Microsoft 365: Switch to monthly app updates for May 2022 planned

Update[German]Microsoft plans in May 2022 to switch systems with Microsoft 365 currently in semi-annual enterprise channel to the monthly enterprise channel. This means that the Office apps will then be updated every month. Administrators, who do not want this must actively initiate an opt-out in the Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center untill May 20, 2022. The information has been distributed as a notification in the Admin Center at the end of April 2022. Here is some information about this process.


Update channels for Microsoft 365 apps

According to Microsoft, yes, one of the benefits of Microsoft 365 apps is that new (and updated) features for Office apps, such as Excel and Word, are delivered on a regular basis. Administrators can control how often users should receive these new features through the update channel. According to this document, Microsoft has historically provided three primary update channels for the Office apps in Microsoft 365. 

In the semi-annual deployment, the support duration of the app versions is 14 months, while in monthly updates it is only two months. In the current channel, support ends with each new feature update.

Switch from semi-annual to monthly updates

Microsoft seems to be notifying customers via the Admin Center, who have chosen a semi-annual update plan for MS 365 Office apps, that the systems will be switched to a monthly update channel starting in May 2022. I came across this via a post on, but also has a related post. 

Forcing M365 Office-Apps to monthly update channel

The system administrator in question asks whether other users have also received a notification. In the notification, Microsoft writes that the data shows that some devices in the company in question receive feature updates for the Microsoft 365 apps only once every six months. Customers who receive monthly feature updates (e.g., via monthly Enterprise Channel) are more satisfied than customers who receive semi-annual feature updates, the company said.


Microsoft will therefore automatically switch all devices with Microsoft 365 Apps to the monthly Enterprise Channel from the end of May 2022. Those who do not want this change can opt out of this automatic switch to the monthly update channel in the Admin Center. This opt-out must be done by May 20, 2022. The opt-out takes place in the Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center. In the notification in question, the Show Details option is to be clicked. Then a Leave my devices on current configuration button should be selectable for the opt-out. Below I have also pulled out the text of the notification.

Switching M365 Office-Apps to monthly update channel

Our records show that some devices in your organization with Microsoft 365 Apps are receiving feature updates only once every six months. Customers on a monthly feature update cadence, such as those on Monthly Enterprise Channel, have reported higher satisfaction than those receiving semi-annual feature updates. In addition to receiving the latest features and fixes, having all devices on the same update frequency helps enable better collaboration experiences for users in your organization. Monthly Enterprise Channel also provides admins with predictability, since updates are released once a month, on the second Tuesday of the month.

Therefore, beginning in late May, to improve the experience for your users, we'll automatically change all devices with Microsoft 365 Apps over to Monthly Enterprise Channel. If you don't want this change to take place, you can opt out and keep devices on the channel of your choice by following the instructions at the end of this message.

Key Points:

  • Timing: We will begin rolling this out in late May and expect to complete rollout early June.
  • Action: Review and assess if you want to opt out prior to May 20.
  • Control: Admin control via Microsoft 365 Apps admin center

How this will affect your organization:

This change affects all existing installations of Office in your organization that are on update channels other than Monthly Enterprise Channel. For example, this change affects installations that are on Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel. If you don't opt out before 5/20/2022, we'll automatically configure those existing installations to begin receiving feature updates from Monthly Enterprise Channel instead of from their existing update channel. Any new installations of Office will also receive feature updates from Monthly Enterprise Channel.

In addition, Office will be configured to get updates automatically from Microsoft directly from the internet, which is our recommendation. This should help reduce your administrative workload when it comes to keeping Office up to date each month. It should also help ensure that the majority of your devices are updated in a timely manner after an update is released, as long as the devices are connected to the internet on a regular basis.

What you need to do to prepare:

If you don't want your Office installations to be switched to Monthly Enterprise Channel, in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center, choose 'View details' on the notification (top right bell icon), and then choose Keep my devices on current configuration before May 20th.

Opt-out: Switching M365 Office-Apps to monthly update channel

After you choose Keep my devices on current configuration, you will be prompted to provide feedback and you can leave your reasons for opting out. You can also provide your email address, so that we can contact you to discuss your choice to opt out.

Opt-out: Switching M365 Office-Apps to monthly update channel

The change to Monthly Enterprise Channel will mostly happen in the background while your users are using their Office apps. The next time they close all their Office apps, the change to Monthly Enterprise Channel will be completed. If they keep their Office apps open all the time, after 3 days they'll receive a message letting them know that they need to close Office to apply updates, which will then finish their change over to Monthly Enterprise Channel.

For more information, see the following resources:

  • Overview of update channels for Microsoft 365 Apps
  • Update history for Microsoft 365 Apps
  • Microsoft 365 Apps will be updated to Monthly Enterprise Channel on all your Office devices

Cookies helps to fund this blog: Cookie settings

This entry was posted in Office, Software, Update and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Microsoft 365: Switch to monthly app updates for May 2022 planned

  1. Saud says:

    What will be the user experience when Microsoft forces the monthly Enterprise Channel?

    • guenni says:

      I've heared different feedback. While some admins in big enterprises are praising this monthly updates – told me, they get fixes early – others see it as a no go. Fortunately it seems currently only a selected A/B test with selected customers (maybe in mixed configurations). And you can opt-out from monthly updates.

      From my view (I don't administrate Office 365) it will be a night mare for the users. From what I remember from my industry experience: Ordinary users don't like it, when their working tools are changed – and many changes made from Microsofts folks are not essential – the bugs introduced with each new monthly update, on the other hand, are also a challenge.

  2. Zach says:

    Seems like a reason to never, ever use Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center then. Hey Microsoft… the IT admins that are the middlemen between the users and yourself, THEY don't want to deal with making sure major feature releases get pushed out every month, because otherwise they're out of support a bare 2 months after release. They don't want to deal with the massive bugs your feature releases introduce. If they wanted all that crap, they would have picked Monthly in the first place. But they didn't. They picked semi-annual channel… and now you're forcing them, unless they opt-out, into your Monthly Bug Fest?

    So glad we use Configuration Manager instead, where I have direct control over what my Auto Deployment Rules are grabbing from MS servers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *