Microsoft Office 365 Updates Guide

Ensuring you have the latest Microsoft Office updates isn’t just crucial for making sure you have the latest features at your fingertips but also for ensuring that you’re protected against the latest threats. It’s now widely known that the infamous WannaCry ransomware strain could have been prevented with a simple Windows update.

However, with so many new threats and updates coming out and dealing with lots of different machines, it’s easy to fall behind on updating devices. That’s why in this article, we’re going to look at how to update Microsoft Office 365.

How to Check for Microsoft Office 365 Updates 

Microsoft regularly releases new updates that you will need to stay on top of if you want to keep your network safe. You can install these updates manually or automatically. By default, Office 365 updates automatically, but in this section, we will look at how to deploy updates manually if this setting isn’t activated.

You can look for Microsoft Office updates to install in Microsoft Office or Office 365 by following the steps below:

  • Open Word, Excel, or Powerpoint (or any other Office 365 application)
  • Click File
  • Choose Account or Office Account 
  • Click on Update Options 
  • Press Update Now

After you’ve clicked update now, Microsoft Office will search online for updates. Discovered updates will be downloaded and installed automatically.

How to Turn on Office 365 Automatic Updates (Windows) 

If you want to configure automatic updates on Office 365, then this is a relatively simple process. You can check if automatic updates are available by clicking on File > Account in Word, Excel, or Powerpoint and looking for text that says, “Updates are automatically downloaded and installed.” If you don’t see this text and see “This product will not be updated,” automatic updates are disabled.

You can activate automatic updates by following these steps below:

  • Start Word, Excel, or PowerPoint
  • Click File
  • Select Account (or Office Account if you’re using Outlook)
  • Select Update Options>Enable Updates 
  • Select Yes when asked whether you want to Microsoft Office make changes to your computer

If you can’t manually turn on automatic updates, it’s likely this is because of a Group Policy. Fixing this can be tricky as you have to modify the registry, which can cause severe problems if you make a mistake. You read more about how to change the registry here.

How to Turn On Automatic Updates on Mac 

The process for turning on automatic updates on Mac is slightly different. You can turn on Office 365 updates by following the instructions below:

  • Find the Help tab in the system menu bar
  • Click Check for Updates (if you don’t see this option, run the latest version of the Microsoft AutoUpdate tool and then check again).
  • Select Automatically keep Microsoft Apps up to date. 
  • Click Update (Press the arrow button if you want to view updates individually).

Your Mac will then start downloading the latest available updates. If you don’t have automatic updates turned on or don’t want to use them, you can also manually download updates through the Mac Store.

  • Open the App Store from the Dock
  • Click Updates
  • Select Update All or press the Update button next to the apps you want to update

Deploying 365 Updates with Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager 

While the methods above help download updates to single devices, if you’re managing lots of devices, you will need a more efficient solution for deploying updates. Several solutions on the market enable you to do this, and one of them is Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.

Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager provides you with a software update management workflow that you can use to update Apps for Microsoft Office 365 enterprise and business. In short, it allows you to download updates and distribute them to systems chosen by an administrator.

To use Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, you need to:

  • Enable the software to receive Office 365 client package notifications
  • Enable Office 365 clients to receive updates from the Configuration Manager

Part 1: Enable Office 365 client package notifications 

To configure the Configuration Manager to receive package notifications, you need to follow the steps below:

  • Open the Configuration Manager console
  • Select Site Configuration > Sites 
  • Click on Settings in the Home tab, select Configure Site Components, and Software Update Point
  • In the Software Update Point component Properties dialog box:
    • Go to the products tab > Office > Office 365 Client 
    • Go to the Classifications tab > Updates 

Once this is done, you need to synchronize software updates, or you won’t be able to see available updates in the console. You can read more about how to synchronize software updates here.

Part 2: Enable Office 365 Clients to Receive Updates 

To enable endpoints to receive Office 365 updates, an Office COM object needs to be enabled on the system. The COM object can then take commands from Configuration Manager to download and install updates. There are three ways you can allow the Office COM object; Configuration Manager’s client policy, Group Policy, or the Office Deployment tool. We’re going to look at the first one below:

To enable the office COM object using Client policy in configuration Manager follow these instructions:

  • Open the Configuration Manager console
  • Click Administration > Overview > Client Settings
  • Click Software Updates and Select Yes for the Enable management of the Office 365 Client Agent setting.

Where to Find Out More Information About Microsoft 365 Updates 

If you want more information about the available updates for Office 365, then the Microsoft site contains a range of resources that you can use. In this section, we’re going to list some of the most valuable resources available:

Stay Up-to-date

Keeping Microsoft Office 365 apps up-to-date is most accessible when using automated updates or a remote patch management solution like Endpoint Configuration Manager. This way, you can automatically deploy updates to multiple devices without having to oversee each installation manually.