we are working on a sharepoint office 365. and i am trying to understand how our upgrade process is working. now there are 2 areas which manage the upgrade:-

  1. from the admin under this url https://portal.office.com/adminportal/home#/companyprofile i can set the "Release preferences" as follow :-

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  1. for each site collection i can set the upgrade settings as follow:- enter image description here

so i am not sure what is the relation between the 2 settings.

Question one. let us take my current settings where i am saying to apply the updates once they are available (since i have my Release preferences = "First release) for the selected users.. but at the same time the site collection upgrade option is set to No. so will the selected users get the updates or not?

Question Two. now i access the Release preferences settings from the following url https://portal.office.com/adminportal/home#/companyprofile so will this settings affects all the office 365 prodcuts or it will only affect sharepoint ??

1 Answer 1


Release preferences and upgrade settings are not related to each other.

Site collection upgrade -> it means upgrade from SP 2010 to SP 2013 or SP 2013 to SP 2016. Like upgrade from Android Marshmallow to Lollipop

Release preferences -> availability of new/preview features inside the current environment for example (not indicative) (Modern lists and libraries experience). Like upgrade from 7.0.0 to 7.0.1

To answer your 1st question - the selected users will be able to use the modern list experience but not all users.

Whenever site collection upgrade is available, global admin will get notifications regarding its availability. When they choose to upgrade, say for example to SP 2016, all users irrespective of first release preference or not will be on the same environment.

In your case, the No button is disabled as you are already on the latest version. So, whenever you get a notification in the message center, you can change it to yes and upgrade the site collection and everybody will be on the same page. But if you keep it as No, everybody would remain on SP 2013 irrespective of release preferences.

To answer your 2nd question - first release preferences affect every product of Office 365 like SharePoint, delve, SfB, Onedrive etc.

Edit based on comments:

You should keep First release for selected users option and ensure that developers and key stakeholders are present in this. It will ensure that whenever some new/breaking change is available in your environment, they can guide the end users about the changes. Secondly, keep the Site collection upgrade to no,it's the default setting, so whenever an update is available in the message center, you can then decide whether to upgrade or not. Do note that after some amount of time, MS will force upgrade the site collections. But whenever an update it available you will get an option to create an evaluation site and after that you can upgrade the site collection based on what all things that need to change.

  • ok thanks for the great reply... so now which of the options i can keep disabled? as i read that in office 365 i can not eliminate the updates ,, but i can only postpone them for 4 months... so which options i can delay and which options i can always deny them?? i mean if i am in office 365 and i am on sp2013,, then should i at certain stage upgrade my farm to be on sp2016 ???
    – John John
    Mar 9, 2017 at 14:55
  • can you please adivce on my above comment? i am not sure which settings i can skip and which i should have sooner or later??
    – John John
    Mar 9, 2017 at 16:04
  • 1
    Have updated the answer. Mar 10, 2017 at 5:14
  • thanks for the updated answer,, so now i can understand that sharepoint will after 6 months deploy any new feature globally to all users (even if we set the Release Preferences to Standard release or we set it as First release for selected users).. but is it true that MS will at certain stage force me to upgrade my 2013 site collections to be 2016? !!!
    – John John
    Mar 13, 2017 at 12:53
  • 1
    Correct. In SPO, yes its true you might at some point be forced to upgrade. But you will get multiple notifications before that. In case of OnPrem, thats not the case Mar 13, 2017 at 12:56

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