Azure Information Protection classic client administrator guide
Use the information in this guide if you are responsible for the Azure Information Protection client on an enterprise network, or if you want more technical information than is in the Azure Information Protection client user guide.
Understand the different components of this client and whether you should install it
How to install the client for users, with information about prerequisites, installation options and parameters, and verification checks
How to accommodate custom configurations that often require editing the registry
Locate the client files and usage logs
Identify the file types supported by the client
Configure and use the document tracking site for users
Use the client with PowerShell for command-line control
Have a question that's not addressed by this documentation? Visit our Azure Information Protection Yammer site.
Technical overview of the Azure Information Protection client
The Azure Information Protection client includes the following:
An Office add-in, that installs the Azure Information Protection bar for users to select classification labels, and a Protect button on the ribbon for additional options. For Outlook, a Do Not Forward button is also available for the ribbon.
Windows File Explorer, right-click options for users to apply classification labels and protection to files.
A viewer to display protected files when a built-in application cannot open it.
A PowerShell module to apply and remove classification labels and protection from files.
This module includes cmdlets to install and configure the Azure Information Protection scanner, which runs as a service on Windows Server. This service lets you discover, classify, and protect files on data stores such as network shares and SharePoint Server libraries.
The Rights Management client that communicates with Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) or Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS).
The Azure Information Protection client is best suited to work with its Azure services; Azure Information Protection and its data protection service, Azure Rights Management. However, with some limitations, the Azure Information Protection client also works with the on-premises version of Rights Management, AD RMS. For a comprehensive comparison of features that are supported by Azure Information Protection and AD RMS, see Comparing Azure Information Protection and AD RMS.
If you have AD RMS and want to migrate to Azure Information Protection, see Migrating from AD RMS to Azure Information Protection.
Should you deploy the Azure Information Protection client?
Deploy the Azure Information Protection client if you are not using sensitivity labels in Microsoft 365 but instead, using Azure Information Protection labels that you download from Azure, and any of the following applies:
You want to classify (and optionally, protect) documents and email messages by selecting labels from within your Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
You want to classify (and optionally, protect) files by using File Explorer, supporting additional file types than those supported by Office, multi-select, and folders.
You want to run scripts that classify (and optionally, protect) documents by using PowerShell commands.
You want to run a service that discovers, classifies (and optionally, protects) files that are stored on-premises.
You want to view protected documents when a built-in application to display the file is not installed or cannot open these documents.
You want to just protect files by using File Explorer or by using PowerShell commands.
You want users and administrators to be able to track and revoke protected documents.
You want to remove encryption from files and containers (unprotect) in bulk for data recovery purposes.
You run Office 2010 and want to protect documents and email messages by using the Azure Rights Management service.
Note that Office 2010 extended support ended on October 13, 2020. For more information, see AIP and legacy Windows and Office versions.
Example showing the Azure Information Protection client add-in for an Office application, displaying the classification labels for your organization, and the new Protect button on the ribbon:
Installing and supporting the Azure Information Protection client
You can install the Azure Information Protection client by using an executable or a Windows installer file. For more information about each choice, and instructions, see Install the Azure Information Protection client for users.
Use the following sections for supporting information about installing the client.
Installation checks and troubleshooting
When the client is installed, use the Help and Feedback option to open the Microsoft Azure Information Protection dialog box:
From an Office application: On the Home tab, in the Protection group, select Protect, and then select Help and Feedback.
From File Explorer: Right-select a file, files, or folder, select Classify and protect, and then select Help and Feedback.
Help and Feedback section
The Report an Issue link displays only if you specify an advanced client setting. When you configure this setting, you specify an HTTP link such as the email address of your help desk.
The Export Logs automatically collects and attaches log files for the Azure Information Protection client if you have been asked to send these to Microsoft Support. This option can also be used by end users to send these log files to your help desk.
The Reset Settings signs out the user, deletes the currently downloaded Azure Information Protection policy, and resets the user settings for the Azure Rights Management service.
If you have technical problems with the client, see Support options and community resources.
More information about the Reset Settings option
You do not have to be a local administrator to use this option and this action is not logged in the Event Viewer.
Unless files are locked, this action deletes all the files in the following locations. These files include client certificates, Rights Management templates, the Azure Information Protection policy, and the cached user credentials. The client log files are not deleted.
The following registry keys and settings are deleted. If the settings for any of these registry keys have custom values, these must be reconfigured after you reset the client.
Typically for enterprise networks, these settings are configured by using group policy, in which case they are automatically reapplied when group policy is refreshed on the computer. However, there might be some settings that are configured one time with a script, or manually configured. In these cases, you must take additional steps to reconfigure these settings. As an example, computers might run a script one time to configure settings for redirection to Azure Information Protection because you are migrating from AD RMS and still have a Service Connection Point on your network. After resetting the client, the computer must run this script again.
The currently signed in user is signed out.
Client status section
Use the Connected as value to confirm that the displayed user name identifies the account to be used for Azure Information Protection authentication. This user name must match an account used for Microsoft 365 or Azure Active Directory. The account must also belong to a tenant that is configured for Azure Information Protection.
If you need to sign in as a different user to the one displayed, see the Sign in as a different user customization.
The Last connection displays when the client last connected to your organization's Azure Information Protection service. You can use this information with the Information Protection policy was installed on date and time to confirm when the Azure Information Protection policy was last installed or updated. When the client connects to the service, it automatically downloads the latest policy if it finds changes from its current policy, and also every 24 hours. If you have made policy changes after the displayed time, close and reopen the Office application.
If you see This client is not licensed for Office Professional Plus: The Azure Information Protection client has detected that the installed edition of Office does not support applying Rights Management protection. When this detection is made, labels that apply protection do not display on the Azure Information Protection bar.
