[Office 2008 SP1] install causes setup assistant to loop

After applying the Office 2008 for Mac SP1 Updater, some uses are experiencing a problem where the Setup Assistant starts up every time they try to launch any Office application.

This situation is a result of when the Office Setup Assistant detects that an invalid Product Key was used to install Office 2008. David Pelton, Microsoft MacBU core lead test has outlined below how to fix the problem and requests users to work with him to help chase down the issue to keep it from happening in the future. [reporting now closed]


Some users who have installed Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 1 are reporting an issue that occurs after installation. The issue causes the Office Setup Assistant to open when they try to open an Office application. This situation occurs when the Office Setup Assistant detects that an invalid Product Key was used to install Office 2008.

To resolve this issue, please move the following files to the Trash:

  • /Users/username/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 settings.plist
  • /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist

After you complete these steps, open any Office application, and then use the product key that is included with your original installation disk to complete the installation. The product key is located on the back of the Office 2008 for Mac DVD sleeve or on the back of the Install Guide.

For additional assistance, visit the Help and How-To section of the Microsoft Web site.

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99 comments to [Office 2008 SP1] install causes setup assistant to loop

  • Janie

    Thank you very much for this. It really helped.

  • Catarina Teixeira

    The invalid pass key is just an excuse for a bad product. I just bought the genuine version and the same thing happened to me.

  • Diane Ross

    The “invalid” does not mean you have not bought the real product, it’s just a corrupt thus invalid file.

  • Dissappointed rex

    the specified file….doesn’t exist….wtf

  • Diane Ross

    Can you be more specific about what file doesn’t exist?

  • lovejini

    I’m stuck too. I was about to find and delete the second file, but the first (/Users/username/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 settings.plist) cannot be found. I triple-checked…Also, is there a way to find out your office’s PID, through the programs? I don’t have it physically, and need it before the prompt will ask me for it…Thanks.

  • Diane Ross

    I’ll report the file missing. I don’t have any info on this at this time, but will post back when I do.
    If you look in the Application menu for the About item and display that, it will display the Product ID to you.
    There is some confusion over the Product Key and Product ID.
    The Product Key also called CD Key is on a yellow or bright orange sticker on the CD package. It is used to install your software.
    The Product ID is given during the Setup Assistant process. The Product ID will look like this: 11111-130-0001111-12345). It is used to register. “Registration” has nothing to do with the operation of the software – unlike the Activation required for MS Windows software. It’s little more than a marketing tool. It will put you on a Microsoft email list. It is also used when calling MSFT for support.

  • Jason

    I’m stuck. I have moved the files to the trash, now when i open an office app the setup assistant once again pops up. I agree to the license agreement and type in my product key and click continue, but nothing happens.

  • Diane Ross

    Have you modified Office in any way? See Dos and Don’ts for a good install
    Try this: Drag the Microsoft Office 2008 folder to the Trash, and then reinstall Office 2008 from your original installation disk. Restart. Update. Restart. Repair Permissions. (restarting is important)
    Let me know if this works.

  • Wilson

    I do everything as instructed and now everything works normal again. Thank’s

  • William

    “I’m stuck. I have moved the files to the trash, now when i open an office app the setup assistant once again pops up. I agree to the license agreement and type in my product key and click continue, but nothing happens.”
    I’m having the same issues as Jason. Apple + Microsoft = Frustrating!!!
    Has anyone found a solution?

  • Diane Ross

    Did you modify Office in any way? What about removing any extra languages? See this page for help troubleshooting.
    Troubleshoot Install
    Most likely you will need to use “Remove Office” and re-install. Read before installing:
    Installing Office 2008

  • William

    I modified a template because spacing in Word was all screwed up–could this have prevented me from having a smooth update?

  • Diane Ross

    Did you modify the file or just make a change in the template?

  • William

    I just made a change to the template.
    Should Microsoft be addressing this issue already? This is unacceptable. I haven’t been able to use any Office application for a few days now.

  • S Theys

    When I got to the register screen it kept asking for me to enter the Product ID which is located in the Help/About menu.
    In order to get to that screen you need to be able to start the product.
    In order to start the product, you need to first enter the Product ID in the register screen.
    In order to get to the Product Id you need to be able to start the program…
    You see my problem ?
    I followed the instructions for trashing the Office files as described above, now when I enter my serial number the screen just sits there like it needs some further instructions. It doesn’t recognize my serial number now.
    Apple needs to reinvent the Appleworks programit had years ago, this Office on Mac is a pain in the… neck.

