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Categories: Office 365

September 8, 2020

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(Updated) Improvements to optional diagnostic data collection to better diagnose issues in Office

From Microsoft Corporation

MC220545, Plan For Change, Published date: Aug 18, 2020

Major update: Announcement

Applies To: All

Updated August 28, 2020: We’ve updated this post to ensure that it is appropriately visible for organizations. There is no change to the content.

When a user runs an Office app, such as Word or Excel, diagnostic information is collected and saved to log files on the user’s device. These log files contain information about the processes and components running in the application, and can help detect, diagnose, and fix issues and help make improvements to Office. This information is very similar to optional diagnostic data that may already be collected subject to applicable privacy settings, but is more detailed and helps provide more context about technical issues that might occur when using Office apps.

We want to let you know that these log files could be sent to Microsoft only if you have chosen to enable the collection and processing of optional diagnostic data by Microsoft. Note that even when you’ve enabled the processing of optional diagnostic data, Microsoft may not always collect these log files. We would process these files only in those situations where we think the additional information could be useful in resolving an issue.

Key points:

  • Timing: If you have enabled the collection and processing of optional diagnostic data, it will begin in mid September.
  • Controls: Admin – Policy setting for diagnostic data
  • Action: review and assess impact

The change will initially apply to Office on devices running Windows, beginning with Version 2008 of Microsoft 365 Apps in Current Channel. Log files could be sent for the following Office apps:

  • Excel
  • OneNote
  • PowerPoint
  • Word

Log files could also be sent for Version 2008 and later of Project and Visio.

In the coming months, this change will also apply to Outlook as well as Office running on Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

For the latest information about which versions of Office and which operating systems this change applies to, see Overview of diagnostic log files for OfficeHow this will affect your organization:

These log files don’t include a user’s name or email address, the content of the user’s files, or information about apps unrelated to Office.

These log files can help detect, diagnose, and fix issues and help make improvements to Office. For example, the additional information in these log files could help us identify the underlying reason why a user has a problem saving a file to the device running Office. In those situations, it would be beneficial for those log files to be sent to Microsoft.

The log files are initially saved under %temp%\Diagnostics on devices running Windows. These files are in CSV format and can be viewed using applications like Excel.

For more information about these log files, see Overview of diagnostic log files for Office.

You can use the Diagnostic Data Viewer (DDV) to see when these log files are sent to Microsoft. The DDV also shows the location on the user’s device where you can find a copy of the log files that are sent to Microsoft. For more information about the DDV, see Using the Diagnostic Data Viewer with Office.What you need to do to prepare:

No specific action is required on part. If you have chosen to allow optional diagnostic data to be sent to Microsoft, then these log files may be sent to Microsoft.

If you don’t allow optional diagnostic data to be sent to Microsoft, these diagnostic log files will still be created and saved on the user’s device, but the log files will not be sent to or processed by Microsoft.

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