Microsoft has introduced a new method for updating Microsoft 365 apps called the “update under lock” feature.
The feature guarantees users “zero notifications, zero disruptions” while reducing the need for forced updates. To do this, the feature tries to shut down Office apps when it is safe to do so and then apply a pending update. After that, the feature returns closed apps to their previous state.
"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," said Julia Lieberman, a product manager at Microsoft.
"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."
Announcing the new update experience, Microsoft explains how it works:
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.
The feature is only available for Windows devices and customers with Microsoft 365 subscriptions, Visio and Project.
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