  • Diane Ross

    Let’s be sure we are talking about the same screen. You enter the CD key (orange on the box) when installing. Registration is not required and is not the same as activation on Office for Windows.
    The product ID is given during the Setup process. I suggest taking a screenshot. See this page for pictures.
    Install Office 2008
    I would use “Remove Office” and re-install. For help see: Update Office 2008

  • B Glanville

    This really ticks me off! I have lost days work as a result of what ever this bug is. I’ve tried everything as posted and I too could not find -/Users/username/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 settings.plist. I deleted, re-installed, used product key. Word will open; Powerpoint states – logon ID invalid and Entourage will not even open. Also an another error message I was getting was that my Safari Keychain could not find my password so I had to re-set to ‘defalut-. Everything was working OK until this most reent update (May 2008).
    Please HELP!

  • Diane Ross

    I suspect there is some underlying OS file problems. Download the latest Apple combo updater and run it.
    Next, Drag the Microsoft Office 2008 folder to the Trash, and then reinstall Office 2008 from your original installation disk. Restart. Update. Restart. Repair Permissions. (restarting is important)

  • mitchfielder

    when i enter my product code (after deleting the 2 plists) i click continue but nothing happens
    the continue button just flashes, and it doesnt continue =/

  • Balthasar

    omg, I just installed office 2008 and I see a lot of advice saying: reinstall. I can’t believe this. Just let me skip the newsletter signup, I want to use word. It’s not that hard.

  • dd

    when i enter my product code (after deleting the 2 plists) i click continue but nothing happens
    the continue button just flashes, and it doesnt continue =/
    This is probably invalid key. Try another, valid key, and it will work.

  • joe

    I am having the same trouble as DD, Mitch and others. I’ve trashed the files but when I attempt to enter the box code the app just sits like a bump on a frog on a log.
    Just another reason to switch from this bloated, slow, broken, garbage half-baked Microsoft product to OpenOffice.

  • Chaile

    Same as lovejini i can not found
    /Users/username/library/Preferences/Microsoft/office 2008/Micro Office 2008 settings.plist
    I try to put office 2008 to trash & reinstall office 2008 again. If i don’t update the SP1 it’s fine. Once i update SP1. It will go to office setup assistant when i open any office prog.
    Pls help.

  • Diane Ross

    I sent you a reply off list. Look for subject: [The Entourage Help Blog] New Comment Added to ‘Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.1.1 Update’

  • chaile

    I have remove office & to follow your 10 steps to reinstall & update. But
    it still have the same problem as before.
    a. I only can found /Applications/Microsoft Office
    2008/Office/OfficePID.plist But cann’t found
    /Users/username/Library/Perferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office
    2008 settings.plist
    b. Now when i open any office file the office setup assistant will come
    again & i’m not able to use any office prog.
    What i can do now?

  • Diane Ross

    Please look for a detailed message sent personally.
    Just to cover the bases for anyone following this discussion see these screenshots of the two files:
    /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist
    /Users/username/Library/Perferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 settings.plist

  • Chaile

    Your 2 pictures is more helpful. I have found the missing file. After delete the missing file. Now everything is OK.
    Thanks you so much.

  • Diane Ross

    Whew! glad that fixed the problem. I was wondering if this was some odd bug.

  • B. Duncan

    I’ve installed up to the 1211 update and after deleting those files and re-entering my product key I still have the problem with the Setup Assistant.

  • Diane Ross

    Follow the steps to remove and reinstall here

  • Chris McGhee

    Thank you all for your advice!
    I was truly confused as to what requirement i was not satisfying in the setup assistant. After reading all this i was pleased to learn i wasnt the only one with this problem and that solutions were found.
    Initially just deleting the two files and trying again was not the final solution. I would enter my product key, press ok, and nothing happend. I wondered if it would inform me if I had typed in the key wrong, so I typed in gibberish as the key, and yes it THEN informed me my key was wrong, where with the actual key it did nothing.
    Reading on through the posts I tried deleting the Office folder from applications, and reinstalling. Once the install was complete, I did not run the updater. All worked as it should.
    I have hundreds of word files (Running a massive family background) and to save myself the agrivation of a possible setup wizard loop, for the time being, I am not going to run the updater.
    The first few hours I was sorely regretting my choice of moving to Office 2008, but with your help I can rest assured that it was a good choice.
    Thank you all again.

