Microsoft says the KB5021751 update respects user privacy while identifying the number of customers running versions of Office that are outdated or approaching end of support.
KB502175 is delivered via Windows Update to devices where the user has already enabled the “Receive updates for other Microsoft products” feature.
It will only be installed on systems where one of the following versions of Microsoft Office is also present: Office 2013, Office 2010 or Office 2007.
Like the company said last monthno files will be installed on systems where this update is deployed, but instead it will only run once to check if the installation of Office is not supported or requires soon an upgrade.
“This update gathers diagnostic and performance data to estimate usage of installed versions of Office to help determine the best way to support and repair these systems,” Microsoft said Thursday in an updated support document first published last month.
“This data is collected from registry entries and APIs. The update does not collect license details, customer content, or data about non-Microsoft products. Microsoft values, protects, and defends privacy.”
However, the advisory has yet to explain what Microsoft intends to do with this data once it is sent to its servers.
Office users who do not want this update installed on their computer 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:
- Download and run the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooter from here
- Click ‘Next’
- Select update KB5021751
- Click ‘Next’
- Restart your device if prompted
While Office 2007 and Office 2010 already reached their end of support years ago (in October 2017 and October 2020respectively), Office 2013 will reach its extended support date in two months, April 11, 2023.
Once a version of Office reaches 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Support content is also no longer updated and most online help content targeting the outdated version of Office is removed.
Microsoft advise customers using outdated versions of Office to download and install a free trial of its Microsoft 365 productivity suite.