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Microsoft released a new Office for iOS and Android feature that extends the types of files that may be co-edited in real-time. Microsoft Purview Information Protection documents can now be co-authored in Office’s mobile apps.

Multiple users can edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents in real-time, even if the files are labeled as sensitive. The feature was originally accessible in Office for Windows, macOS and web. With the addition of Android and iOS, this feature is now accessible on all major platforms.

Cross-platform support

The feature to collaborate across devices in real-time has become increasingly important as more individuals work remotely and from home. Demand for mobile support grows as high-end iPads and Android tablets become as prevalent as general computing devices.

To co-author sensitive materials, users must go through two processes. Microsoft explained them in a Tech Community post.

  • Install or upgrade Office Mobile, Word, Excel, or PowerPoint for Android to version 16.0.14931 or higher or iOS to version 2.58.207 or higher.
  • In the Microsoft Purview compliance portal, ensure that the ‘Co-authoring for files with sensitivity labels’ feature is enabled for your tenant (Global admin rights needed). If you have already activated this setting, the functionality will begin running instantly for the Office programs listed above.

Review the details before using it

Microsoft offered a support document that helps users enable the function. You cannot disable co-authoring for files with sensitivity labels once you have enabled the feature for your tenant. Administrators are advised to review and comprehend the criteria, ramifications and restrictions before enabling the setting.

If you want to disable the setting once it’s enabled, Microsoft Support can be manually contacted to turn the setting off. The request can take several days, and you must demonstrate that you are the tenant’s global administrator. Expect standard support fees to apply.

Tip: Microsoft makes Dev Box virtual workstation available to testers