Install Office 2011

Tips for a successful install

  • Be sure to read Steps for a successful install of Office 2011 before installing.
  • To see a list of everything that gets installed see Installed files list for Office 2011
  • Check your fonts after installing. See Font Management
  • Do you meet the requirements? See list of requirements
  • Outlook for Mac requires Exchange server 2007 or higher. If you are still using Exchange 2003, you will need to continue to use Entourage 2008.
    • Create a folder named “Applications” in your User’s folder and move the Microsoft Office 2008 folder to this location.
  • Please keep your CD Key in a safe place. Should you ever need to install again, you will need your CD Key. The Product ID is used to get Microsoft support.
    • CD Key is on a yellow or bright orange sticker on the CD package.
    • The Product key is given during the Setup Assistant process. The Product ID will look like this: 11111-130-0001111-12345. Write this Product ID down or take a screen shot.
    • If you have a multiple license pack, be sure to note which key was used on each computer. Activation is required for Office 2011. You can use a key on only one computer. More Info on activation
  • You will be cautioned to remove all versions of Office for Mac on your computer. It’s not necessary to do this at this time. In fact, you might need it to access your mail from the older version if the Setup Assistant fails to import your data from Entourage.
    • If you installed the beta, you should remove all traces of the beta before installing.
  • Customize using the installer. See options below
    • Do not try to remove languages after installing.
    • It’s best to install all applications. They take up very little space and it can result in failed updates in the future.
  • Run Microsoft AutoUpdate after restarting to be sure you are completely updated! (see this linkfor current update)
    • All applications should be quit when updating.
  • Restart your computer after installing and after each update.

Install on your boot volume

Customize Install


Using Microsoft AutoUpdate

The Microsoft Autoupdater (MAU) for Office 2008 and Office 2011 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.

You can find the MAU for Office 2011 by following this path:

  • To launch MAU, you can open any Office application and select “Check for Updates” under Help in the Menu bar.
  • Once MAU is launched, select “Keep in Dock”
  • Quit all Microsoft applications (Easy way: log out. When you log in, hold down the Shift key. This will disable all start-up items including the hidden ones. It’s important all Microsoft applications are quit, but quitting all applications will result in fewer problems overall. Any open application could be corrupted by the process.
  • Launch the MAU from the Dock and select “Check for Updates”.
  • Select to download.
  • Install
  • Restart
  • Run Updater again to see is there are more updates. Repeat install & restart.
  • Remove MAU from the Dock

You can also select to download directly from Mactopia.

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58 comments to Install Office 2011

  • Dan

    How to save all emails from your entourage installation? I understand in Entourage email is stored as a database. Will the install of Office 2011 import all of your emails as well as contacts? if not, how to save your emails, etc?

    D- In Seattle

    • Outlook should import all data from Entourage, but we always see cases where import fails for some users. If it does fail you will need to export as .rge and/or .MBOX files. For this reason I do not suggest removing Office 2008 until you are satisfied with the upgrade.

      How to manually move your data. (when import fails and/or you need to move to a new Identity same version or revert to an older version)

      Tip: before importing do an export as .rge to see if it exports without error. If yes, then go ahead with the import. If no, then you need to clear the corruption first. Use the link above to start the process.

  • c

    how/when to remove previous version of office, if it remains after installing latest?

    Does new version “know” where to find old datafiles?

    • Just found your comment in the spam folder. Sorry it took so long to post.

      You can remove old versions of Microsoft Office after you are completely satisfied with the upgrade. I suggest giving it a few weeks. Problems don’t always show up right away. As far as finding your old data files, yes, Office 2011 will find your old files. If you used Entourage you will need to import from the old Identity. You can do this directly or you can export as .rge files and import the file.

  • Tahyler

    I can’t find a download for Office Installer. As I have a MacBook Air that obviously doesn’t have a disk drive I need the Installer. Where can I find it?

    • When the booklet was printed, Microsoft planned to offer a download, but as of this date it is still not available. If you have access to a computer with a drive, you can make a disk image and transfer the image to your Air to install.

