Windows Autopatch is now available for public preview! This post will take you through the steps to join the public preview and offer a quick primer to familiarize you with the service.
What Is Windows Autopatch?Windows Autopatch is a new service that automates the process of managing and rolling out updates for Windows and Microsoft 365 apps. If you missed the announcement, beginning in early July 2022, this service will be generally available if you have a Windows Enterprise E3 license or greater. The takeaway if you're an IT admin? You can continue using the tools and processes you're accustomed to for managing and deploying updates—or you can take a hands-off approach and let Windows Autopatch do it for you. For more information, see Get current and stay current with Windows Autopatch and the Windows Autopatch FAQ.
Why join the public preview?Changing the way things get done, even when that change makes things easier, gives pause to most people who run large IT organizations. By joining the public preview, you'll be able to get comfortable with Windows Autopatch and ready your organization to take advantage of the service at scale.
Are you Windows Autopatch-ready? Prerequisites
For granular details and prerequisites for licensing and connectivity, see Windows Autopatch prerequisites.
- Licensing: Windows Autopatch is available at no extra cost to Windows Enterprise E3 and above license holders.
- Specifications: Windows Autopatch works with Windows 10 and 11 Enterprise versions and, when we reach general availability, on virtual machines including Windows 365 Cloud PCs.
- Hardware requirements: If your corporate-owned devices are running a current. supported version of Windows 10 or Windows 11, they can be enrolled in Windows Autopatch. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios are not currently supported.
- Management requirements: Your devices must be managed with either Microsoft Intune or via Configuration Manager co-management.
- Identity requirements: User accounts must be managed by Azure Active Directory or Hybrid Azure Active Directory Join.
What is Windows Autopatch patching?Windows Autopatch applies updates to your Windows operating system and configures automatic updates for Office applications.
Windows updatesThe General Availability Channel is the source for Windows updates through Windows Autopatch. Polices for quality and feature updates can be set independently to meet your needs.
Admins will be able to see what updates have been applied through the Windows Autopatch message center in Endpoint Manager and will learn about what updates to expect. The familiar cadence of monthly Windows security and quality updates, also referred to as "B" releases, will continue and out-of-band updates will be applied as needed.
Office updatesWindows Autopatch uses the Monthly Enterprise Channel to balance stability and feature availability. These updates are also released on the second Tuesday of the month. Office rollouts follow a unique, fixed schedule-they do not make use of ring-based progressive deployment and are not controlled by Autopatch.
Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Edge updatesThe Microsoft Teams client application is synchronized with changes to the Teams online service. As a result, updates to this client occur on a different cadence than general Windows or Office updates. Microsoft Edge also has its own update channel to facilitate frequent revisions to the browser. Windows Autopatch progressive deployment is not used for either Teams or Edge updates, nor do the pause or rollback actions apply to either application. However, support issues for these app can be raised via the Windows Autopatch support request portal.
For more details on Teams updates, see our documentation on the Teams update process. See more details about Windows Autopatch and Edge, including configuring IE mode for Edge, see Plan your deployment of Microsoft Edge.
Windows Autopatch activationThis video walks you through the steps to enroll your tenant in the Windows Autopatch public preview and add your devices.
Briefly the steps are:
To guide you through common enrollment tasks, we have created three additional video tutorials:
- Log in to Endpoint Manager as a Global Administrator and find the Windows Autopatch blade under the Tenant Administration menu. If you don't see 'Windows Autopatch' you don't have the right licenses. See Windows Autopatch prerequisites for more information on prerequisites, including licensing.
- Use an InPrivate or Incognito browser window to redeem your public preview code.
- Run the readiness assessment, add your admin contact, and add devices.
- How to add devices to your test ring
- How to resolve a status of "tenant not ready"
- How to resolve a status of "device not ready" or "device not registered"
Want even more details?Read a thorough how-to that explains the 'what' and 'why' as well as the 'how' for Windows Autopatch, see Enroll your tenant.
Have questions about Windows Autopatch?Join our Windows Autopatch Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) event on June 15th at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time with members of the Windows Autopatch engineering team. Save the date and start posting your questions at AMA: Windows Autopatch.
You can also join the conversation, ask questions, or share insights anytime on the new Windows Autopatch Community: Windows Autopatch.
What happens when Windows Autopatch reaches general availability?Once the service reaches general availability, you will be able to keep using the service as you have been. There may be some cosmetic changes to the interface, but your enrolled devices will stay enrolled, and you'll be able to expand your enrollment when you're ready. To stay on top of the latest be sure to follow the Windows IT Pro Blog.