Message center in Office 365

Label to let you know the admin center is changing and you can find more details at aka.ms/aboutM365preview.

To keep track of upcoming changes, including new and changed features, planned maintenance, or other important announcements, go to Message center. That's where we post official announcements that let you take a proactive approach to change management. Each post gives you a high-level overview of a planned change and how it may affect your users, and links out to more detailed information to help you prepare.

To open Message center, first make sure that you have selected the Try the new admin center toggle on the admin center Home page, and then:

You can also use the Microsoft 365 Admin app on your mobile device to view Message center, which is a great way to stay current with push notifications.

Frequently asked questions

Question Answer
Who can view posts in Message center?
Most users who have been assigned any admin role in Office 365 can view Message center posts. Here's a list of admin roles that don't have access to the Message center. You can also assign the Message center reader role to users who should be able to read and share Message center posts without having any other admin privileges.

Additionally, you can assign the Message Center Privacy reader role to people who should see notifications about security and privacy information relevant to your organization. See About admin roles to learn more about what each admin role can do.

Most Message center posts can be shared through email with non-admin users who may need to take action. This option is not available for data privacy posts that the Message Center Privacy reader views.
Is this the only way Microsoft will communicate changes about Office 365?
No, there are many ways that we communicate changes in Office 365. Message center is the primary way that we communicate the timing of individual changes. See Stay on top of Office 365 changes for information about additional resources.
How can I see posts in my language?
Message center posts are written in English only due to the timeliness of the information we are posting, but you can control whether, by default, posts are shown in English or are automatically machine-translated to your preferred language. And, no matter which default view you choose, you can select to machine-translate posts to any language we support. See Language translation for Message center posts for more details.
Can I preview changes or features before they are rolled-out to my organization?
Sometimes. Some changes and new features can be previewed by opting in to the Targeted release program. To opt in, in the admin center, go to Settings > Organization profile > Release preferences. (In the new admin center, you may need to select Show all at the bottom of the left navigation pane to see Settings.) You can choose Targeted release for your entire organization, or just for selected users. See Standard or Targeted release options in Office 365 for more information about the program.
Can I find out the exact date a change will be available to my organization?
Unfortunately, we can't tell you the exact date a change will be made to your organization. In our Message center post, we will give as much information as we can on the timing of the release, based on our confidence level. We understand you want us to be more specific on timing of releases, and we're working on improvements to get better with that level of detail.
Are these messages specific to my organization?
We do our best to make sure that you only see Message center posts that affect your organization. The Microsoft 365 Roadmap includes all of the features we are currently working on and rolling out, but not all of these features apply to every Office 365 organization. For example, if a feature is rolling out only to educational institutions, we will target the Message center post ONLY to those organizations.
Can I get message center posts emailed instead?
Yes! You can select to have a weekly digest emailed to you and up to two email addresses. If you need to have the digest go to more than two more people, you can send to an Office 365 group or distribution list. The emailed weekly digest is turned on by default. If you aren't getting your weekly digests, check your spam folder. See the Preferences section of this article for more information on how to set up the weekly digest.
How do I stop getting the Message center digest?
Go to Message center in the admin center and select Edit preferences in the new admin center or Edit Message center preferences in the old admin center. Turn off the option to Send a weekly email digest of my messages. If you also no longer want to receive email about major updates, turn off Send me emails for major updates.
How can I ensure data privacy notifications are received by the right contacts in my organization?
As a global admin you will receive data privacy messages for your organization. Additionally, you can assign the Message Center Privacy reader role to people who should see data privacy messages. Other admin roles with access to Message Center cannot view data privacy messages.

You can use Message center preferences to control whether you receive email notifications specifically for data privacy messages and to control the visibility of these messages in the Message Center. Note that data privacy messages are not included in the weekly digest.

Messages

Message center presents a view of all active messages in a table format. By default, it shows the most recent message at the top of the list. You can select a tab to see All active messages, High importance messages, Unread messages, and Dismissed messages. And you can use the Filter drop-down menu to see all the messages in a specific message category.

Here's a quick overview of the information you'll see in each column. Select any of the column headings to change the sort order.

Column Description
Check mark
Selecting the check mark in the column heading row will select all messages currently displayed. Selecting the check mark next to one or more messages lets you take action on those messages, such as dismissing them or marking them as read or unread.
Application icon
Icons indicate the application to which the message applies.
Message title
Message titles are brief descriptions of upcoming changes. They can be long, and sometimes Message center can't display the full title. Hover your cursor over the message title and the entire title will appear in a pop-up box.
More options
More options lets you dismiss a message, mark it as read or unread, or share it with another admin. If you dismiss a message, you can restore it by selecting the Dismissed messages tab, selecting the check mark next to the message, and selecting Restore.
Major update
An exclamation mark in this column indicates a major update.
Act by
Most of the time, there won't be anything in this column. We'll only have dates here if we're making a change that requires you to take an action by a certain deadline. Since we rarely use the Act by column, if you see something here, you should pay extra attention to it.
Category
Messages are identified by one of the following three categories:

Prevent or fix issues: These messages inform you of known issues affecting your organization and may require that you take action to avoid disruptions in service. Prevent or fix issues are different than Service health messages because they prompt you to be proactive to avoid issues.