      Open Disk Utility with the DVD mounted.
      Select File > New > Disk Image from “Microsoft Office 2011”

      • Mil

        i have a office mac 2011 installer CD but without CDROM, can i copy files to external HDD to install? how?

        • You will need access to a DVD drive.

          Open Disk Utility with the DVD mounted.

          Select File > New > Disk Image from “Microsoft Office 2011”

          Copy the image to other drive.


    can any one help me iv just install office 2010 on my mini mac but outlook well not ope it keep on saying this identity cannot be open with this version of out look helpppp

  • daniel

    i have all that is required but every time i put the cd in to install the computer reads it for tn seconds then kicks it back out to me???….y

    • Try restarting your computer in Safe Boot mode (hold down Shift key when booting) with the DVD inserted.

      If that fails, try testing on another computer. It’s possible the disc is bad. You would need a replacement. In the mean time, you can download the trial and use your CD Key on your package to activate.

  • Michael Young

    If I reinstall Office for Mac 2011 will it over write my database (emails, addresses etc)?
    I have downloaded the latest Office SP and all the apps are fine ver. 14.1.0 but outlook just bounces and then throws up an error message. If I try to reload the SP1 I get the error that he update does not work with the OSX version that I have!

  • Michael Young

    Thank you Diane
    Just in case it is any help to others, here is the answer that worked for me!
    I removed the existing version of Office for Mac see
    Step 10 I put the Microsoft User Data folder on the desk top making sure that the Identity file was inside.
    I then checked that mu OSX was current. If you have Snow Leopard the latest update is at
    I then re installed Office for Mac. After loading, I checked that Outlook opened, it did. I ignored the “Welcome” splash screen and just closed it down. So far so good. I decided to ignore the request to load the update.
    I then took the new Microsoft User Data folder from Documents and put it on the desk top and put the old one in Documents. Outlook tried to open but could not open with the version of Identity that I had put in place! I then put the newest one from the Desktop back in the Documents and put the old one back on the Desktop.
    I ran the Office update
    and let it load the latest security update.
    Once it was done I checked Outlook and it still functioned. I quit it and did the Microsoft User Data folder switch again and low and behold there was my Outlook back with just the mails missing from the days that it did not work (I had picked them up with another computer.
    Anyway that is the story that worked for me. So I wish you luck.
    I have no idea how to stop it happening in the future!

    • You can move the Microsoft User Data folder to the Desktop and let Outlook make a new one, THEN just drag back the Main Identity folder. This often works for some issues. Thanks for sharing your fix.

  • Michael Young

    Why does it think this is my first post?

  • Noelle N.

    I am installing OFfice 2011 on my MAC and had forgotten a Safari page open. It asked me to close it and press continue, which I did, but the pop-up kept re-appearing (the one asking me to close the Safari page). But there were no other page open besides the installer! What should I do?

    • You need to quit Safari and all web browsers. Best way to be sure you have quit all processes that can interfere with install is to Log Out under the Apple in the Menu bar. When you Log in, hold down the Shift key. This disables all login items including the hidden ones.

  • Hi
    I guess that i did install Office for Mac 2011 ok last year. Seems to be working ok.
    Now i did try to install the update Office is not accepting the Product Key?

    Any ideas?


  • Rickfla

    I tried to update Office on my iMac and it downloads successfully but when it ask what drive I want to install it on the hard drive has a yellow triangle with an exclaimation point telling me that its missing a component and is unable to continue the installation. Anyone else experience this yet?

    • Are you booted from the drive that you are trying to install the updater? If yes, then do a re-install of Office 2011. How-to Re-install Office 2011

      If you are not booted from the drive you want to update, then you’ll need to select that drive in System Preferences > Startup Disk and reboot from it.

      • Rickfla

        yes, I’m booted from my Mac Hard drive. I uninstalled Office 2011 and reinstalled it and I still come up with the same problem.

  • RLong

    Trying to install Office 2011 on a new mac..says product key invalid…I have triple checked and I am typing it correctly. Do I have to install an older version of Office before I can upgrade to 2011?

    • There are no upgrade Office 2011 versions.

      It’s easy to confuse some letters and numbers. The number zero might look like the letter O, the letter B and the number 8 are often confused. The number 3 and 8 are easy to confuse as well.

      If you received the product key in an email, you can copy/paste. Just be sure you don’t copy an extra space at the end.

      If you still need help, I suggest that you contact the Office Installation and Activation Support team:

      Office Installation and Activation Support
      (800) 936-5700

  • Su Groome

    Another option is to download the trial, when you install this it gives you an option to input your product key and then you are fully operational

  • Alie

    Is it necessary to uninstall the previous microsoft office before installing 2011? thanks!

    • No, in fact we do not recommend removing the old version for several weeks. Often users will need to go back to recover Entourage items when their first import into Outlook fails. In addition, there are some functions missing in Office 2011 that you might need for a project. Lastly, until you learn all the new features you can always fall back to get a project completed.

  • john pickett

    i just Recently purchased Office 2011 for mac, all my updates are current, and ive closed all apps…when i try to install i get install failed….ive tried safe boot, different admin, and nothing I do seems to correct the issue..


    • I’m confused you say you installed and have all updaters are current so what you are trying to install/update? These are the updaters for Office 2011. They must be applied in order listed.


  • Rickfla

    Please do not use comments to ask for personal help unless the instructions provided in this post are unclear or do not work.

    To ask for help with a personal issue you may use the Microsoft Office for Mac Product Forums.

  • Michael Young

    I was contributing to this thread back in April 22. I had managed to sort out a problem with Outlook being totally depopulated.
    Well it happened again after the iMac froze completely and could only be rescued in safe mode. But Outlook had lost everything.
    I did the magic switch of Microsoft User and rebuilt the identity and there was the data, but only up to March 22. This meant that 3 really important mail folders were not there.
    Time machine backs up all the time. But when I went into each Microsoft user file starting back from yesterday, there was not a newer identity than March 22 and no other files in the MUD Outlook folder newer than that date.
    How can this be? Time Machine seems to have newer files backed up from other software but not Outlook.
    Does anyone have any ideas?Even if I could just get the folders back that would be great.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Verify that it’s not User error. Check to see if you added your Identity in System Preferences > Time Machine > Options. Check in Time Machine to see if other items were backed up after that date. Another possibility is if you are having hardware issues with either your internal drive or Time Machine drive.

      I suggest that you also have a clone of your drive. Use SuperDuper or CCC to clone and backup your drive. See this article to get started with SuperDuper. Outlook does not require you quit like Entourage does so you can ignore that section.

  • Mariana

    I have MacBook Air, one withou a Dvd-Rom. I installed Office through trial version download and activated it with the key on the back. Now I need to install another language checking tool (Slovak, not included in installation), but all options mention I need to insert installation CD.

    Is there a way to open Office Installer without inserting CD or downloading the trial version installation again?

    • If you used the key on the back, then you have a CD. However, Slovak is not one of the proofing tools provided. You would need a third party product that supports Slovak. CheckSpell is spellchecking service for Mac OS X. It just adds Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, Slovak and Ukrainian dictionaries to the systemwide spellchecking.

      Note: Outlook for Mac does not use proofing tools but uses the OSX dictionaries so this will work in Outlook but not the other Office apps.

      Office for Mac proofing tools
      Proofing tools that are available for each language

  • John Wesley

    I have a Microsoft Office 2011 Installer. Am using a Macbook Air. Now i want to install the office application in my external HD. Is it possible ??. If so how ?? I tried formatting external HD to Fat file system and then tried installing. But the office application is saying “Microsoft office can’t be installed in this hard drive”. Pls help me out. I couldn’t find a possible solution.

    • You should format your drive as β€˜Mac OS Extended (Journaled).’ Fat is for MS-DOS for PCs.

