What is the Office Insider Program? – Guide geek | Hot Mobile Press

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You may have heard of the Office Insider program or read about new Microsoft Office application features that are only available to Office Insiders. If you’re curious and might be interested in becoming an Insider, here’s everything you need to know.

What is the Office Insider Program?

The Office Insider Program is a service that offers early access to new features for Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. To participate in the program, you must have a subscription version of Office.

If you are an Insider, install builds that include the new features instead of using the current public versions of the applications. This gives you the opportunity to try out these new features and then provide feedback to Microsoft. These new features may contain bugs, and if you decide you no longer wish to participate, you can unsubscribe from the program at any time.

You need a Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription to install the builds. If you have a subscription through your work or school, you’ll need your Microsoft 365 admin to help you receive the builds.

Which systems and apps are supported?

You can join the program using any Windows, Mac, Android or iOS Office supported device. Review the system requirements for Microsoft 365 and those specific to Office mobile apps.

The supported applications for the Office Insider program depend on your platform. Applications can include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, and Visio.

  • Windows contains all applications.
  • Mac includes all applications except Access, Project, and Visio.
  • Android and iOS include all applications except Outlook, Access, Project, and Visio.

Apps supported by the Office Insider Program

What are the different channels?

There are two channels or tiers for the Office Insider program.

beta channel

This channel provides you with the latest builds that are released frequently. It is intended for those who want to help identify problems and provide feedback. The features are still under development and the builds are not supported.

Current Channel (Preview)

This channel is for those who want early access to features but with less frequent updates and more stable builds. The builds are released and supported once or twice a month. The current channel (preview) is not available on iPhone.

How do you participate in the Office Insider Program?

You can join the Office Insider program on Windows or Mac directly from one of the included applications. For Android or iPhone, follow a different process found below.

Join on Windows

Open an Office application and select File > Account. Confirm that Microsoft 365 appears under the subscription product on the right.

Microsoft 365 subscription product on Windows

Select the Office Insider drop-down box, then select Join Office Insider. Check the box above for Sign Me Up for Early Access to New Releases of Office, then select a channel.

Check the box to confirm that you agree to the Terms of Service and click OK.

Office Insider Program Agreement for Windows

If prompted to allow the application to make changes to your device, click Yes.

Join us on Mac

Open an Office application and from the menu bar choose Help > Check for Updates and click Advanced.

On the Mac, look for advanced options for updates

Select a channel from the Update channel drop-down box. Optionally, check the box to receive automatic updates.

Channel selector for the Office Insider Program on Mac

Read the terms of use and click “Accept”. You can then use “Check for Updates” to update your applications immediately.

Join on a mobile device

On Android, you need to visit the Office Insider program page for Android and install the builds for each application link in the list. Then follow the instructions in each case.

On the iPhone, you need to use TestFlight, which you can install like any other app from the App Store. Then visit the Office Insider program page for iOS and install the builds for each application link in the list. Then follow the instructions in each case.

How do you give feedback?

As an Office Insider, Microsoft hopes to hear from you about the new features you see and try. If you want to give feedback, you can do it through one of the applications or through the feedback portal.

Feedback on the Office Insider Program on Windows

On Windows, select the feedback icon at the top right of the ribbon or go to Help > Feedback.

On Mac, select the feedback icon in the top right of the ribbon or go to Help > Feedback in the menu bar.

On Android, select your username in the top right, then select Settings. Scroll down and select “Send Feedback”.

On iPhone, select the three dots at the top or your profile icon, then select Help & Feedback.

How do you get new builds?

You can update your Office applications manually or automatically. The process depends on your device.

Windows

Go to File > Account and select the Update Options dropdown menu. Select “Update now” to update manually or “Enable updates” to use the automatic update function.

Update now on Windows

Mac

From the menu bar, go to Help > Check for Updates. If updates are available, choose Update or Update All. Check the box below if you would like to receive automatic updates.

Refresh and Refresh All on Mac

Android

Open the Google Play Store app and select “My apps & games” from the menu. Select “Update” next to the app in the “Updates pending” list. To turn on automatic updates, go to the Settings menu > Auto-update apps and select an option.

iPhone

Open the TestFlight app and select “Update” next to an app in the list. To turn on automatic updates, turn on the Automatic updates switch under App info.

Are there other features of the Office Insider Program?

In addition to early access to new features in the Office applications, you can check the Insider Blog for what’s new and sign up for the newsletter to receive updates on new features by email.

You can also join the forum to participate in the community, follow Office Insider on Twittercheck the manual for questions and see the release notes for each build across all channels and platforms.

How do you log out after joining?

If you decide the Office Insiders program isn’t for you, you can opt out and revert to the most current public versions of your Office applications.

Windows

Go to File > Account and select the Office Insider dropdown menu. Select “Change Level” and uncheck the box above for Sign Me Up for Early Access to New Releases of Office. Select “OK” and confirm when prompted.

Disabled sign out box on Windows

Mac

Open an Office application and select Help > Check for Updates from the menu bar. Uncheck the box to participate in the Office Insider program.

Note: As of this writing in July 2022 we cannot find the checkbox for this option as Microsoft describes it, neither in the main window nor in the advanced options. However, you can switch channels to “Current Channel” in the advanced options, which may revert your installation to the traditional experience.

Check for updates on Mac without checkbox

Android

Visit the app testing program page for each of the applications and select “Exit the program”. Then uninstall the Office Insider versions of the apps and install the public versions from Google Play.

iPhone

Follow the Opt Out From Testing section in the TestFlight app documentation. Basically, select the app in TestFlight, choose “End Test” and confirm.

The Office Insider Program is a great way to get a glimpse of new features on the way to public users. Just remember that the application versions you use are not final versions.

If you’re a Windows user and interested in trying out the latest desktop features, check out the Windows Insider Program too!

TIED TOGETHER: Windows Insider Program: Everything you need to know

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