  • Diane Ross

    You really do need to upgrade. the SP1 (12.1.0) was a significant upgrade. I seriously doubt you will run into the problem again, but you can archive (zip) the current Office folder, then update. This will give you the original install as a fall back. See this page for help with the updating.
    Install Office 2008
    Dos and Dont’s to update Office 2008

  • bram

    I just followed the steps to reinstall & update office 2008. Now, just like a few people above, I face the same problem with the product key. When I enter it and click continue, nothing happens…
    thanks in advance!

  • Diane Ross

    This could be the new bug introduced by an Apple Security update. The window telling you the script to quit all applications might be hidden and the install process seems to just stop. See this article for details.
    Apple Security Update blocks Microsoft’s update process
    Some people are reporting they did not see the two files to delete. Was this a problem for you? Did you restart after deleting? Did you quit all applications before trying to install?

  • bram

    I have deleted the 2 files. As it’s not in the description on top of this page I didn’t restart after deleting them.
    As for the re-installation: I followed all the instructions, step by step.
    PS. Cause for the reinstall is the problem with HTML text being displayed to large.

  • Diane Ross

    You have two problems here:
    1) getting Office installed properly. you don’t mention if the steps in the security update helped so I suggest you follow the direction exactly as shown here:
    Install Office for Mac 2008 including updates
    Be sure to read the Pre-Installation Tips
    2) Problem with HTML text being displayed to large.
    A re-install wouldn’t fix a problem like this.
    If the problem on incoming emails? If yes, the size of HTML you receive is set by the sender, but you can use these commands to enlarge or reduce the size of the fonts.
    Command + (plus key) to enlarge font size. To reduce font size, use Command – (key to the left of the plus key). You’ll find these shortcuts under Edit in the Menu bar. Note: you do not actually use shift to get the plus key symbol +. You are actually typing Command =.
    Set Messages as Plain Text or HTML

  • bram

    thanks for the tips, Diane. I’ll try another reinstall in the morning, I guess I may have made a mistake, we’ll see. I’ll leave note if it worked (or if it didn’t..).
    With the HTML text I mean the Entourage bug (sorry I wasn’t very clear on that), concerning HTML-formatted mails displaying larger text than it should be.. But I guess that’ll be over when I’ve got the reinstall + updates fixed 😉

  • bram

    So I’ve tried the reinstall about 5 times now, all by the tutorials offered by this website. Yet nothing seems to fix it.
    So I though I’d just reinstall and not update. But now it seems my identity has been converted and the unupdated Entourage cannot access my account!!
    So I deleted the 2 files again, restarted, logged in with SHIFT pushed in and updated to 2.1.0 (SP1). But with that update I bump into the problem where the office assistant loops @ the screen where you have to give your name, companyname & cd-key. To be as clear as possible: in this screen, when I hit ‘continue’ it doesn’t continue but stays on the same screen. When I enter a gibberish key, it gives me a message about the key being invalid. So it’s not the key.
    Please tell me you have a solution for this problem, because I need my mail + calendar to work a.s.a.p.!!

  • dimatter

    this worked for me :
    rm -rf Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office\ 2008/

  • Diane Ross

    Thanks for sharing. Some users might also need to this file as well:
    /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist
    This page has options for most of the install/update errors:
    Install/Update Errors – Office 2008

  • bram

    @dimatter: I’m quite a mac-newbie, could you explain what that command does and what I need to do with it (I guess I should enter that in Terminal?)

  • Diane Ross

    The command removes the file. You can manually remove the file. It is also recommended to remove two files:
    move the following files to the Trash:
    /Users/username/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 settings.plist
    /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist
    After you complete these steps, open any Office application, and then use the product key that is included with your original installation disk to complete the installation. The product key is located on the back of the Office 2008 for Mac DVD sleeve or on the back of the Install Guide.
    See this page for pictures of the file paths.
    this page
    I have a page of helpful tips and links for new Mac users. New2Mac & Entourage

  • bram

    well ok, but I did remove those files about 88 times.. Now when I’ve done that, it loops at the screen where one is to enter the cd-key.
    I thought I had cleared that up, but I guess I did not?
    I really, really hope there is a fix for this.

