How to Change the Update Channels for Office 365

Provided by the FMS Development Team

Having Office 365 allows users to receive new and updated features to keep their Office apps like Access, Excel and Word current. There are several update options called Update Channels that Microsoft has provided. Each Update Channel sends feature 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 Office 365

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The Current Channel provides users with the latest features as soon as Microsoft releases them.

Feature Updates - There is no set schedule and users can see possibly multiple updates per month but at least one update a month.

Security Updates - 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.

Support Duration - The Version is supported until the next Version is released. For example, Version 2005 is supported until Version 2006 is released.

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

Feature Updates - Released only once a month on the second Tuesday.

Security Updates Released on the second Tuesday of the month.

Non-Security Updates Released on the second Tuesday of the month.

Support Duration - Any version is supported for two months. For example, if the version was released on the second Tuesday of October, it will be supported till the second Tuesday of December.

The Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel is for organizations that have a more controlled environment.

Feature Updates - Released on the second Tuesday of the month in January and July.

Security Updates - Released on the second Tuesday of the month.

Non-Security Updates - Released on the second Tuesday of the month.

Support Duration - Any version is supported for fourteen months. For example, the version was released on the second Tuesday of January and will be supported till the second Tuesday of March the following year.

There are three different ways to change the update channel:


Change with Microsoft 365 Admin Center

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


Change with Group Policy


Change with the Office Deployment Tool (ODT)

  1. Close all Office programs.

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

  3. Open a Command Prompt.
    Command Prompt

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

  5. Hit Enter.

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

  7. Hit Enter.

  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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