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How do I get access to Office 365 preview versions?

Your power users will want to be the first in line to try out upcoming features through the Office 365 targeted release program. Set up early access with this step-by-step guide.

Organizations that want cutting-edge productivity features and don't mind a little risk can receive more experimental...

Office 365 preview versions before Microsoft distributes standard releases.

Like the Office Insider program that gives participants early access to the latest feature updates to Microsoft Office applications, a global administrator can use the Office 365 admin center to determine who gets access to the targeted release for the newest features. Microsoft calls the more widely distributed version its standard release, which is the refined service that goes to all customers.

Setting up the Office 365 preview option

Companies that participate in the targeted release program get a first look at fledgling features that can help the organization get its IT staff ready to support new functionality and determine if any security or compliance adjustments will need to be made.

By default, all users in an Office 365 tenant get the standard release. To configure the targeted release Office 365 previews for select users or the entire organization, administrators need to make adjustments in the Office 365 admin center.

To configure the targeted release Office 365 previews for select users or the entire organization, administrators need to make adjustments in the Office 365 admin center.

Sign into your Office 365 account, go to Settings and select Organization profile. Find Release preferences and click Edit. Administrators can then choose to enable or disable Office 365 targeted release.

  • To enable targeted release for all users, choose Targeted release for everyone, click Next and then select Yes to confirm.
  • To enable targeted release for selected users, choose Targeted release for selected users, click Next and then select Yes to confirm. You can then add individuals by searching for their names and clicking the plus to add them. Click Save and then Close when complete.
  • To disable targeted release, choose Standard release, click Next and then select Yes to confirm.

Administrators can also add users in bulk and add or remove users from targeted release at any time. Once the administrator makes the change, it can take up to 24 hours for the modification to take effect in the organization's Office 365 tenant.

It's important for administrators to follow any established business policies or procedures related to this Office 365 preview option to avoid any surprises for end users. For example, an administrator might send a notification to employees designated for the Office 365 targeted release. This note should remind users that they are using a service that is not yet in general release. The targeted release might have issues that the administrators can forward to Microsoft for the company to fix for a future release.

This was last published in June 2018

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