Office 365 First & Standard Release

What is the difference between Office 365 first & standard release and how can I jump between the releases?

It is a known fact that Office 365 is an ever changing platform with lots of updates flowing in as soon as the team bakes new features. And depending on your preference, there is a way to get the new features very fast. All you need to do is turn First Release on for your Office 365 tenant.

While the tenant is in First Release Mode, your tenant & in turn your users will receive updates and new features as early as one week after the official announcement. Be careful with this option as you may not have enough time to “educate” your users with the updates and new functionality.

In order to set your tenant in First Release, login to O365 admin centre and navigate to Service Settings –> Updates in the left menu.


On the main pane, set the switch to “On” to enable First Release. It might take upto 24 hours for the settings to change.


When First Release is set to “off” (as in the screenshot above), the tenant is in Standard Release. With this setting in place, your users will receive the updates only after 3 weeks or more after the official announcement. By default, all tenants are in Standard Release.

The updates are applied to all users in the organization, including the administrators.

If you are a daredevil, go on and set your tenant to First Release Winking smile


Rajith Enchiparambil

Cloud Architect & Blogger with interests in Microsoft 365, AWS & Azure. I am active on Experts Exchange & TechNet forums and I am a technical author for SearchExchange. Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook for the latest updates. For consultancy opportunities, drop me a line.

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