How to update Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (aka Office) on WVD?

Contributor

I have built a custom image that was originally based on the "Windows 10 multi-session + Microsoft 365 Apps" image in the Azure gallery. As far as I can tell, the Office apps are installed on this image using the settings specified in Install Office on a master VHD image - Azure | Microsoft Docs. One of those settings puts Office on the Monthly Enterprise channel, but it also disables updates. I understand that you don't want end users triggering the updates themselves, and maybe the typical sysadmin doesn't even want the updates getting installed during off-hours when nobody is logged in. But I can't figure out how to install the updates, period, even on a new image meant to replace the one in production. And I can't find this documented anywhere. I feel stupid. Help. :)

10 Replies
One option might be to download and install the Office Deployment Toolkit and change the application settings to enable updates (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/overview-office-deployment-tool#apply-application-pref...). Would that make sense? If so, not sure what the harm would be in leaving the updates enabled on the golden image and all session hosts.
Check this registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration\UpdatesEnabled

Enable it there and then check via a random Office application under Account> Update Options. You should be able to trigger an update that way.

Don't forget to change the regkey back before sysprepping.

Great! They don't make that registry key easy to find.

Now why is it so critical that updates are disabled on the deployed session hosts? It seems to me that I will want to go through the process of updating an image, capturing the image to the gallery, and deploying new hosts to the pool from the new image as infrequently as possible, because it's kind of a pain. If an Office update is the only change that's needed, why not have a way to do that directly on a machine in production, even if it means having all the users log out for a bit? (I understand that I can use this registry switch you just taught me to accomplish the task, but that seems to be a workaround rather than a suggested method.)

@David Schrag 

Was there ever a resolution to this issue.  As you stated, it seems incredibly burdensome to have to hack the template/image and recreate hosts (especially when there remain some things that cannot be completed on the template, requiring domain join)

 

I have lots of unhappy users and do not look forward to all the work.

Not that I know of, but I'm scheduled to attend a webinar tomorrow (12-Jan-2022) called "Best Practices to Deploy and Operate Azure Virtual Desktop" so perhaps I'll get some updated info about that.
That's hilarious, I am booked for the same webinar with the same hopes. "Great Minds" and all that...
I guess it's time to learn about https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/image-builder-overview, although at first glance that looks like more work, not less.
Did you find an alternate way to update office, or is is the registry way?
I'm still flipping the switch from FALSE to TRUE and back to FALSE again within the registry.
Thanks. A flipping I will go.