New Update Update under lock: Improved update experience for Microsoft 365 Apps


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Aug 17, 2014
Quote: Are you or your end-users annoyed with update notifications? Do you struggle to reach compliance? Well fear not, because Microsoft has developed an optimization that applies a pending Microsoft 365 Apps update while a machine is in idle or locked mode, even if apps are running. We refer to this feature as update under lock, and it uses Click-To-Run technology.

Benefits of this feature​

Update under lock helps you reach compliance within your timeframes without disrupting your internal users, and potentially reduces the need for abrupt forced updates, making updates more reliable by saving app state before closing. Zero notifications, zero disruptions!

How does it work?​

If there are running Office apps, update under lock will try to shut them down only when safe to do so, apply the pending update, and restore any closed apps to their previous state. This process takes about four seconds.

A common scenario is for users to leave apps open on their device for extended periods of time. For example, if a user is working on a Word document at the end of the day, they may leave the document open and lock the device intending to continue working on it the next day. When users leave their documents open in this manner, it prevents Office from applying updates. With this feature, the user will come back to a machine in its previous state, but they will be running the latest bits.

Who does it affect?​

Windows devices only for:
  • Microsoft 365 subscriptions, Visio, Project, but not Microsoft Teams, which has its own update process
  • Retail consumer/perpetual Office 2016, 2019, and 2021
All devices, regardless of update endpoint, that are receiving updates from:
  • Current Channel: Version 2109 or later
  • Monthly Enterprise Channel: Version 2112 or later
  • Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel (Preview): Version 2202 or later
  • Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel: Version 2208 or later (coming Jan 2023)

Safety and controls​

Apps will not shut down if it is not safe to do so. For example, if macros are running or there are unsaved changes. If apps cannot shut down safely, updates are applied normally.
There are no admin controls for this feature. Microsoft is always optimizing your updates experience, and this thoroughly tested feature lives under the hood to make your life easier.


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