Office for Mac 2011: Remove Office

The “Remove Office” app is no longer included in Office for Mac 2011.  So what do you do when you need to remove Office? You have three options:

SIMPLE REMOVE Often simply dragging the Microsoft Office folder to the trash then restoring from Time Machine to revert to a previous version is all that is needed.

USE SCRIPT TO REMOVE This option is quick and painless. This script will remove all files for Microsoft Office 2011.This option does not remove your data in the Microsoft User Data folder in Documents or your personal preferences in your User’s Library. However. with all procedures like this, it is recommended that you backup your data first. Download Script. For more info on what’s included in this script, see

COMPLETELY REMOVE ALL FILES When all other options have failed to resolve your problem, you will need to manually remove all Office for Mac files along with your preferences . I had to do this when I experienced error 255. Outlook would launch then immediately quit. Console check showed the error 255. Other users might have a bad install or corrupt files.  

IMPORTANT: Before you start…

  1. Log in as administrator.
  2. Quit all applications.
    1. I suggest you Log Out under the Apple in the Menu bar. When you Log in, hold down the Shift key.
  3. Be sure everything in the trash can be deleted. If you are unsure, move these items to a folder on the Desktop until this process if complete.
  4. Find your CD Key. You will need to have your key to re-install Office for Mac.


  1. Your Outlook Identity located in the Microsoft User Data folder contains all your emails, contacts, calendars etc.
  2. Your Custom dictionary file located in either the Microsoft folder in User’s Library/Preferences or User’s Library/Application Support/Microsoft folder.
  3. Your Normal template. The Normal Template contains toolbar customizations for Word as well as the default settings for every new Word document not based on another template. This file might be located in the Microsoft User Data folder in Documents or in User’s Library/Application Support/Microsoft folder. For help finding your normal template see

Files to be removed will be found in Applications, Main Library and the User’s  Document and Library folder.

STEP 1: APPLICATIONS Drag the Microsoft Office 2011 folder to the trash.

STEP 2: LIBRARY Open Library folder.

  1. Open Application Support folder. Drag the Microsoft folderto the Trash.
    1. You may have to reinstall Microsoft Silverlight plug-in after removing this folder. Click here to reinstall Microsoft Silverlight.
  2. Open Automator folder: Unless you have added additional Automator actions to this folder you can delete all items. If you are unsure, save this folder to the Desktop as backup.
  3. Open Fonts folder. Drag the Microsoft folder to the Trash.
    1. You can also remove the fonts that Microsoft moved to Font Disabled folder.
  4. Open LaunchDaemons folder. Drag to the Trash.
  5. Open PrivilegedHelperTools folder. Drag to the Trash.
  6. Open Preferences folder. Drag to the Trash.
  7. Open Receipts folder. Drag all files that begin with “Office2011_” to the Trash. (Note These files are not always found on the computer.)
    1. If you have MAC OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) or Lion (10.7), continue with these steps:
      1. In the top menu bar, under the  Go menu, click Go to Folder.
      2. Type this text in the Go to folder box, and then click Go:
      3. Arrange files and folders in alphabetical order.
      4. Drag all files that begin with “” to the Trash.

Step 3: DOCUMENTS Open the Documents folder.

  1. Move the Microsoft User Data folder to the Desktop. DO NOT DELETE. This folder contains your Identity with all your mail, contacts, calendar events etc are located in this folder.

Step 4: USER’S LIBRARY Open the Library folder. Starting with Lion, this folder is now hidden. How to make visible.

  1. Open Preferences.
    1. Drag all files that begin with “” to the Trash
    2. Drag the Microsoft folderto the Trash. If you have not installed 14.2.0 (SP2) or higher you can skip #2.
      1. Warning This will delete any custom template files that you may have created.
  2. Open Application Support.
    1. Open Microsoft folder.Drag the Office folderto the Trash.
      1. Warning This will delete any custom template files that you may have created.

Step 5 Empty the Trash
Step 6 Restart your computer

Note: Your Dock icons will now show as ?.  1) Click and Drag to remove from Dock or 2)  Click and hold on icon then select Options > Remove from Dock.

How To Install, Reinstall and Update Office 2011

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4 comments to Office for Mac 2011: Remove Office

  • While this is useful to reinstall mac office, I am seriously thinking the amount of work to do it is absurd. I think I will have to find a non microsoft product now. Outlook keeps crashing after every restart. What a piece of crap.

  • Doug Harrington

    I have installed MSO 11 without un-installing MSO X–is there a process to do it without corrupting the MSO11?

    • The three biggest items to delete is the folder in Applications, your Identity and the Office X fonts.

      Simply drag the Microsoft Office X folder in Applications to the trash. Next in your User’s Library delete the following:
      * Fonts Disabled folder. Office 11 installer moves the old fonts to this folder. The new fonts are now installed in the main Library/Fonts/Microsoft folder.
      * Preferences > Microsoft folder
      * Sort by and check the dates. Delete all the old ones. If you get any new ones, you can simply reset your preferences. Most of the really important data is now stored in the User’s Library/Application Support/Microsoft folder.

      Your Identity is located in Documents > Microsoft User Data folder, it might be easier to move your Office 2011 Main Identity to the Desktop then delete the Microsoft User Data folder and let Outlook create a new one. Drag your Identity back from the Desktop. Many of the other folders are now located in User’s Library/Application Support/Microsoft folder.