When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?

As new Office 365 features become available, they are sometimes rolled out over a period of time to all subscribers. If you have an Office 365 work or school account, the timing of when you receive new features may also depend on your organization’s settings. Eventually, all Office 365 subscribers will receive the new features. If you don’t see a feature you’re expecting in your Office apps, there’s no need to worry—it’s on its way!

Note: New builds are also rolled out this way. This means when a build becomes available, not all customers will receive the new features right away. However, you can expect it to come to your device soon.

  • Who gets new features?
    All new features are included for free as part of your Office 365 subscription. If you have a work or school account, your administrator may control when you see new features. If you have a one-time purchase of Office 2016, you will receive security and performance updates but no new features.

  • How do I get new features?
    You will get them automatically as they are rolled out. You can also check for and Install Office updates manually. (This does not mean that you will receive the newest features right away.)

  • When will new features arrive in my Office?
    We don't publish an exact day when the updates occur because that day can vary, and multiple updates could happen in a month. All Office 365 subscribers will eventually get the new features. However, if you’d like to get them sooner, you can join the Office Insider program.

How are Office Updates rolled out?

If you've joined the Office Insider program, you get preview builds for the latest features, security updates, and performance fixes that Microsoft releases before anyone else. For the Windows, Mac, and Windows Mobile Office Insider programs, there are two tracks: Office Insider Fast and Office Insider Slow. Office Insider for iPhone and iPad runs only on fast, while Android currently only has slow.

When new features and updates are distributed, the timeline usually goes like this:
  1. Insiders who have signed up for Office Insider Fast will receive the earliest, preview build first. This track is for Insiders who feel comfortable with using unsupported builds and will help identify issues and provide valuable feedback to Microsoft. (This only applies to Windows, Mac, iOS, and Windows Mobile which have the Fast program. The Android program will eventually get the fast track as well.)

  2. Next, Insiders who have joined Office Insider Slow get access to preview builds. These preview builds differ, in that they are fully supported by Microsoft. This means there’s minimal risk and your feedback will be used to tweak and improve the final Office update.

    If you are an Office Insider for Android, there is only one option and you will receive a supported builds before other users.

  3. The remaining Office 2016 users get updates a little later, typically one to three weeks after Office Insiders, or possibly longer. When they’re released, these updates are sent to a small percentage of users first, and then more users are added over time until all Office subscribers are updated.

When new features are available, they will download automatically if you have Office for Windows. If automatic update is not turned on, you can Install Office updates manually. If you have a Mac, be sure to configure Mac to update automatically.

Visit the Office Insider program to sign up. You can also follow the @OfficeInsider Twitter handle to find out about new features and updates that are released to Office Insiders.

Questions? Find out more.

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding new features for Office. If you have additional questions about this process, please let us know using the comment box below.

If you have Office 365, upgrading is easy and won't cost you anything. See these links for more info:

If you have a one-time purchase of an older version of Office, you'll need to purchase Office 2016 or an Office 365 subscription.

Office updates for Windows and Mac are released on different schedules, so if you have both, you’ll see Office update at different times. Also, we may not release new features every month--some months the updates might only contain security updates, or non-security updates that provide stability or performance improvements for Office.

If you're an Office 365 for business customer, your system admins might restrict which Office updates you get until they have a chance to test those features with other programs used by your organization. This is why you might not have the latest features of Office at work, even after you update Office.

Business admins can enable access to new features at the same time as Office Insiders by joining First Release, and business users can use the Office Deployment Tool to install the First Release build (Windows). Business users can enable early access to new Office for Mac features by joining Office Insider.

What's New and Improved in Office 2016 for Office 365 and What's New and Improved in Office 2016 for Mac for Office 365 are updated periodically to describe many of the new features in Office. Remember that it may take some time before these features are available in your installation of Office both at home and at work. You can also follow the @OfficeInsider Twitter handle to find out about new features and updates that are released to Office Insiders.

See Also

What is Office Insider?

Install Office updates

Check for Office for Mac updates automatically

What's New and Improved in Office 2016 for Office 365

What's New and Improved in Office 2016 for Mac for Office 365

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