With the addition of update channels to Office 365 and the self-controlled update mechanism in Office 365 Click to Run, keeping track of what versions and channels are in use in your environment is an important task. Unfortunately, there’s no registry value that simply says “Current Channel” or “Deferred Channel” or any other simple indicator that I could find. After a fair amount of both Binging and Googling, I stumbled across a forum post that contained exactly what was needed.
Office 365 Updates with Configuration Manager
In short, the significant registry key is HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration and the significant value within this key is CDNBaseURL. CDNBaseURL will contain one of the following values depending upon the update channel that the Office 365 installation is configured for:
|Value||Channel (old name)||Channel (new name)|
|http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/64256afe-f5d9-4f86-8936-8840a6a4f5be||Insider Preview / First Release for Current Channel||?|
|http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/492350f6-3a01-4f97-b9c0-c7c6ddf67d60||Current Channel||Monthly Channel|
|http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/b8f9b850-328d-4355-9145-c59439a0c4cf||First Release for Deferred Channel||Semi-annual Channel (Targeted)|
|http://officecdn.microsoft.com/pr/7ffbc6bf-bc32-4f92-8982-f9dd17fd3114||Deferred Channel||Semi-annual Channel|
Using RegKeyToMOF (Download, How-to Guide) it’s quick and easy to add the above key and value to hardware inventory in Configuration Manager.
The following values in the above registry key are also interesting and worth adding to inventory (and any subsequent reports or queries that you may create):
|Value Name||Meaning (with respect to Office 365)||Example Value|
|InstallationPath||Installation location||C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office|
|UpdatesEnabled||Whether automatic updates are enabled or not||True|
|o365proplusretail.ExcludedApps||Excluded Office apps if the release ID is O365ProPlusRetail||access, publisher|
See Version and build numbers of update channel releases for Office 365 clients for a complete list of all Office 365 versions and channels if needed.
It’s worth noting this doesn’t seem to help when you have specific network update sources configured.
We haven’t moved to managing updates with ConfigMgr 1602 yet but all our installs are deployed from the same “Deferred” staged downloads so they all have the Deferred key. We then use separate policies to point the network update source to Current or keep on Deferred.
Clients pointing to Current source, however, maintain the Deferred CDNBaseURL value initially placed there at install.
The only way for us to tell is to query based on GPO applied or look at the UpdateUrl value it modifies. Generally it’s trivial especially if you give the network share a useful name, however, looking at the CDNBaseURL value can be misleading in this case.
Good info. Stupid design, but that’s not your fault. So that begs the question, is there another value buried deep somewhere to identify the channel? If you look in the Office apps themselves, it is displayed meaning that they are getting it from somewhere. The info above is still valid if you are updating from the web or ConfigMgr to my knowledge though.
Jason — Thanks for another great post. On a related note, I wonder if it’s possible to set/change the update channel using configmgr? I suppose a configuration item w/ remediation might work…
I know you can set the update channel using group policy, but a configmgr device collection based on specific users’ primary devices seems like the perfect target for first release builds.
Good question. I don’t know the answer. The Group Policy is most likely just setting a registry value so you can easily do this using compliance settings also.
Yes I noticed that as well after I started with “Deferred” and then implemented “Current.” Manually changing in registry now and testing.
Hola Jason, really great post. Just wondering if you have any more info on how to update the channel using configmgr etc?
Outstanding SharePoint MegaMenus
Hi Geoff, Based upon my limited research, you can’t change the channel/branch of an O365 installation without reinstalling. I’m no expert on this though so could be wrong.
See this article, worked great for us: