Microsoft AutoUpdater

The Microsoft Autoupdater (MAU) for Office 2008 is now tucked out of view of Spotlight. In the past the Microsoft AutoUpdater could be found at the root level of the Application folder. If you are using both Office 2004 and Office 2008 you will need both updaters. Neither will be able to see the other’s updates.

You can find the MAU for Office 2008 by following this path:

Currently, the MAU should be version 2.2.0 if you have 12.1.7 installed.

[If you have v 12.2.6 installed the MAU will be v.2.3.1]

If your version is not fully updated or you are wondering what happens to the download file, continue reading…

Troubleshooting the MAU

If you find your MAU is not fully updated, you will need to re-install Office.

“Breaking PPC binary” If you have a PPC computer you might see this error: “You can’t open the application Microsoft Entourage.app because it is not supported on this architecture”.

Go to this folder,

and delete the receipts for Office 2008 and then run the MAU. They will all start with “Office2008”.

Conflict on launch MAU and quit all Microsoft applications

We are advised to quit all Microsoft applications before updating, but then Microsoft only gives us the option to launch the Microsoft Autoupdater from an open Microsoft application. Follow these steps for a successful install.

  • Under Help in the Menu bar of any Microsoft application, select Check for updates. This will launch the MAU.

  • When it shows up in the Dock, select “Keep in Dock”.
  • Select Log out under the Apple menu.
  • Log in and hold the Shift key down to disable all startup items including the hidden ones.
  • Select the MAU from the Dock and download your updates.
  • Restart between each updater. IMPORTANT
  • You can remove from Dock after updating.

[Note: if you are doing a re-install, do not launch Entourage before updating. Your Identity will give you this error: “This Identity Cannot Be Opened With This Version of Entourage“]

Where did the download file go?

After you download the update you’ll find it by following this path:

The Temporary in TemporaryItems should give you a clue as to what happens. When you quit the Installer application, the update package vanishes as it was intended for temporary use only.
If you want to keep the installer, you can download via Mactopia and download the update directly. Alternatively you can, of course, pull a copy from the TemporaryItems folder before it’s vaporized.

Please send Feedback to Microsoft to add the option like Apple does to keep the installer after downloading.

Microsoft has been very good in Office 2008 to roll previous updaters into a combo. Don’t assume all your old updaters will need to be used if you have to do a re-install of Office. Even if you use your standalone updaters, I advise running the MAU to let it tell you what’s needed in between each update.

For users that have an original release DVD, you need two updaters:

  1. 12.1.0 SP1
  2. 12.2.6*

* updated article Sept 2010 to show latest updater. Users with a later release DVD only need one updater: 12.2.6.

Select your option in the MAU to check for updates. I advise to check Automatically (Daily, Weekly or Monthly). Even if you do not want the AutoUpdater to download the update, you’ll be notified when an updater is available. It does not automatically install. Updates contain bug fixes and security updates. It’s important to be fully updated.


Tip: If you use the Apple Label feature, you can label the folders to leave “breadcrumbs” to find files that are buried several folders deep like the MAU when you need to find it again in the future.

  • Select Application Support folder –> assign a label color
  • Select the Microsoft folder –> assign a label color
  • Select the MAU2.0 folder –> assign a label color

For detailed instructions on using label see this page.

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