  • Diane Ross

    In Entourage 2004 and Entourage 2008 there were changes made to the database after the RTM version was released. Once your Identity has been upgraded, you can no longer open it with an earlier version.
    Let’s be sure you deleted the correct files. Files to delete when you get the loop Setup Assistant error
    Did you restart after updating? See Dos and Don’ts for a good install

  • Diane Ross

    I replied to you off list. Please look for my messages.

  • Sheri

    Okay, I’ve finally got to where I need to put in that 20 digit number, but office was on my computer when I got it, so I don’t have access to that. Since I can’t open office, I can’t get the product code.

  • Diane Ross

    Is the Setup Assistant looping? Is it asking for the CD key or are you actually trying to register. the registration process comes at the end of the install and is not required. See this page for screenshots of the install.
    The Product Key also called CD Key is on a yellow or bright orange sticker on the CD package.
    The Product ID is given during the Setup Assistant process. The Product ID will look like this: 11111-130-0001111-12345). It is used to register. Write this Product ID down or take a screen snap. If you contact Microsoft for technical support, you will be asked for the product ID. In any Office application, you can view the product ID by clicking the application menu and then clicking the About menu item.
    “Registration” has nothing to do with the operation of the software – unlike the Activation required for MS Windows software. It’s little more than a marketing tool. It will put you on a Microsoft email list. You can sign up for the newsletter without registering. http://www.microsoft.com/mac/newsletter.mspx

  • Sheri

    I am not trying to register. I finally got out of the “loop” and they are asking for the Product Id, which I can’t get because I can’t open the programs. I do not have a box or sleeve.

  • Diane Ross

    You are not required to use the Product ID as part of the install process. The box or sleeve contains the CD Key. As I mentioned the Product ID is used if you call Microsoft. Can you just quit this registration process?
    It’s only the CD Key this is required. See the actual screenshots of the install here
    If you are needing the CD Key, you would have to provide proof to Microsoft in order to get a new key.

  • Adrian Weller

    Well, well.
    This company leads the way.
    For years and years now I have been having to use Microsoft products, and I can tell you with absolute confidence that they are best example anywhere (and there is some stiff competition out there – try Corel for eg) of chronic incompetence. At every turn there is a problem to work around. It is absolutely ludicrous what comes out of this joke of an organisation! here is just another example. It is completely and utterly unacceptable that customers who have paid good money for a product like this would have to deal with this ridiculous issue!
    They’ll never get it. They ‘ll just never get it.

  • Adrian Weller

    I am in the same boat as Bram. There seems to be no answer for those of us stuck at the ‘Product key’ screen.
    I enter my product key – YES the product key, not the ID! – and nothing happens!
    What’s that? I sound a bit angry?…Yep.
    If I don’t get some sort of solution to this, that will be the end of me and Microsoft (see my previous comment, which I am surprised actually got approved to go live).

  • Diane Ross

    Andrew Murton posted this unofficial fix. Use with caution:

    1. Download the 12.1.1 update directly from Microsoft’s Mactopia website.
    2. Mount the downloaded DMG file and copy the installer to your desktop.
    3. Right-click the installer and select “show package contents”
    4. Navigate to Office 2008 12.1.1 Update/Contents/Resources/package_updatable and open the file in TextEdit
    5. Scroll to the bottom and find the line “found_valid_version=False”
    6. Change False to True
    7. Then delete all the text below until the start of “if not found_valid_version:” Making sure that line is not deleted!
    8. Close the window, it will ask if you want to overwrite the file. Say yes.
    9. Close the finder window and then run the installer like normal.

    Hopefully it should then work. Seems the problem was with the checksum – by deleting that the installer goes without a problem.
    Note: the Entourage Help Blog is not an official Microsoft site and we do not work for Microsoft. You need to send feedback if you want your concerns heard by MSFT.
    Send feedback to Microsoft.
    When working in Office, you can use the “Send Feedback” option under the Help menu in all of the Office applications or visit

  • Diane Ross

    In addition to the Andrew Murton fix, read over this blog article that summarizes the problems with install/update. Andrew’s fix will not fix your problems in future updates.
    Hot topics for installing 12.1.2 updater

  • Diane Ross

    Adrian and Bram, please look for a private email from me. I need info for the developer.

  • Tanner

    I’ve been going crazy trying to get this installed. I’m so glad you showed up when I googled the problem.

  • Diane Ross

    Just be sure you don’t caught by the Apple Security update that broke the installer script to quit all Microsoft applications before installing.
    Quit all applications before updating. Log out/in with Shift key down to disable all applications in your Startup Items.

  • Ronnie Broom

    I have been doing this a long time… mostly on PC’s and now about four months on my iMac. I have never run into such a mess as trying to install SP1 on MS Office 2008.
    I have found your posts and suggestions on a couple of different locations and have followed your instructions. I have installed and re-installed MS Office 2008 five times today… I have literally wasted the better part of my day trying to do a simple upgrade.
    I have just re-installed this for the sixth time and will not attempt another update. After reading a multitude of posts from others I know I am one of many.
    What am I missing??

  • Diane Ross

    Did you quit all applications before trying to install? After the SP1 updater was released, Apple released a Security Update that caused a script in the installer to fail. This script quit all applications. This has been rectified in subsequent updates. I’m looking forward to a new combo so we can get past this issue.
    My suggestion.
    1. Launch AutoUpdater from Help in the menu bar. Select to “Keep in Dock”
    2. Log out/in and hold down Shift key to disable all startup items.
    3. Launch AutoUpdater from the Dock. Download the update and restart.
    You can remove from Dock when you have finished the updater.
    I also suggest you see this page on installing and updating. It includes screenshots. You might be able to see where you went wrong. Install Office 2008 and Update
    Also read:

    Dos and Don’ts for a good install

    Check List to troubleshoot your install
    Let me know if this helps. Sorry you are having so much trouble.

  • Ronnie Broom

    I will try this.. again.. in a while. Yes, I have tried just about everything you have suggested. I did not do the log out/log in with the shift key. I will do that. I have also moved Autoupdater to the dock as you have suggested.
    I did get to get point where I could get SP1 installed but went into the endless loop… deleted both plist files but nothing would happen past that point.
    The really shouldn’t be this difficult… I WAS running MS Office 2004 without any issues… I should of left well enough alone. Will let you know if I have success.

  • Ronnie Broom

    Again, thanks for your input.
    I am faced with two options as I see it. I have tried what you have suggested. I can get SP1 to load now without issue… but then I go into the constant loop… I have deleted the .plist files, in both locations, entered my CD Key… just sits there. I have looked at the links you provided… in fact… I actually looked at those yesterday. The bottom line right now is I don’t have another half day to play with this.
    So… my option is to either leave it as is after the install and do no updates… or take this back to the store and beg for a refund or default back to Office 2004 which I never had any issues with in the first place.
    One very frustrated dude!!!

  • Diane Ross

    Ronnie, I sent you a message privately. I’m looking at other alternatives.

  • Diane Ross

    If you have multiple copies of office, click on the Office Assistant on the Dock, Select “Show in Finder.” Go to the location in the Finder, quit the Assistant, and then delete the plist in the Office folder where they found the Assistant.

  • I hope somebody can help me with my problem. I also have the problem of a not-responding ‘Continue’ button in the office setup assistent.
    When I succesfully finish the Office 2008 installation on my MacBook (Leopard, all updates installed), I try to open an Office application, like Word. When I do this, I get the office setup assistent, asking me for my personal info. I have purchased a volume license (student/teacher) of Microsoft Office 2008 through the University I work at. So, I don’t have a key, and it also doesn’t ask for one. It just asks for my name, email address etc. Installing updates works, but don’t solve my problem. I also tried the solutions given in the comments of this post. What may be important is that before using this legal version I used a version of Office 2008 with a illegal serial number. I know this is wrong, and that is exactly why I am switching to all legal software now.
    I hope someone has some hints or a solution for me. Thanks!

  • Diane Ross

    I appreciate your honesty. Using an unofficial copy does cause problems. I’m not exactly sure what you need to do to cleanse your system.
    If you create a new User in System Preferences. Do the Office applications launch there? If not, then we need to look at the Application folder. Use “Remove Office” to completely remove all of Office files. (this includes the invisible ones) I would run it at least twice. Do a manual check in the root Library and the User’s Library for any Microsoft files. Office 2008 now includes packages that are not removed by “Remove Office” . Be sure to empty the trash.
    You might even need to do an “Archive & Install” to get rid of everything. I’ll see if I can find exactly what you need to do to cleanse the beta, but not sure if or when I will be able to get this info.
    BTW, you do have an extra volume or external drive that you could install the OS and Office? This might be the quickest way.

