How to ‘Switch Channels’ for Office 2016 ProPlus

The Office 365 ProPlus update model supports 4 production channels; Monthly Channel (Targeted), Monthly Channel, Semi-annual Channel (Targeted) and 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.

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 “OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Current


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"


  1. 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.

The other option for switching channels is using Office Deployment Tool (ODT). Here are the steps for it:

setup.exe /configure changechannel.xml 


    <Updates Channel="Deferred" /> 




    <Updates Channel="Broad" /> 



  • Office C2R Client (OfficeC2RClient.exe) build 16.0.8518.6355 and above will support both old and new channel names.
  • For instance, if you prefer to switch to a build on a particular channel, the cmd would be:         OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.xxxx.xxxx
  • If you are downgrading Channels from faster channel to slower one, say from Monthly to Semi-Annual, this may end up with larger than normal download of Office bits.

More information:

Starting September 2017, Office 365 ProPlus aligns with the Windows 10 Update model. This change will make planning and managing updates for both Office and Windows easier for customers. Below is an overview of old and new update channel names.

Channel Name prior to September Channel name starting September 12th
  Insider Slow/ First Release Current Channel   Monthly Channel (Targeted)
  Current Channel   Monthly Channel
  First Release Deferred Channel   Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)
  Deferred Channel   Semi-Annual Channel



Overview of Update Channels for Office 365 ProPlus

Reference on Office 2016 builds on production

Office ProPlus Client Update Channel release- features

Comments (24)

  1. tony says:

    My test indicates if Office programs are running in the background, the “OfficeC2RClient” will ask you to close the applications.

    Is there a way to switch the channel but is completely silent to the user? I noticed this blog that tells you just to change the registry key:

    The method doesn’t run “OfficeC2RClient.exe”. Not sure what triggers the final switch??

  2. Craig James says:

    “To start the switch Channel process, complete by executing “OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user” in cmd prompt path ‘C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun>”

    I can’t even get to C:\Program files. I am stuck at C:\users\username.

    1. @Craig James – open cmd prompt as administrator and paste below.

      cd C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun

      the above should automatically guide to required path

  3. Jon says:

    We seem to be running into some confusion with Premier Support. They’ve referenced this article claiming that the command line is the only way to change channels. However, there are numerous other articles that suggest the channel can also be changed with a registry key or group policy. (Note that we are patching through SCCM, not directly from the Office CDN). Should we be able to change the channel through policy or configuration items or is it necessary to run the command line script on every computer we want to change to a different channel?

  4. Boris Bahes says:

    Don’t clients get this setting from O365 admin center?

    1. Jon Mozley says:

      Previously you could set this in the Organization Profile section of the office 365 admin portal but it seems they have decided to remove this functionality…

    2. Admin center feature is still available and is applicable only during installation mode. Once Office proplus is installed and if you prefer to switch channel, this article should help

  5. jremmc says:

    Tried this today. Using “Monthly” in command line did not work – Got message “You already have the latest updates” and Office (Word) still showed Deferred channel. Had to use “Current”, that worked.

    1. @ jremmc, could you please share the non-working Cmd line used to switch Channels. Also share the build that you were and moved to.

    2. Likewise, i had to set Channel=Current for this to work.

      Setting to either Insiders or Monthly did not work

      1. 16.0.8518.6355 and above will support both old and new channel names.
        New Channel names – Insiders, Monthly, Targeted and Broad

    3. Jouko says:

      I have same issue as jremmc. Tested today and a month ago.

    4. TomCastiglia says:

      I had a similar problem. When I set the Channel to Insiders it did not accept the change and the Update User command reported that I already had the latest version. When I used a value of “FirstReleaseCurrent” it worked (at least my updates are installing now).

  6. John-Pierre Cornelissen says:

    That didn’t work. I do have the click2run folder from step 3 but when I execute the command from step 4 I get “Folder does not exist”.

  7. John-Pierre Cornelissen says:

    That doesn’t work. When I execute the command from step 4, I get “Folder not found”.

  8. Aaron Alter says:

    I tried the command line to change channels, but when I press Enter all that the command does is go to the next line without doing anything.

    1. “OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Current” – will change the channel settings under the hood. you also need to run the next command “OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user ” for the change to kick in.

  9. 16.0.8518.6355 and above will support both old and new channel names.
    New Channel names – Insiders, Monthly, Targeted and Broad

  10. Mitch says:

    This process worked like a champ for me. The part I don’t completely understand is the option to switch channels using the ODT. How is that applied after the Office application is deployed? I run the setup.exe /configure changechannel.xml and then what? Any assistance would be appreciated.

  11. myles says:

    This was perfect, the first part work perfect!

  12. Jon says:

    I ran the update user command but nothing happens. My office says that I’m on Semi-Annual Channel and I’m trying to switch to Semi-Annual (Targeted)

    1. @Jon,
      refer article

      For feb 2018,
      Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) = Semi-Annual Channel = 1708. 8431.2215

      If there is no change in build number, OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user – will have no impact

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