Use the Version information to confirm which version of the client is installed. You can check whether this is the latest release version and the corresponding fixes and new features by clicking the What's New link, to read the Release management and supportability for the client.
Support for multiple languages
The Azure Information Protection client supports the same languages that Microsoft 365 supports. For a list of these languages, see the International availability page from Office.
For these languages, menu options, dialog boxes, and messages from the Azure Information Protection client display in the user's language. There is a single installer that detects the language, so no additional configuration is required to install the Azure Information Protection client for different languages.
However, label names and descriptions that you specify are not automatically translated when you configure labels in the Azure Information Protection policy. Beginning with August 30, 2017, the current default policy includes support for some languages. For users to see labels in their preferred language, provide your own translations and configure the Azure Information Protection policy to use these translations. For more information, see How to configure labels for different languages in Azure Information Protection. Visual markings are not translated and do not support more than one language.
Post installation tasks
After you have installed the Azure Information Protection client, make sure that you give users instructions for how to label their documents and emails, and guidance for which labels to choose for specific scenarios. For example:
Online user instructions: Azure Information Protection user guide
Download a customizable user guide: Azure Information Protection End User Adoption Guide
Upgrading and maintaining the Azure Information Protection client
The Azure Information Protection team regularly updates the Azure Information Protection client for new functionality and fixes. Announcements are posted to the team's Yammer site.
If you are using Windows Update, the Azure Information Protection client automatically upgrades the general availability version of the client, irrespective of how the client was installed. New client releases are published to the catalog a few weeks after the release.
Alternatively, you can manually upgrade the client with a newer release installation. You must use this method to upgrade preview versions.
When you manually upgrade, uninstall the previous version first only if you're changing the installation method. For example, you change from the executable (.exe) version of the client to the Windows installer (.msi) version of the client. Or, if you need to install a previous version of the client. For example, you have the current preview version installed for testing and now need to revert to the current general availability version.
Use the Release management and supportability to understand the support policy for the Azure Information Protection client, which versions are currently supported, and the content included in each supported release.
Upgrading the Azure Information Protection scanner
Use the following instructions to upgrade the scanner from a general availability version older than 188.8.131.52 to the current version of the scanner.
To upgrade the scanner to the current version
For a smooth upgrade path, do not install the the Azure Information Protection client on the computer running the scanner as your first step to upgrade the scanner. Instead, use the following upgrade instructions.
Beginning with version 184.108.40.206, the upgrade process from previous versions automatically changes the scanner to gets its configuration settings from the Azure portal. In addition, the schema is updated for the scanner's configuration database, and this database is also renamed from AzInfoProtection:
If you do not specify your own profile name, the configuration database is renamed AIPScanner_<computer_name>.
If you specify your own profile name, the configuration database is renamed AIPScanner_<profile_name>.
Although it's possible to upgrade the scanner in a different order, we recommend the following steps:
Use the Azure portal to create a new scanner profile that includes settings for the scanner and your data repositories with any settings that they need. For help with this step, see Configure the scanner in the Azure portal from the scanner deployment instructions.
If the computer running the scanner is disconnected from the internet, you still need to do this step. Then, from the Azure portal, use the Export option to export your scanner profile to a file.
On the scanner computer, stop the scanner service, Azure Information Protection Scanner.
Upgrade the Azure Information Protection client by installing the current general availability (GA) version.
In a PowerShell session, run the Update-AIPScanner command with the same profile name that you specified in step 1. For example:
Update-AIPScanner –Profile Europe
Only if the scanner is running on a disconnected computer: Now run Import-AIPScannerConfiguration and specify the file that contains the exported settings.
Restart the Azure Information Protection Scanner service, Azure Information Protection Scanner.
You can now use the rest of the instructions in Deploying the Azure Information Protection scanner to automatically classify and protect files, omitting the step to install the scanner. Because the scanner is already installed, there's no reason to install it again.
Upgrading in a different order to the recommended steps
If you don't configure the scanner in the Azure portal before you run the Update-AIPScanner command, you won't have a profile name to specify that identifies your scanner configuration settings for the upgrade process.
In this scenario, when you configure the scanner in the Azure portal, you must specify exactly the same profile name that was used when you ran the Update-AIPScanner command. If the name doesn't match, the scanner will not be configured for your settings.
To identify scanners that have this misconfiguration, use the Azure Information Protection - Nodes pane in the Azure portal.
For scanners that have internet connectivity, they display their computer name with the GA version number of the Azure Information Protection client, but no profile name. Only scanners that have a version number 220.127.116.11 should display no profile name on this pane.
If you didn't specify a profile name when you ran the Update-AIPScanner command, the computer name is used to automatically create the profile name for the scanner.
Moving the scanner configuration database to a different SQL Server instance
In the current GA version, there is a known issue if you try to move the scanner configuration database to a new SQL Server instance after you run the upgrade command.
If you know that you want move the scanner configuration database for the GA version, do the following:
Uninstall the scanner by using Uninstall-AIPScanner.
If you haven't yet upgraded to the current GA version of the Azure Information Protection client, upgrade the client now.
Install the scanner by using Install-AIPScanner, specifying the new SQL Server instance and profile name.
Optional: If you do not want the scanner to rescan all files, export the ScannerFiles table and import it to the new database.
Uninstalling the Azure Information Protection client
You can use any of the following options to uninstall the client:
Use Control Panel to uninstall a program: Click Microsoft Azure Information Protection > Uninstall
Rerun the executable (for example, AzInfoProtection.exe), and from the Modify Setup page, click Uninstall.
Run the executable with /uninstall. For example:
To install the client, see Install the Azure Information Protection client for users.
If you've already installed the client, see the following for additional information that you might need to support this client: