Office for Mac – May 2016 updates

There were updates for Office 2016 for Mac (and also 2011 for those of you who are still on it). Before I refresh your mental hard drive on how to check for and install the update, I want to remind those of you still on Office 2011 that this product reach its end of EOL (end of life) in October 2017. At that point you will need to subscribe to version 2016, use the free web version of Microsoft Office at, transition to Google Drive, or consider the free Libre Office application. I am totally against Apple’s own word processing program Pages (bundled spreadsheet and presentation programs as well) unless you know that you will NEVER be e-mailing or sharing documents with other people.

Microsoft Office for Mac provides semi-automatic updates. I say semi-automatic, because for most users the default option is to notify you of the updates at a particular interval. However, I get concerns from my Mac clients saying that these update notifications pop up when they are working on a document. It’s inconvenient.

So to manually do the Office for Mac updates, you open any Office program (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint). Click the Help menu. Click Check for updates. A box pops up. You are able to adjust the frequency of your updates. Click Check for Updates again.

You will get prompted with a list of updates. Once you get that list, simply follow the process through to install the updates. You will have to type in your Mac password at some point. You will also be asked to quit any open Office applications (Word, etc.). Please do so.

*Special note about the May updates: There is an update to the updater, Microsoft Auto Update. You will have to do this first and then go back and check for the rest of the updates. After updating the updater, you should be given the list of updates for the individual programs, but in case you aren’t — go back to your favorite Office application and go to the Help menu. The Office 2016 update process lists out the updates by application. For example you will see a separate update listed for Word, Excel, and Outlook. This is a departure from 2011 but I think it is more transparent. With that said, please install all of the updates you are presented with. I know that it might be easy to say — well, I never use PowerPoint. However, all of these applications have some degree of inter-connectedness. One day, you will get your cousin’s wedding photos as a PowerPoint and then you will be asking me why you can’t open it. Please update all Office applications you are offered.

And for my honors students, if you want to do additional reading on this months updates, you may look at this Microsoft bulletin.
You don’t not download the updates from that page. They are offered in the event the Auto Update fails or for techies that like doing things manually.