are several ways to change the Office Update Channels:

  • Switch with Microsoft 365 Admin Center
  • Changes with group policy
  • Change with Office Deployment Tool (ODT)
  • Change with the command line

When changing the Update Channel, you should consider visiting Microsoft Browser Changing Channels for more information.

Update Options in Office 365 Applications

You need to have standalone Office 365 applications installed on your computer and an Office 365 subscription. Make sure your subscription plan includes standalone Office applications.

Here, let’s look at how to update Microsoft Office 365 applications installed on a computer using the update options in these applications.

  • Open one of the Office 365 apps already installed on your computer, for instance, Microsoft Word 365.
  • Click File n the menu bar of the Word window
  • The File menu opens.
  • Click Account (More> Account).

In the Office Updates area, click Update Options. The Account screen opens. In the menu that extends, you get four options:

  • Update Now – this option is to update Microsoft Office right now.
  • Disable Updates – use this option to turn off Office updates
  • View Updates – this feature opens a Microsoft website with information about Microsoft 365 updates and each current version. You can check for changes to the software compared to the previous version.
  • About Updates – Click this option to display the description for Microsoft 365 Auto Update.

Updating Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager

That’s a good chance for people running Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (MECM) environments, and the change may be unintended as it would mean another difference in Automatic Deployment Rules (ADRs). Under the name change in Microsoft 365 Apps, many MECM administrators will need to update their ADRs to keep running.

It is a brand new change of channel names meaning that these ADRs will require another modification if you filter to download specific updates.

Switching to the Monthly Update Channel

It is straightforward if you’re using a PC with administrator rights. If you’re operating a “locked-down” computer from your organization, then you to ask an IT specialist for help – ask them to read this page.

1. Guarantee that you have to select the Start – Run command.

In case you click the Start menu and don’t see a Run option, then right-click the Start button and choose Properties. After that, click the Customize button, and then scroll down the list until you see the “Run command”. In the end, check the box next to it, and then click the OK button.

2. Run the Regedit program with Excel closed

Commence by clicking Start-Run, and in the box, type Regedit and click OK. You will be able to see a dialog with “Registry Editor” at the top and a hierarchical system or “tree” in the left pane – considerably like File Explorer, but for Registry settings instead of files.

3. Steer to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration.

The left and right panes should appear equivalent to the screenshot below. Mind that, if you can’t locate this path, or you don’t record at least a CDNBaseUrl entry in the right pane, simply don’t make any modifications – stop and look for professional help.

4. Adjust the CDNBaseUrl entry to the Monthly Channel.

Select Edit – Modify in the Registry Editor and directly utilize Ctrl+V to copy this string as the replacement data. After this procedure, click OK and confirm that the CDNBaseUrl entry shows the new string. Then click File – Exit to complete the Registry Editor.

5. Initiate Excel and ask it to “Update Now”.

Start Excel, then select File – Account – Update Options – Update Now. It should begin downloading and installing the latest Monthly Channel updates on your PC. The procedure may take several minutes, just be patient and follow the Office Update Manager. When it points out that the updates have been installed, you can also operate your Office apps and restart Excel.

Conclusion

In the ever-changing landscape of Microsoft 365, there is more news, and this time it is a change regarding the names of the channels for updating Microsoft 365 applications and cadence.

For environments where change management is challenging to regulate, user notifications about pushing updates, or strict customer rigor, we at OnlineOfficeSetup365.com think the Enterprise Monthly Channel will be most appropriate for Office 365 update channels.