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How to switch between monthly and bi-annual updates for Office 365
Most people will be on either the monthly or semi-annual update channel for Office 365. This blog shows how you can find out which channel you are on, and how to change your channel.

Posted by Andy Brown on 05 August 2019

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Understanding and Changing Office 365 Update Channels

This blog shows a summary of the different Office 365 update channels, explains how to change your settings and shows how to download the latest updates for your version of Office.

The different update channels

If you have Office 365 (I'm using the ProPlus edition), it's almost certain that you are on one of the following two update channels:

Channel What it means
Monthly You get the latest updates as they're released.
Semi-annual You get big wodges of updates, once every 6 months.

What you don't want to do is be in any channel with the word Targeted in, as this means you're acting as a guinea-pig for testing new changes.

Seeing what channel you're in

To see what channel you're in, choose File from any Office menu:

File menu

I'm using Excel as an example here.


Choose Account:

Account menu

You'll need to look right to the bottom of the File menu to see this.


You can now see which version of Office you are using, and which channel you are in:

Version and channel

So here I'm using version 1902 of Microsoft Office, and the semi-annual channel.

You can see the current latest released Microsoft Office versions here:

MS Office versions

What this shows is that at the time of writing I'm 5 versions behind the latest one!

Changing your update channel

You can switch from the semi-annual update channel to the monthly update channel as shown here.  I've summarised (and myself followed) the steps below.

First run the registry editor:

Registry editor

Choose to run the regedit command.


Expand to show the Microsoft folder:

Microsfot folder

Expand the nodes to reveal the Microsoft one.


Now find the CDNBaseUrl key and double-click on it to edit it:

CDNBaseUrl key

First scroll down the Office settings until you find the ClickToRun section, and then click on the Configuration key.

You should then paste in the appropriate update channel key from this page:

Update options

These URLs are listed towards the bottom of the page.

The current monthly channel key at the time of writing is:

Here's the dialog box to complete:

Registry key dialog box

The dialog box which appears when you double-click on the CDNBaseUrl key.

As with anything to do with the registry editor, you do this at your own risk!

Getting the latest updates

To get the latest updates for your version of Office, choose this option in the Office product information dialog (the same one I showed earlier):

Update now option

Choose to update your Office application, and you'll get the latest monthly updates if you've just switched from the semi-annual channel.

You should then see this dialog box:

Downloading Office updates

Microsoft will update Office in the background.

Eventually you'll see this:

Update finished

You should now have the latest monthly updates for Office 365.


Latest version

I'm now on the monthly channel, and have the latest version at the time of writing.

I presume you can use exactly the same technique to switch from monthly to semi-annual updates, although I haven't tested this.

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