Microsoft’s Silent Update Checks Your Windows PC for Old Versions of Office

Microsoft is running an update on Windows PCs that will silently check for old copies of Office.

As The Register reports(Opens in a new window), details of the update were revealed on the Microsoft support website earlier this month. Update KB5021751(Opens in a new window) is described as “intended to help Microsoft identify the number of users running out-of-support (or soon to be out-of-support) versions of Office, including Office 2013, Office 2010, and Office 2007.” No detail is given as to why Microsoft decided to perform this check.

The update will “run one time silently without installing anything on the user’s device” and no restart will be required after it runs. It’s likely the vast majority of Windows users will even notice the update has been downloaded and run, but the information it collects will be transmitted back to Microsoft.

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Although Microsoft hasn’t explained why this check is being performed, it most likely relates to the fact support for Office 2013 ends.(Opens in a new window) on April 11 this year. Microsoft wants to know how many people still have these very old copies of the office suite installed, as that may determine if and when any future updates are required to maintain security on those systems. If Microsoft decides to explain in more detail why this update is running, we’ll update our coverage accordingly.

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