If you have Office365 ProPlus (aka Office 2016/2019) you will know that it updates constantly. Originally patches were released weekly but from 2018 one they are released monthly.
To be clear, Office365 Pro Plus patches are released on the second Tuesday of each month (aka Patch Tuesday), just like Windows Updates. However, Office365 patches update using a completely different data source. Microsoft calls their Office365 source the “Content Delivery Network” or CDN.
Originally Microsoft told companies to use SETUP.EXE switches to download Office and its patches to local file shares and then use GPO to point PC’s to look at those shares for updates. This became almost completely unmanageable for large organizations with multiple physical locations as each location needed its own GPO. To make matters worse, Microsoft changed their standard install from 32Bit to 64Bit and that meant every location needed two GPO’s and file shares. What a mess.
Microsoft now says to simply use the Windows 10 Delivery Optimization methodology which boils down to:
- Each PC runs a routine on boot and every time a Office365 ProPlus app (i.e. Word, Outlook…) is started to check for updates
- For each needed update, the PC checks with the Delivery Optimization service (on the internet) to find any applicable peer PCs that already have the needed content.
- If peers are available, the PC will try to get the content from the peers.
- If some or all of the content isn’t available from a peer, or if no peers are available, the remainder will be retrieved directly from Microsoft
We have a full article with screenshots and GPO’s explaining how to easily configure Delivery Optimization in Windows 10 HERE.
After you have turned on Windows 10 Delivery Optimization, instead of a using local file share or having all of your your PC’s to directly to Microsoft for updates, you can simply sent:
Computer > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies> Microsoft > office > 16.0 > common > officeupdate > UpdatePath to nothing
Click to Expand Screen Shot
If Delivery Optimization is turned on and the Office365 ProPlus UPDATE PATH is set to null, your PC’s will look to each other to figure out if patches have already been downloaded inside your LAN.
To setup patching for Office365 Pro Plus Using GPO:
- Launch GROUP POLICY MANAGEMENT CONSOLE
- Create a new GPO or edit and existing one
- Expand COMPUTER CONFIGURATION
- Expand ADMINISTRATIVE TEMPLATES
- Expand MICROSOFT OFFICE 2016 (MACHINE) – ** See Note Below **
- Expand UPDATES
- Set DELAY DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING UPDATES FOR OFFICE to 10 days – ** See Note Below **
- This is not required but Microsoft recommends it so that OTHER people can test the patches for a few days before you deploy them on your network
- Set ENABLE AUTOMATIC UPDATES to ENABLED
- Set UPDATE PATH to nothing
If you do not have MICROSOFT OFFICE 2016 (MACHINE) or you do not see DELAY DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING UPDATES FOR OFFICE, you need to download the latest Office 365 Administrative Templates directly from Microsoft HERE.