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Scan for outdated Office versions respects your privacy

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Microsoft Office

Microsoft says the KB5021751 update is respecting users’ privacy while scanning for and identifying the number of customers running Office versions that are outdated or approaching their end of support.

KB502175 is delivered via Windows Update to devices where the user has already opted-in to the “Receive updates for other Microsoft products” feature.

It will only be installed on systems where one of the following Microsoft Office versions is also present: Office 2013, Office 2010, or Office 2007.

As the company said last month, no files will be installed on systems where this update is deployed, but instead, it will run only once to check if the Office installation is out of support or will soon require an upgrade.

“This update gathers diagnostic and performance data to estimate the usage of installed Office versions to determine how best to support and service these systems,” Microsoft said on Thursday in an updated support document first issued last month.

“This data is gathered from registry entries and APIs. The update does not gather licensing details, customer content, or data about non-Microsoft products. Microsoft values, protects, and defends privacy.”

However, the advisory is yet to explain what Microsoft intends to do with this data once it gets sent to its servers.

​Office users who don’t want to install this update on their computers can opt out of receiving updates for other Microsoft products by going to Windows Update > Advanced Options.

As an alternative, they can also follow these steps to hide the update:

  1. Download and run the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooter from here
  2. Click on ‘Next’
  3. Select the KB5021751 update
  4. Click on ‘Next’
  5. Restart your device if prompted

While Office 2007 and Office 2010 already reached their end of support years ago (in October 2017 and October 2020, respectively), Office 2013 will reach its extended support date in two months, on April 11, 2023.

After an Office version reaches the end of support, it no longer receives technical support, bug fixes, or security fixes for newly discovered vulnerabilities.

Support content is also no longer updated, and most online help content targeting the out-of-date Office version is retired.

Microsoft advises customers using outdated Office versions to download and install a free trial of its Microsoft 365 productivity suite.

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