One of the benefits of Microsoft 365 Apps is that Microsoft can provide new features for Office apps on a regular basis, through monthly updates. However, as the admin who deploys Microsoft 365 Apps to the users in your organization, you might want to have more control over how often your users get these new features. Microsoft provides you three options, called update channels, to control how often Microsoft 365 Apps is updated with new features. Here’s an overview of the three options.
|Update channel||Primary purpose||How often updated with new features||Default update channel for the following products|
|Monthly Channel||Provide users with the newest features of Office as soon as they’re available.||Monthly||Subscription version of Project desktop app|
Subscription version of Visio desktop app
Microsoft 365 Apps for business (previously named Office 365 Business)
|Semi-Annual Channel||Provide users with new features of Office only a few times a year.||Every six months, in January and July||Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise (previously named Office 365 ProPlus)|
|Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)||Provide pilot users and application compatibility testers the opportunity to test the next Semi-Annual Channel.||Every six months, in March and September||None|
Which update channel you decide to deploy to your users depends on several factors, including how many line-of-business applications, add-ins, or macros that you need to test any time there is an updated version of Microsoft 365 Apps. To help you make this decision, review the following information about the three update channels that are available for Microsoft 365 Apps.
Monthly Channel for Microsoft 365 Apps
Monthly Channel might be the right choice for your organization in the following situations:
- You want to provide your users with the newest features of Office as soon as those features are available
- You don’t have many line-of-business applications, add-ins, or macros that you need to test to determine if they work with an updated version of Office.
A Monthly Channel with new features is expected to be released each month, although there is no set schedule for when a feature release occurs. In addition to new or updated features, the release might also contain non-security updates, such as updates that provide stability or performance improvements for Office. Security updates for Monthly Channel are usually released on the second Tuesday of the month. At any other time, if there is a critical non-security issue that needs to be fixed, we will provide a separate Monthly Channel release that fixes the issue.
Monthly Channel releases are cumulative. The most current Monthly Channel release contains all the features, security updates, and non-security updates from the previous Monthly Channel releases.
A Monthly Channel release is supported only until the next Monthly Channel release is available. No new security updates are provided for previous Monthly Channel releases.