Microsoft 365’s new feature allows updates even with apps left open on idled or locked PCs

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Having app updating tasks to your to-do list and doing them manually is not something you would want to deal with every single time. Microsoft intends to address that by giving Microsoft 365 users the ability to update their apps even if their PC is in idle or lock mode with the apps still running.

According to Microsoft, the feature called “update under lock” uses Click-To-Run, which the company uses to install Microsoft 365 subscription and most versions of Office 2013 and newer versions. Through this, pending Microsoft 365 Apps updates can be applied without hassles, and reaching compliance will be easier for everyone. For someone who hates update notifications, forced updates, and disruptions during office time, this is some good news for me. Even more, Microsoft assures that since the update can occur even when your machine is idle or locked with the apps still running, their current state will be restored. But if the feature finds it is not safe to do it (e.g., macros running or unsaved changes), it will refuse to shut down the apps. With this, your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint tasks remain safe, and you can get back on them without problems. 

“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,” Microsoft described the feature. “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 new feature will cover different Windows devices, including those for Microsoft 365 subscriptions, Visio, Project, and retail consumer/perpetual Office 2016, 2019, and 2021. Also affected are the devices 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, and Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel: Version 2208 or later (coming Jan 2023). Microsoft Teams devices, however, are not covered since they have their own update process. 

More about the topics: App Updates, Excel, microsoft, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, office 365, powerpoint, word