• Notification that one setting can suppress What’s New for the entire Office suite
• Changed to reflect new 15.34 key to suppress What’s New dialogs by a boolean
• Update to OneNote now using the same OUIWhatsNewShonItemIds key instead of its own ONWhatsNewShownItemIds key
My previous post, Not much, what’s new with you?, showed how to suppress the “What’s New” banners on updated software versions of the Office 2016 Suite. While it worked, it _was_ work to get the specific preference key value to block the latest banner from appearing. Due to the nature of how the values were dynamically created at build time it wasn’t known what those values were until the software was downloaded, installed, launched, then examine the preference file for the new value of
Our good friends at Microsoft recognized the madness and worked on a way to make the suppression easier and more predictable for us admins. As of version 15.32 there is a new key that takes an array of ints that can be added to the mobileconfig profile —
OUIWhatsNewShownItemIds. The previous key
OUIWhatsNewLastShownLink is still needed to suppress the What’s New dialogs prior to 15.32.
Good News, Bad News, Better News, Best News, and Bestest News
The Good News is that the values of
OUIWhatsNewShownItemIds are predictable. It starts at 1 and increases by 1 for every new feature that is to be listed in a What’s New dialog box. The Bad News is that each application can have its own number of new features to display, so knowing how many values isn’t known ahead of time. The Better News is that there is a bug (VSO #1476177 – Give admins a better way to turn off the What’s New dialog for O365 users) reported by our same Microsoft friends to recognize a boolean to “Don’t show me any more What’s New dialogs for any new versions ever.” The Bestest News is that the new boolean value coming in version 15.34 can be set in the key
ShowWhatsNewOnLaunch to be
-bool false in the com.microsoft.office domain for the entire suite. No need for individual application domain settings to suppress What’s New dialogs. That feature is on track to be part of the 15.34 release on May 16th.
So, until May 16th, you can add a list of values to the
OUIWhatsNewShownItemIds key to suppress dialogs until the boolean value is respected. The array must be a complete list meaning you can’t just add a value of
10 and have that mean block all values
Each application domain (com.microsoft.Excel, com.microsoft.onenote.mac, com.microsoft.Outlook, com.microsoft.Powerpoint, and com.microsoft.Word) will need the values added for
OUIWhatsNewShownItemIds. The easiest way would be to add these values to the existing mobileconfig profiles from Not much, what’s new with you? and modify it like this example for Word. But come version 15.34 just use the new key in the com.microsoft.office domain and call it a night.