      Office 2011 should also be installed on a drive with OSX.

      Lastly, you must be sure you purchased a 2 install license. Otherwise it will de-activate your copy on your Air.

  • Michelle

    Hey so I downloaded Office 2011 but whenever I get to “destination selection” it says that update cannot be installed on this disk due to the version of the software is not shown in the volume or something like that. Help me out, please! Thanks!

  • Anand

    office for mac not working from MSDN subscriber downloads. tried downloading the .iso and mounted it on my MBA using disk utility and it says “image not recognized” . Please help.

  • Anand

    Thanks Diane. I tried downloading it twice. The home and business one and just the home edition. I waited till the IE file manager said download completed and then mounted it on my MBA via USB. Still the same error.

  • Anand

    I downloaded it on a PC and then transferred it over to a Mac

  • liam davies

    Hi – I bought a new Macbook Pro and installed Office 2011 for the Mac. The computer went on the fritz (hardware problem) and I’ve had to send it back with the intention of getting a replacement. I managed to drag the Office app to the trashcan before it finally gave up. Will I be able to use the same disk that came with it to load up to the new computer? On the side of the box it says ‘1 computer, 1 user’ and I’m afraid it is now lisenced to a Macbook that cannot be used currently on its way back to Apple and I’ll have wasted nearly seventy quid for nothing.

    • You are allowed to re-install using your the same installer. There is no de-activation required. However, the Academic version can be installed on one computer only. If you get a new computer or replace drive. it cannot be installed again. Academic is not the same as Home & Student.

      Office for Mac 2011 Activation and Product key Information

  • Tetsu

    I installed Office for Mac 2011 to my iMac that I just bought. When I try to open old PPT that I created with Office for Mac 2007, some of the PPT with videos don’t open. Every time I tried, the application failed (no responding) so I have to force it to quit. Is it because Office cannot find a video file in my computer? In my old office 2004/2007, a message for not finding a video file poped up, but the 2011 office doesn’t. I keep all video files in separate files so I’d rather cancel the search and open the PPT instead.

    How can I request Office 2011 to stop searching a video file when I open a PPT file with a video? Otherwise, I cannot open many of my PPT files with video files. Help me! Thank you!

    • Are these all Mac files? There was no Office 2007 for Mac.

      Mac MVP James Gordon has posted directions on how to convert old (.ppt) files to standard (.pptx) files using an Automator workflow. Requirements: This workflow requires Microsoft Office 2011 Home & Business. The Office 2011 Home & Student version does not contain Automator workflows.

      What does this converter do?

      You choose one (.ppt) file, several (.ppt) files, or an entire folder filled with (.ppt) files and the converter will save a copy of each PowerPoint file in standard open XML file format, better known as the β€œnew” (actually more than 5 years old now) PowerPoint (.pptx) format. This converter works with old PowerPoint presentations that do not contain macros.

      Visit’s Jim’s site for directions:

      If you still have problems, ask on the PowerPoint forum.

  • Gene

    Is there a way to re-run the setup assistant? I’m still identified by Office as a “2004 Test Drive User” and I’d like to give Office my name. πŸ™‚

    • Open Word
      Select Word>> Preferences>> User information
      Edit your User Information and select OK
      Log out of Word then reopen to see if the proper changes have been implemented

  • Alex

    I installed office 2001 on my macbook and it wont open and says failed unexpectidly failed and i dont know why, any ideas?

  • Gerald

    Hi there,

    I have no clue how to install my recently bought Office 2011 for MAC. When inserting the CD, open the finder, I double click on the installer but then a command (or terminal) window opens. I have no clue what to do? I am using a Macbookpro 15 inch, Quad core I7, 2.0 GhZ

    Hoping for the answer πŸ™‚


    • For more specialized help with this issue, I suggest that you contact the Office Installation and Activation Support team:

      Office Installation and Activation Support
      (800) 936-5700

  • carolyn

    How long should the down load take?