How to 'Switch Channels' for Office 2016 ProPlus

Starting with the latest Office 365 ProPlus, we have 3 production channels, namely Current, Deferred and First release for Deferred Channel. Each channel receives features updates, security and non-security updates on different intervals.

Consider a scenario the Office 2016 which is installed on the machine as Deferred Channel. Now let's say, a new feature or fix is introduced on Current or First Release for Deferred which you would like to use. But being in Deferred channel you will have to end up waiting for a few months before this feature as an update for Deferred channel. But what if you don't really want to wait that long. Well, in this scenario you also have an option to switch the channel of the Office from Deferred to some other channel.

Below are steps to switch Channels:

  1. Identify the Channel in which fix is released. You should be able to find it here.
  2. Launch Cmd prompt as 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 Current
    OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Current

You can use this command to switch to any other channel. Simply choose the corresponding Channel Keyword from below:

   Channel    Keyword in CMD
   Deferred Channel (DC)    Deferred
   Current Channel (CC)    Current
   First release for Deferred Channel (FRDC)    FirstReleaseDeferred


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>”

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 changing channel is using Office Deployment Tool (ODT). Here are the steps for it:

setup.exe /configure changechannel.xml 


    <Updates Channel="Deferred" /> 




  • 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 Current to Deferred, this may end up with larger than normal download of Office bits.




Overview of Update Channels for Office 365 ProPlus

Reference on Office 2016 builds on production

Office ProPlus Client Update Channel release- features


More Information

New Channel changes are expected to effect from September 2017 as per the article. This would change the terminology used in this blog.



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