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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:
I'm using Excel as an example here.
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:
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:
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:
Choose to run the regedit command.
Expand to show the Microsoft folder:
Expand the nodes to reveal the Microsoft one.
Now find the CDNBaseUrl key and double-click on it to edit it:
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:
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:
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):
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:
Microsoft will update Office in the background.
Eventually you'll see this:
You should now have the latest monthly updates for Office 365.
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.