Troubleshoot Office 2011 for Mac issues by completely uninstalling before you reinstall

WARNING: Downloads for Office for Mac 2011 will no longer be available for Office 365 after September 22, 2016 from the Office 365 portals. If you have a one-time purchase of Office for Mac 2011, you will still be able to install your Office using your product key. See Download and install or reinstall Office for Mac 2011.

Follow these steps if you need to do a complete uninstall of Office for Mac 2011. This is for troubleshooting purposes only. If you only want to remove the Office applications, see Uninstall Office 2011 for Mac.

Before you start:

  • You must be signed in as administrator. If you own your own personal Mac, you probably already are.

    Note: If you're using a Mac that's part of a network at work, you might have to ask someone in your IT organization for help with signing in as administrator.

  • Quit out of all Office applications and leave them closed throughout this process.

  • Make sure there's nothing in Trash that you want to keep.

There are several things to remove. This article steps you through each one.

Important: The location of certain files are different if you have Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed. To check if it is installed, open Word, and then click About Word from the Word menu. If the version number is 14.2.0 or above, you have Service Pack 2 and you should follow the Service Pack 2 steps when provided in this article.

Step 1: Remove the Microsoft Office 2011 folder

  1. Click Go > Applications.

  2. Drag the Microsoft Office 2011 folder to Trash.

Step 2: Remove Office preferences and license files

Removing preferences will delete any customizations that were made. These customizations include changes to toolbars, custom dictionaries, and keyboard shortcuts that were created.

Remove com.microsoft files from Library > Preferences
  1. Hold down the OPTION key while you click Go.

    Note: Why hold down the Option key? The Library folder is a hidden folder, this way you can display it.

  2. Click Home and open Library.

  3. Open Preferences and sort files and folders by alphabetical order.

    Note: If you have Office 2016 for Mac installed on your computer, DO NOT remove the file com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist.

  4. Drag all files that begin with "com.microsoft" to Trash.

  5. Still in Preferences, open ByHost, and drag all files that begin with "com.microsoft" to Trash.

  6. Before continuing, if you created custom templates that you want to keep, copy them to another folder.

    Back in Library, open Application Support > Microsoft, and drag the Office folder to Trash.

Remove com.microsoft.office.licensing files from Computer > Library folders
  1. Click Go > Computer > double-click your hard disk icon.

    The default name of your hard disk is Macintosh HD.

  2. Open Library, and then open LaunchDaemons. Drag com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist to Trash.

  3. Back in Library, open Preferences. Drag com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist to Trash.

  4. Back in Library, open PrivilegedHelperTools. Drag com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper to Trash.

    Note: If you have Office 2016 for Mac installed on your computer, DO NOT remove any files with V2 in the name. These files are all specific to Office 2016 for Mac.

  5. On the Apple menu, click Restart.

Step 3: Remove Microsoft folders and Office 2011 files

  1. Click Go > Computer, and double-click your hard disk icon.

    The default name of your hard disk is Macintosh HD.

  2. Open Library, and then open Application Support.

  3. Drag the Microsoft folder to Trash.

    Warning: If you have the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in installed, you may need to reinstall if after removing this folder. Go here to reinstall Microsoft Silverlight.

  4. Back in Library, open Fonts. Drag the Microsoft folder to Trash.

  5. Back in Library, open Receipts. Drag any files that begin with "Office2011_" to Trash.

    Note: These files are not always found on the computer.

  6. Make sure all the files and folders in the Trash can be deleted. On the Finder menu, click Empty Trash.

  7. On the Apple menu, click Restart.

Step 4: Move to desktop and rename the Microsoft User Data folder

Your Outlook for Mac 2011 user information is located in /Users/username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/. Deleting this folder means you'll lose all Outlook information and Citation Source Manager data. If you plan on reinstalling Office for Mac 2011, we recommend you move and rename the folder instead of removing it. This way you can restore your user data. If you're sure you don't need the data anymore, you can always delete it later.

Rename and move your user data folder
  1. Click Go > Documents, and click Microsoft User Data.

  2. Press Enter, and type a new name such as Microsoft User Data Archive.

    Tip: If you reinstall Office, restore your data in two steps. First, remove the Microsoft User Data folder that the Office installation creates (drag it to Trash). Second, change your archived folder back to its original name: Microsoft User Data and move it back into the Documents folder.

  3. Drag this folder to your desktop. On the Apple menu, click Restart.

Step 6: Remove Office application icons

Do the following for each Office application icon:

  1. Hold down the CONTROL key, and then click an Office application icon in the Dock such as Microsoft Word.

  2. Click Options > Remove from Dock.

    Options > Remove from Dock

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