Plan for change: These messages inform you of changes to Office 365 that may require you to act to avoid disruptions in service. For example, we'll let you know about changes to system requirements or about features that are being removed. We try to provide at least 30 days' notice of any change that requires an admin to act to keep the service running normally.

Stay informed: This is where we tell you about new or updated features that we are turning on in your organization. The features are usually announced first in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap.

Stay informed messages may also let you know about planned maintenance in accordance with our Service Level Agreement. Planned maintenance may result in down time, where you or your users can't access Office 365, a specific feature, or a service such as email or OneDrive for Business.
Last updated
Date that the message was published or last updated.
Message ID
Microsoft tracks our Message center posts by message ID. You can refer to this ID if you want to give feedback or if you call Support about a particular message.

Head over to Manage messages in Message center to get more information on the things you can do with messages.

Major updates

Major updates can be reviewed by selecting the High importance tab at the top of the Message center.

Major updates are communicated at least 30 days in advance when an action is required.

Major updates are defined as:

  • ​Changes to daily productivity such as inbox, meetings, delegations, sharing, and access

  • Changes to themes, web parts, and other components that may affect customized features

  • Increases or decreases to visible capacity such as storage, number of rules, items, or durations

  • Changes to product branding that may:

    • Cause end user confusion,

    • Result in changes to help desk processes and reference material, or

    • Change a URL

  • A new service or application

  • Changes requiring an admin action (exclusive of prevent or fix issues)

  • Changes to where your data is stored

When you open a major update post to read it, you'll see the header Major update, who it Applies to, as well as the current roll-out status and a description of how it affects you.

Preferences

If administration is distributed across your organization, you may not want or need to see posts about all Office 365 services. Each admin can:

  • Set preferences that control which messages are displayed in Message center.
  • Filter messages
  • Set email preferences to receive a weekly digest of all messages, emails for major updates only, and emails for data privacy messages.

Note

If you're not using the new Microsoft 365 admin center, you can turn it on by selecting the Try the new admin center toggle located at the top of the Home page.

  1. Select Edit preferences at the top of Message center.

  2. Make sure that the check box is selected for each service that you want to monitor. Clear the check boxes for the services you want to filter out of your Message center view.

  3. Digest emails are turned on by default and are sent to your primary email address. To stop receiving the weekly digest, clear the Send a weekly email digest of my messages check box.

    Email notification for major updates is a separate control. If you want to receive email notices about major updates, verify that Send me emails for major updates is selected. Clear the check box to stop getting email about major updates.

    Select the check box next to Send me emails for data privacy messages to receive separate email notifications of data privacy messages (data privacy messages are not included in the weekly digest).

    You can select or clear your primary email address, but you can't change it. To specify other email addresses to which the data privacy message email is sent, select the Other email addresses check box, and enter the other email addresses where you want to have the email sent. Enter the email address for an Office 365 group or a distribution list if more than two people should get data privacy email.

  4. Select Save to keep your changes.

  1. Select Edit Message center preferences at the top of Message center.

  2. Make sure that the toggle is set to On for each service that you want to monitor. Use the toggle to change the setting to Off for the services you want to filter out of your Message center view.

  3. Digest emails are turned on by default and are sent to your primary email address. To stop receiving the weekly digest, change the Send a weekly digest of my messages setting to Off.

    Email notification for major updates is a separate control. If you want to receive email notices about major updates, verify that Send me emails for major updates is On. Change the setting to Off to stop getting email about major updates.

    To receive email notices about data privacy messages, verify that Send me emails for data privacy messages is On. To stop receiving these notices, change the setting to Off. (Data privacy messages are not included in the weekly digest.)

    You can select or clear your primary email address, but you can't change it. To specify other email addresses to which the weekly email summary is sent, verify that Send a weekly digest of my messages is On. Enter the email address for an Office 365 group or a distribution list if more than two people should get the digest email.

  4. Select Save to keep your changes.

  1. Select Edit Message center preferences at the top of Message center.

  2. Make sure that the toggle is set to On for each service that you want to monitor. Use the toggle to change the setting to Off for the services you want to filter out of your Message center view.

  3. Digest emails are turned on by default and are sent to your primary email address. To stop receiving the weekly digest, change the Send a weekly digest of my messages setting to Off.

    Email notification for major updates is a separate control. If you want to receive email notices about major updates, verify that Send me emails for major updates is On. Change the setting to Off to stop getting email about major updates.

    To receive email notices about data privacy messages, verify that Send me emails for data privacy messages is On. To stop receiving these notices, change the setting to Off. (Data privacy messages are not included in the weekly digest.)

    You can select or clear your primary email address, but you can't change it. To specify other email addresses to which the weekly email summary is sent, verify that Send a weekly digest of my messages is On. Enter the email address for an Office 365 group or a distribution list if more than two people should get the digest email.

  4. Select Save to keep your changes.

Display messages in your preferred language

We use machine translation to automatically display messages in your preferred language. Read Language translation for Message center posts for more information on how to set your language.

Note

The weekly digest and any posts that are emailed are sent in English-only. Recipients can use Translator for Outlook to read the message in their preferred language.

Admin roles that don't have access to the Message center

  • Compliance administrator
  • Conditional access administrator
  • Customer LockBox access approver
  • Device administrators
  • Directory readers
  • Directory synchronization accounts
  • Directory writers
  • Intune service administrator
  • Privileged role administrator
  • Reports reader