End-user update notifications for Microsoft 365 Apps

You probably don't want users in your organization to notice when security and other updates are applied to Microsoft 365 Apps on their computers. In most cases, they won't notice as the updates are installed automatically in the background. But, you should be aware that there are times when users see notifications that updates are available or need to be applied.

Updates can only be applied when Office programs aren't running. Therefore, notifications usually appear because the user is working in an Office program, such as Microsoft Outlook, and hasn't closed it in several days.

Notifications your users see when updates can't be applied for several days to Microsoft 365 Apps

After updates are downloaded to the computer that is running Microsoft 365 Apps, Office attempts to apply the updates. If, after four days, the updates still aren't applied, a message appears in the notification area in Windows, telling the user that updates are available.

"Office updates are available" notification shown on the taskbar

The message disappears in a few seconds, but the Office icon stays visible in the notification area. If the user clicks the message, Office tries to apply the updates. If any Office programs are currently being used, they must be closed.

If, after six days, the updates still aren't applied, a message appears in any newly opened Office document, reminding the user that updates are available.

Updates are available, but are blocked by one or more apps.

Users can choose Update now to apply the updates. The user is then prompted to close all open Office programs. After the updates are applied, the message disappears.

Users also see notifications if they go to File > Account in an Office program. The Office Updates section turns yellow if updates are ready to be applied.

Updates available notification that is shown under File > Account > Update Options.

If you don't want your users to see these types of notifications, you can use Group Policy to hide the notifications.

Notifications your users see when you set an update deadline for Microsoft 365 Apps

To make sure that your users apply updates to Microsoft 365 Apps, you can configure a deadline. The deadline specifies a date and time by when the updates must be applied. If the updates aren't applied by the deadline, Office automatically closes any open Office programs and applies the updates.


Starting with Configuration Manager, version 1802, if any Office applications are running during an Office update enforcement, the Office applications will not be forced to close. Instead, the update install will return as requiring a system restart

Users are given notifications leading up to the deadline. They'll see a message in the notification area in Windows, reminding them that updates are ready to be applied.

Office updates 12 hour deadline notification.

This message appears every two hours. It'll also be shown 60 minutes, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and 5 minutes before the deadline.

If the deadline arrives and the updates still aren't applied, users see a dialog box that warns them that they have 15 minutes before the updates are applied.

Office updates 15 minute deadline notification.

This gives users fifteen minutes to save and close any work. When the countdown reaches 00:00, any open Office programs are closed, and the updates are applied.


The Hide update notifications Group Policy setting doesn't hide notifications related to deadlines.

Overview of the update process for Microsoft 365 Apps

Choose how to manage updates to Microsoft 365 Apps

Configure update settings for Microsoft 365 Apps