Microsoft releases Office 2008 for Mac 12.3.0 Update

Microsoft has released the 12.3.0 Update for Office 2008 (333.1MB). This update includes all the improvements that were released in all previous Office 2008 updates.

Updaters do not include an uninstaller. Make sure you have a backup and/or zip the Microsoft Office folder in Applications first in case you need to revert.


  • Mac OS X version 10.4.9 (Tiger) or a later version of Mac OS
  • Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 1 (12.1.0) or later.


The Office 2008 for Mac 12.3.0 Update improves security. No specific info given for improvements to individual applications. More info see:
Description of the Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.3.0 Update

Download the Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.3.0 Update package now or via Microsoft AutoUpdate.

Tips for a successful install:

If you have downloaded the updater from Microsoft Downloads

  1. Download updater.
  2. Under the Apple in the Menu bar, select Log Out.
  3. Hold down the Shift key when logging in. This disables all login items including the hidden ones.
  4. Select the updater and install.

If you want to use the Microsoft Autoudater (MAU), follow these steps:

  1. Open any Office application and select “Check for Updates” under Help in the Menu bar. Once MAU is launched, select “Keep in Dock”
  2. Log out/in as described above.
  3. Select the MAU in the Dock and download the updater.
  4. After it downloads, quit the MAU then install.

FAQs updating Office 2008.

[Q] How do I quit Sync Services agent? I get this error :

“You must stop the following programs and services: Sync Services Agent”

[A] You can quit in the Activity Monitor found in Applications/Utilities, but the best way to quit Sync Services agent and other applications that need to be quit is to follow directions above to log out/in with Shift key down.

[Q] Why is it necessary to restart after updating?

[A] After the updater completes, the temp folder created by the installer should close but sometimes it does not. This can result in a failed update. Restarting fixes this.

[Q] All or some Microsoft Office applications are completely missing after applying updater.

[A] In most cases, when installation of an update fails part-way through, with the installer either quitting unexpectedly in the accompaniment of an error message or exhibiting an indefinite hang necessitating a force-quit, the result is all or some of the Microsoft Office applications are completely missing.

The only remedy is to re-install Office from your CD and update. FWIW, this is not a MS specific problem. It can happen with any update process. I suggest stuffing the Office folder prior to updating in case of problems. Easy to revert to previous install.

[Q] After I install, AutoUpdate is still telling me I need to update.

[A] If you have more than one copy of Office installed, the MAU will look at your other locations and see they are not updated resulting in AutoUpdate telling you that you need to update.

Here is how MAU works…

  • MAU is activated (manually or when the timer goes off if you have it set for automatically)
  • MAU looks in the file to see what you have installed (you can open it up and see what you have listed installed – each app that registers with MAU puts its location, version, and language in the file)
  • Then MAU checks on at the server to see if there are any updates for the applications you have.
  • When it finds that there is a match (an app you have and an app that needs an update), then it asks the server what is the trigger mechanism for the update.
  • With the trigger mechanism (MAU uses the version of Microsoft Component Plugin), it checks the location the app said it was installed and sees if the trigger matches the requirements. If so, then it pulls down the update.


If you are traveling be sure to backup the Microsoft Office folder in Applications first as well as your Main Identity in the Office 2008 Identities folder. This way you can revert is there are any problems. I’ve heard some really sad tales from users that were traveling and had bad updates.

~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2008 Identities/your identity

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