Microsoft Edge WebView2 and Microsoft 365 Apps
Microsoft 365 Apps is starting to provide new or improved features that rely on Microsoft Edge WebView2. For example, the Room Finder and the Meeting Insights features in Outlook. WebView2 uses Microsoft Edge as a rendering engine to display web-based features in a desktop application.
By making use of WebView2, we can more easily provide your users with Office features that look and feel the same across device platforms. In turn, this consistent experience helps your users to learn and use those features without having to learn the nuances of Office on each device platform. For example, by using WebView2, the Room Finder feature will look the same when using Outlook on a device running Windows and when using Outlook on the web. Office Add-ins will also start relying on WebView2.
WebView2 requires that Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime be installed on the device running Office. If WebView2 Runtime isn’t installed on the device, your users won’t be able to make use of the Office features that rely on WebView2.
Therefore, in April 2021, we began installing WebView2 Runtime on devices running Windows and that have Version 2101 or later of Microsoft 365 Apps installed.
- WebView2 Runtime doesn’t install Microsoft Edge (full browser) on the device and doesn’t require Microsoft Edge to be installed on the device.
- When WebView2 Runtime is installed on the device, no change is made to the user’s default browser selection.
WebView2 Runtime installation
WebView2 Runtime installations began in April 2021. Only devices that are running Windows and that have Version 2101 or later of Microsoft 365 Apps installed are affected. If WebView2 Runtime is already installed on the device, WebView2 Runtime will be updated to the latest version, if needed.
To benefit from the new or improved Office features or add-ins that rely on WebView2, no action is required on your part. We recommend that you allow WebView2 Runtime to be installed. As soon as WebView2 is available on the device, then your users can start using the Office features that rely on WebView2.
After installation, you’ll see an entry for Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime under Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features.
The installation of WebView2 Runtime is a separate process from the normal updates to Office provided by Click-to-Run. The installation won't happen as part of an Office update, but will happen at a different time. The timing of this installation isn't configurable by an admin, but usually happens within a few days after installing or updating to Version 2101 or later.
If you need to postpone the installation of WebView2 Runtime or your organization has specific limitations regarding deploying it, you can prevent the automatic installation of WebView2 Runtime on devices in your organization. But, if you don't allow WebVew2 Runtime to be installed, then Office features that rely on WebView2 won't be available on those devices.
To prevent the automatic installation of WebView2 Runtime, sign in to the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center (https://config.office.com) with an admin account. Then, go to Customization > Device Configuration > Modern Apps Settings. Select Microsoft Edge WebView2 and then clear the Enable automatic installation of WebView2 Runtime check box.
- Clearing the check box won’t remove WebView2 Runtime from devices on which it has already been installed. Only new installations of WebView2 Runtime are prevented.
- There is no policy setting (for Group Policy or the Office cloud policy service) to turn off the automatic installation of the WebView2 Runtime.
If you want to deploy WebView2 Runtime to devices in your organization on your own schedule, you can download it from https://developer.microsoft.com/microsoft-edge/webview2/#download-section. You should use either the Evergreen Bootstrapper or the Evergreen Standalone Installer, depending on your deployment needs.
Updates to WebView2
To keep WebView2 up to date with the latest security and reliability updates, WebView2 Runtime uses its own automatic update process, separate from the update channel used by Microsoft 365 Apps. WebView2 Runtime is updated approximately a few times each month. Updates usually range in size from 5 MB to 30 MB, depending on the type of update. Differential updates and Delivery Optimization are used where possible. For information about managing these updates, see Managing WebView2 applications.
Additional information about WebView2
- The file name for WebView2 Runtime is msedgewebview2.exe
- If you're using Task Manager, you will see multiple instances of Microsoft Edge WebView2 running under the Microsoft Outlook process.
- WebView2 Runtime won’t be installed on devices in organizations that have the following plans:
- Office 365 operated by 21Vianet
- Office 365 GCC
- Office 365 GCC High and DoD
- WebView2 Runtime won’t be installed on devices running macOS.
- To see if Version 2101 or later is available in the update channel you’re using for Microsoft 365 Apps, see Update history for Microsoft 365 Apps (listed by date).
- Other applications may have already installed WebView2 Runtime on the device. For example, applications from companies other than Microsoft or line-of-business applications created within your organization. Office features that rely on WebView2 will be able to use that installation.
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