“Click-To-Run” promises four-second updates that you usually won’t even notice
Microsoft has never been good when it comes to updates. The process is never seamless and often takes more time out of your day than you would like. Many people, including myself, tend to put off updates, sometimes for days. Microsoft wants to make the process easier, mainly for 365 apps, but a few others will also benefit.
Recently, Microsoft outlined changes to the way Microsoft 365 and a few other apps perform updates. The feature called “update under lock” can apply patches almost seamlessly even when the computer is locked or an app is running. So users don’t have to interrupt work or make sure their computer is turned on and unlocked for software updates.
The new method uses Microsoft’s “Click-To-Run” technologyto deliver updates without notifications or abrupt workflow interruptions. It works in a number of different ways.
First, if the computer is active and the app to be updated is open, “Click-To-Run” waits until it is inactive. Then, when it is safe to update, the technology saves the status of the app, closes it, installs the patch and reopens it. Alternatively, changes are applied when the program is closed.
Microsoft’s Product Manager for Office Deployment Julia Lieberman says the entire process takes only about four seconds. So a user who leaves the app open while working in another program can switch back and not even know that an update has occurred.
But what if the app is never closed before the computer is put into sleep mode for the day? Often users leave an app open at the end of the day to have it ready the next morning. In this scenario, the new update technology performs the same four-second process while the computer is in a locked state. Users who later unlock the PC will find it exactly as they left it, except that all apps are updated.
The new update system works for devices with Microsoft 365 subscriptions, Visio and Project. Retail customers with Office 2016, 2019 and 2021 will also receive patches via this method. Lieberman noted, however, that it does not work with Microsoft Teams because it has a unique update process.
Microsoft emphasized that this system would perform updates if it is not “safe to do so. So if a program has unsaved work or macros are executed, update under lock will not try to install the automatic patch. It also noted that there are no administrator controls, meaning there is no way to disable the system.