  • Thanks for your reaction! I tried what you suggested, namely creating a new user account and testing Office there, and it worked!
    In the new account ‘Test’ I can use all Office 2008 programs. At the first launch I got the setup assistant again, but now clicking continue finally led to a new screen. After that I could use Word, Excel etc. But now I have an extra account just for Office. Any idea’s on how to fix the problem at my own account?
    I tried searching for the two files mentioned in the original post, but the ‘Microsoft Office 2008 settings.plist’ didn’t exist on the test account, and ‘OfficePID.plist’ was just the same as in my original account, holding the old information. I searched those files, because I thought they could maybe be copied to my own account, so that the setup assistant wouldn’t come up anymore?

  • Diane Ross

    Got this back from developer:
    Run Remove Office and the remove the Microsoft Office Settings 2008 file in the ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/ folder.
    One other thing to check:
    Verify Office Files Were Modified

  • Diane Ross

    Alex, Please check your email for a message from me. Look for “[The Entourage Help Blog]” in the subject. Thanks!! Diane

  • Mike Young

    I work in a school system around many mac computers. Our image we deploy using 10.5.x OS X contains Microsoft Office 2008. This has been the most difficult program we have to keep running. I might be deleting more info than necessary but this fixes our issue
    When Office Crashes with font problem or unable to open I perform these steps :
    Reboot machine in safe mode (hold shift while starting the mac computer)
    Login as the problem user
    Delete /Library/Preferences/Microsoft -folder
    Delete /Documents/Microsoft User Data -folder
    Delete Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plis -file
    reboot into normal OS X
    login as problem user
    open program and run setup wizard
    This pretty much always works. I tried many of the suggestions above, uninstall/reinstall doesn’t work, Imaging doesn’t work if those buggy files are transfered back over either. I hope this helps everyone out there.

  • Diane Ross

    Just to clarify. This is a general fix, not specific to the Setup Assistant loop problem?
    We do appreciate users that share fixes. Thanks!!

  • Dear Diane,
    I never got your email, could you contact me please?
    Gr. Alex.

  • Diane Ross

    I just sent my reply again. Look for subject: install causes setup assistant to loop.

  • Abraham

    thank you very much

  • r.

    If the Office 2008 installer is run from a case-sensitive file system, the dreaded Office Assistant Loop is the result. No amount of deleting the two files listed by Diane above (thanks for trying to help us, though!) will fix this particular manifestation of the bug. To work around it, copy the Office 2008 installer to a case-INsensitive disk image before running it, and you should be good to go.
    I had to do this for a downloadable corporate installer with embedded Volume License Key.
    Good Luck!

  • DannyC

    Thank you for this fix. I looked all over the place for it. Microsoft really needs to get its act together. It’s unbelievable, this day and age, that you can buy a product off the shelves, and not be able to register or run it. It’s even more ridiculous that their website and customer support doesn’t have the answers. Haven’t ever run into a problem like this with Adobe or any other company. Just awful.

  • José

    Thanks man!
    This really worked out perfectly
    I don’t know how they manage to develop such shitty products…
    Thanks again.

  • Alex

    Thank you very much for this. It really helped.

  • Oscar

    Same problem. Can’t continue and it really bothers me!!!! Could you please please please send me another code? I’m so mad at Office right now! Thanks.

  • We are not an official Microsoft site. Even if we could send you a new code that’s not your problem. See this page for more solutions.
    Setup Assistant Loops

  • Fred

    It works just perfectly well. Thank you so much for your help.

  • Cristina

    I did it and now nothing opens when I click on word, or any other application of Office

  • You did what? What is “it”?
    Trying to troubleshoot through Comments is very difficult. Please see How to get help

  • Andrew

    Worked fine for me, Thank you to the original poster.

  • Kathryn Taylor

    Hey I am having this problem with my setup assistant looping but my dock doesn’t even show up and I can try to get into what the top tool bar lets me but I cannot use any program it will let me into. Therefore I cannot delete these programs because I cannot get into the finder or any other program for that matter but setup assistant over and over again!
    Please e mail me if you have an answer. I use my mac for school and I will fail without it!!

