How to quit Sync Services Agent

When you update Office 2011, you will have to quit Sync Services Agent and the Microsoft Database daemon. Some users are unable to quit these hidden processes. This article will cover several options to quit. If you are comfortable with using the Terminal option 6 has always worked for me.

Note: If you are trying to update an earlier version of Office 2011, you will need to quit all browsers in addition to the Microsoft Database daemon and SyncServicesAgent. (this requirement was removed in v 14.5)

Option 1) Easiest Option

Log Out/In

Log out under the Apple in the Menu bar
Log in and hold down the Shift key (this disables all startup items including the hidden ones)

Run the updater.

Option 2) Restart in Safe Boot Mode

Safe boot

*  shutdown
*  start the Mac and *wait* for the startup chime to sound
*  after the sound, press and hold down the shift key (you can hold the shift key down when you click power button)
*  eventually the login screen appears with the words SAFE BOOT in the top right corner
*  continue to login
*  run Microsoft updater
*  Restart (safe boot disabled your login items, fonts etc so restart is important)

Option 3) Kill the process in Activity Monitor

Open the Activity Monitor in Applications/Utilities, search on sync in the top filter box and select force quit.



Option 4) Drag Sync Services Agent to Desktop

(1) Open Finder/Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office
(2) Drag to the desktop (this keeps it from restarting!)
Note some users report that when they drag it, that it moves right back.
(3) THEN open Finder/Applications/Utilities/Activity
(4) Find SyncServicesAgent in the list and quit it.
(5) Click the Continue button on the installer pop-up.
(6) When the application finishes installing, drag back to
Finder/Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office



Option 5) Kill Launched command using the Terminal

SyncServicesAgent will keep on starting up, even if you try to quit or force quit it from activity monitor, because it’s running under launchd.

To stop if from relaunching is unloading it from launchd.

Open the Terminal in Applications/Utilities. Run the following command:

Option 6) Use the Terminal to kill Sync Services Agent

This option has worked for me when all other options failed.

Open the Terminal in Applications/Utilities. Copy and paste this line into the Terminal window.

Press Enter

You’ll see lots of lines like this as it runs the kill loop to quit Sync Services Agent.



Continue with your install.

Once the update is applied, head back to the Terminal window and press CTRL+C – this will stop the killing loop.


Close Terminal.

Office for Mac should now be updated.


Why Restart?

The Restart after updater will force a file that stores the version info to update. This should happen automatically but sometimes it doesn’t. The next updater will fail and you will have to re-install Office. The restart is a quick step that will save time in the long term.

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