Switch Office 2016 to Monthly Targeted Channel

The Office 365 ProPlus update model supports 4 production channels;

  • Monthly Channel (Targeted),
  • Monthly Channel,
  • Semi-annual Channel (Targeted),
  • Semi-annual Channel.

Each channel receives features updates, security and non-security updates on different release intervals.

Consider a scenario where Office 365 ProPlus is installed on a machine from the Semi-Annual Channel.  Now let’s say, a new feature is introduced on the Monthly Channel which you would like to get.  Since you are on the Semi-Annual Channel you will have to wait for a few months before this feature is made available to the Semi-Annual Channel.  But what if you do not want to wait that long?  The answer is, switch to the Monthly Channel.

Switch Channels

Below are the steps to switch channels:

  1. Identify the channel which you would like to switch to. Features and updates by channel are documented here.
  2. Launch Command Prompt as an administrator.
  3. Navigate to “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\”
  4. Run the following command to change the desired channel, let’s say Monthly Channel Targeted “OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Insiders” (When running in powershell the command will be “.\OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Insiders”

or if you want to switch to the Montly channel:

OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Monthly”

Note – You can use this command to switch to any channel using the corresponding Channel keyword listed below:

Channel Keyword in CMD or ODT
  Monthly Channel (Targeted)   Channel=”Insiders” or Channel=”FirstReleaseCurrent
  Monthly Channel   Channel=”Monthly” or Channel=”Current
  Semi-annual Channel (Targeted)   Channel=”Targeted” or Channel=”FirstReleaseDeferred
  Semi-annual Channel   Channel=”Broad” or Channel=”Deferred

To start the switch Channel process, run “OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user” from the cmd prompt path “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun>” This should be followed by a series of windows which will take you through the process of downloading and installing updates for the new channel that you have switch to.

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  1. Just wanted to say thank you. Article was great and instantly helped me update office at a client. Much appreciated for the article

    1. run this line “OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Insiders” with out the quotes

      1. Did you run this from within the same folder as mentioned in the post? Is the OfficeC2RClient.exe located there for you? And if running from powershell change it to .\OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Insiders

        1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator, you do this by right clikcing on it
          Once CMD is open, type CD then paste this: “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\” – with the quotes
          Then paste this: OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Monthly – with no quotes

  2. Thank you very much. I found many articles by Microsoft that didn’t help me at all, and then I found this one. I was able to switch channels and get updates right away.

  3. Thanks for this – run prompt successfully but cannot get it to update – I cannot start the switch channel process – any advice? Thanks

  4. Is there a way to set the channel during initial install from the exe file from office.com? For example, if the organization’s default channel is monthly and you want it on semi annual.

  5. Your directions are perfect. For some reason it seemed to work on the first machine I updated and not on the second. I then realized the second machine I was not running the command prompt as administrator. Once I noticed my error everything worked like indicated. Thanks!!

  6. Through this process downloading office updates pop up window opened on my laptop and when i pressed “Yes” for downloading updates it disappeared on screen and nothing happened.

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