  • When you are in the Finder, you can select Apple Help under Help in the Menu bar. Type in Dock and you’ll find many topics that will help you with your Dock.
    To make the Dock reappear:
    ■ Move the pointer to the bottom or side of the screen, depending on the position you have selected for the Dock.
    ■ To make the Dock always visible, choose Apple menu > Dock, and then choose Turn Hiding Off.

  • Ben

    I just installed whatever update it is that just came out, and I am stuck at the Product key screen, pressing continue does nothing after entering product key.
    I tried deleting the two files at the top of this post, reboot, try again, no go.
    Does that post about a case-insensitive disk image actually work, and if so how do I do it?

  • There are other options to try on this page.
    Some users have found it easier to re-install Office than try and find the problem. Steps to re-install Office
    As far as case-insensitive….my understanding is this does not work on the download version of Office. Otherwise when you type in the boxes, it should just make them all capitols. The letters to be extra careful with are the letter B and the number 8 (eight), letter O and zero, letter L and number one.
    Hope this helps!

  • marc

    i’ve followed all the steps listed on this page however i still got stuck on the endless loop. i’ve even tried removing and re-installing the program several times too. after each update, the two files listed above cannot be found. any ideas? i’m running the latest software released early July.

  • Use the screenshot on this page to locate.
    path to screenshot

  • marc

    the files aren’t in the specified folders. anyway, i found a work-around trick that should hopefully work from now on. i have an imac and a macbook and i copied the office 2008 folder (that works) from my imac to my macbook. it essentially replaced the application files. i’m gonna update to 12.2, so i hope this works

  • Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.1 available now.
    Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.1 update is live! Fixes bug where Open XML files couldn’t be opened. Only English version is available now. Other languages soon. It is also not available via the Microsoft AutoUpdater (MAU) at this time.
    Mactopia Downloads
    Steps for a good install:
    Quit all Microsoft applications including the hidden ones.
    Easy way, Log out of your User under the Apple menu
    Log in holding down the Shift key to disable all startup items
    Install the updater you downloaded from Mactopia

  • Gilford

    Hi Diane Ross,
    i don’t know if you can help, i downloaded my office mac of vuze because i can’t afford the retail price, i am a student with too much debt already…after i updated to 12.2.1 i couldn’t get it setup assistant to recognize any of my serial #, please help me, i really need this for school and i have got quite accustomed to entourage too..i need it for my windows live.

  • Most of the pirated CD Keys have been blocked. There is no way around this.
    I feel for your financial situation. I’m disabled and live on an extremely limited income. The Home & Student version is $109.99.
    Amazon link for Home & Student version
    You can use your browser to get your email. Not as nice as Entourage, but hey, it’s free. Open Office might be an alternative. Have you checked that out?

  • BP

    I’ve had this issue, and nothing fixed it… Then I had an idea… Here, it was getting locked in this loop when I used the Case-Sensitive Journaled format on the partition. Soon as I dropped it back to journaled, it was fine.

  • PipeP

    THANK YOU!!!!!! I just did it and it worked perfectly, Greetings from Colombia!
    My office was working perfectly, but yesterday an automatic update launched, so I installed it as usual, once it was done, I couldnt use it anymore, it said my key was not valid, I even tried with the Microsoft Call center, but they really didnt help, Im still waiting for their answer.
    Then someone told me to search for forums, so I did.
    I had to search for the files you mentioned going thru the folders, I couldnt locate them otherwise. but once I located them I deleted them, it inmediately asked me again for the product key. then it launched the updates again and I was afraid for them to fail one more time, but it is actually working very well.

  • Kera

    Hi. I am having the problem that I got the message that I had an invalid product key. I removed the 2 files, restarted, and ran the setup. I got to the screen and entered the product key and pressed continue…nothing happened. I do not have the original install disc so I can’t remove the application completely. What should i do to fix this, or be able to run the assistant? Please email me with a response. Thanks.

  • Without an installer DVD there isn’t much you can do. Check with a friend to see if you can borrow one. As long as you use your own CD key that would be legal.

  • Neil

    I keep on encountering the part where it asks me for my product key after the 12.2.4 update and then clicking continue but nothing happens. Ive seen a few solutions like the case insensitive one but i dont know how to do that. Ive already tried restarting and reinstalling and deleting the files and everything. Now what? Thanks for future help