Configuring your Office 365 ProPlus Deployment for different channels

Office 365 ProPlus has several different supported Update Channels which you can configure via the deployment options available to you today. What if you’re a single man business or a technical professional that wants to test new elements with Office 365 ProPlus or quickly change update channels on the fly?

This scenario can be achieved by making changes to the Registry Hive and specifying a new key or modifying an existing one with the desired channel name.

For example, by default if you install Office 365 ProPlus from the Office 365 Portal will be the Semi-Annual release (Unless it’s been changed by your Global Admin)

To change the Update Channel or even check which channel you are currently assigned this can be done by browsing to the following reg path

HKEY_Local_Machine\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\16.0\common\officeupdate

From the screenshot above you can see I have a Reg_SZ Key that states “updatebranch” this is the correct name and hasn’t been undated by Microsoft to “updatechannel”. The Data value use the Channel short name which is describled in the table below

Channel Names

Name Description Data
Monthly Channel Monthly updates with the latest features – No security patches will be released for the previous Monthly Channel release Monthly
Semi-Annual (Targeted) Preview of Semi-annual Channel update Pilot
Semi-Annual Accumulation of features that have shipped in prior Monthly Channel updates Broad
Monthly (Targeted) Preview of Monthly Channel update Insiders

Once you have either modified or created the updatebranch key, you can manually force update process to set by launch any Office product. Click File à Account à Under Update Option click Update Now

You client workstation will now start to download the Office updates for the specified channel.

If you have any open Office product(s), you will be asked to close before the installation can be completed.

As soon as you click continue Office will close all open application to complete the installation.

After the update has been completed you can check your Office Account information from any Office product to see what version build you are running and if the specified channel name is correct. As you can see from below the registry change that has been implemented with this post is being displayed successful.

One of the great things about Office ProPlus is if there are any new features within a particular product, you will receive an announcement like below.

Regards

Andrew J. Price – Author Blogabout.Cloud

Office Servers and Services MVP

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