OneDrive GPO: Set the Sync App Update Ring

November 30, 2023
4 min read

The Scenario: How Do You Set Up Your Sync App to Use the Update Ring?

In my previous article, I presented the Basics of OneDrive Group Policies. In this article, I’ll expand on my previous explanations of OneDrive group policies. As you may know, Microsoft updates the OneDrive client with new, improved versions at regular intervals. The update cycles are based on the ring system. This ring system can be specified by the administrator, but the administrator should know what the rings are all about.

The OneDrive Rings

There are three rings for the OneDrive client:

  • Insiders ring
  • Production ring
  • Deferred ring

When you get right down to it, Microsoft has additional rings internally. But we cannot influence these here. Microsoft updates of the OneDrive synchronization app (OneDrive.exe) are released to the public via these three rings: first for Insiders, then for Production, and finally Delayed. Setting the group policy that controls the OneDrive ring allows you to set the sync app version for users in your organization. If you enable this setting and select a ring, users will not be able to change it. Users have the option to see this in the properties of the OneDrive app.

Right-click on the OneDrive icon in the tray. Click the cog icon for Settings, and from Settings choose the About tab. You should see a version of Figure 1 depending on your build.

If the group policy set updating for synchronization app has been rolled out and enabled, a message (1) appears and the button to switch to the Insider ring is disabled (2).

This screenshot shows the About tab for OneDrive info. In this image, the OneDrive Insider program setting is not available due to the organization’s policy.
Figure 1: This About tab shows the information that your organization has enabled a ring, and you cannot change the current ring to the Insiders ring. | Used with permission from Microsoft. | View Full Size

The Differences Between the OneDrive Rings

  • Insiders ring users receive builds that show them a preview of the new features of OneDrive.
  • Production ring users will receive the latest features as soon as they are available. This ring is the default setting.
  • Deferred ring users receive new features, bug fixes and performance improvements last. This ring allows you to deploy updates from an internal network location and control the display duration of the deployment (within a 60-day window).

If you disable or do not configure this group policy, users will receive OneDrive synchronization app updates when they become available in the Production ring. Users can link to Office or Windows Insider programs to receive the Insider ring updates.

Enabling this policy will set the following registry key:

[HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\OneDrive]"GPOSetUpdateRing"=dword:0000000X

Set the value 4 for Insider, 5 for Production or 0 for Deferred.

Image of a slide showing the deployment intervals (rings) of the OneDrive App. Shown moving left to right: Microsoft Internal, Insider, Production, Deferred.
Figure 2: Set the sync update ring publishing times shows the deployment intervals for the OneDrive app. | Image created by Hans Brender. | View Full Size

Publishing Times

Microsoft has published an article named “The OneDrive sync app update process” on Learn.Microsoft.com aimed at IT administrators who manage the OneDrive synchronization app in corporate environments. It explains in detail the process of updating the app, including publishing through different validation levels such as Insider and Production. The Deferred ring option allows administrators to control and deploy updates internally. The app checks for available updates every 24 hours and installs them automatically, ensuring a smooth update process. The article also provides instructions on how to set the deferred ring via Group Policy for Windows and provides specific instructions for the Mac version. In addition, the article also emphasizes that the app checks for updates regardless of Office restrictions, even when synchronizing personal OneDrive accounts.

Special Features

The group policy Set the sync app update ring can be found in the device configuration, which means that several users always have the same configuration on a device. That cannot be changed.

The name, the configuration and the String-ID of the Group Policy Set the sync update Ring.
Figure 3: The image shows the OneDrive Group Policy Set the sync app update ring, the configuration, and the String-ID. | Image created by Hans Brender. | View Full Size

There is a unique key for better searching for different languages on the Microsoft Learn page: String ID. This is for this group policy: GPOSetUpdateRing.
To configure and test this group policy, use your local Group Policy Editor, which I described in detail in my Basics of OneDrive group policies article here.

Summary

If you come across the group policy named Delay updating OneDrive.exe until the second release wave anywhere on the Internet, this was originally the first name of the current group policy.

Links

Hans Brender

Hans Brender

Hans Brender is a Collaboration Specialist and has been a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Germany for 11 years. Most people around the world know him as Mr. OneDrive. For the last 11 years he has been talking about OneDrive and collaboration around the world at conferences like Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Build and local community events. These days he is networking, mentoring, leads a monthly live show about M365 news and gives workshops to the community, mid-size- and Enterprise companies.

In addition to the social profiles below, you can find Hans at: @hansbrender.bsky.social

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