Microsoft 365 Insider Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below you’ll find answers to questions about the Microsoft 365 Insider program. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, let us know by leaving feedback at the bottom of the page or reach out to us @MSFT365Insider on Twitter.
The Microsoft 365 Insider program (formerly the Office Insider program) provides early access to subscription features and updates, giving you an exclusive opportunity to use and provide feedback on our latest innovations. Your feedback goes directly to our product teams and helps make Microsoft 365 even better for users across the globe.
There is no additional cost to be a Microsoft 365 Insider, but you will need a Microsoft 365 subscription to receive Insider updates on your device.
Anyone can read the Microsoft 365 Insider blog, interact with us on Twitter, and visit our Tech Community space or the Microsoft Community forum to learn about the latest updates we’re working on for Microsoft 365. However, to try features before they are released to subscribers, you will need both a subscription to Microsoft 365 and to set the update channel on your device to Beta Channel or Current Channel (Preview). Learn how to do this here.
Note: Even in Microsoft 365 Insider channels, features are not immediately available on all devices. We release new features gradually, ensuring a good user experience for small groups of devices before releasing them to larger groups.
A Microsoft 365 subscription delivers the latest features on an ongoing basis. Our continuous release cycle means that we receive feedback faster and can iteratively improve our services. As a subscriber, you receive new (and updated) features for Microsoft 365 apps, such as Excel, Word, and Outlook on a regular basis based on the update channel setting on your device. The Microsoft 365 Insider update channels provide early access to these features./p>
A perpetual license of Office (like Office 2016, Office 2019, or Office 2021) has features that were available up to the point in time that the software was released. Other than security updates, the functionality doesn’t change until you buy the next version of Office or transition to a subscription license.
Visit the Microsoft support website to compare Microsoft 365 (subscription) and Office perpetual (one-time purchase) licenses.
Update channels determine which Microsoft 365 updates your device gets, and how often it receives them.
To see the Microsoft 365 update channel that is configured on your device, open a Microsoft 365 app, such as Word, and go to File > Account. The name of the update channel appears in the Product Information section under the About heading. The version and build number for the update channel are also shown there.
There are two Microsoft 365 Insider update channels: Beta Channel and Current Channel (Preview). Read about them in our Handbook.
Unfortunately, no. The process to set the update channel varies depending on your Microsoft 365 license and operating system.
- If you have a personal or family subscription to Microsoft 365, you’ll find the instructions in the Join section of this site. Select the tab for your operating system at the top.
- If your subscription to Microsoft 365 is provided through work or school, your Administrator may limit access to preview functionality. You can contact them to ask if your device can be enrolled.
- If you are an Administrator of Microsoft 365 in an organization, see the Microsoft 365 Insider Program for Business information for IT Admins.
- If you are using a perpetual version of Office (2016, 2019, 2021, LTSC), you won’t receive new feature updates.
If you don’t see the option to change your update channel:
- An administrator manages your subscription (for example, the IT department at your work or school). If this is the case, you won’t be able to change your update channel. Contact your administrator for more information.
- You may have a perpetual (one-time purchase) version of Office. Please see “Why is a subscription required?” in this FAQ.
We enable features gradually to ensure things are working smoothly. We sometimes highlight features on our blog or in release notes that you may not have yet, because they’re in the process of being released to larger numbers of Insiders. Access to a particular feature also depends on which Insider channel your device is enrolled in – Beta Channel or Current Channel (Preview).
Visit https://support.microsoft.com/microsoft-365 for training, tips, downloads, account help, and more.
Visit https://support.microsoft.com/contactus. Please note that Beta channel builds are not supported. See the support section of our Handbook for information and other help options.