By default, MAU uses the “Production” channel when it checks for updates. When the Office Insider check box is selected and Office Insider Slow is selected in the drop-down menu, MAU switches to the “External” channel. When the check box is selected with Office Insider Fast chosen, MAU switches to the “InsiderFast” channel. These channels refer to different paths on Microsoft.com. You can view the current channel setting by running the following command in Terminal:
defaults read com.microsoft.autoupdate2 ChannelName
|Custom||Value of ‘ManifestServer’ key|
- A Mac Insider can be any kind of customer, not only an Office 365 subscriber.
- The Mac Insider opt-in is based on a local computer setting. It does not apply to all computers or to your account.
- Mac Insiders can upgrade to a new Office 2016 for Mac update approximately seven days before the update is released to all users.
- Office Insider Slow: Provides fully supported updates approximately seven days before the update is released to all users
- Office Insider Fast: Provides unsupported updates approximately every week, and stays one version ahead of the Slow and Production builds
Frequently asked questionsQ: Can IT departments disable the Insider check box to stop their users from opting in to the program?
A: Yes. The Terminal command is as follows:
defaults write com.microsoft.autoupdate2 DisableInsiderCheckbox –bool TRUE
Q. What is the Internal channel?
A: The Internal channel receives more aggressive and less stable build updates. Typically, this occurs 14 days before the Production channel. The Internal channel is mainly intended for internal Microsoft testing and Partners who have to evaluate software updates or new feature implementation. The Internal channel is not exposed through any user interface. However, the channel name can be set by using the defaults command.
Q. How does a user opt out of the Insider program?
A: The first step is to clear the Insider check box. However, this affects only future build update notifications and does not revert the software that’s currently installed. For Office Insider Slow, since the non-Production build is run only for approximately seven (7) days each month before upgrading to the Production build, it’s likely that users will already be running the same build as the Production channel. However, if users have recently installed an Office Insider Slow build and have to revert to the earlier Production release, they will have to remove the build and download and install an older update. For Office Insider Fast, it may take over a month to receive the next Production release due to being one version ahead of Office Insider Slow and Production during a given month. Thus, users will have to remove the build and download and install an older update. MacAdmins is a good resource for finding older releases.