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How to Fix Microsoft Office AutoUpdate for Mac not working

I installed Office 2016 on Mac back in September, but I have not been able to update the suite since. Not a big deal, considering I have what needed to do with the suite. Yes, it’s a bad habit, since updating the suite also protects the system from security issues. What ultimately forced me to try and resolve the problem was that I wanted to get the new feature updates, such as the new Full-Screen view in Outlook 2016, reliability and performance upgrades.

Resolve Office 2016 AutoUpdate for Mac not Working

To download the latest updates for Office 2016, I needed to have AutoUpdate version 3.4 installed. Checking for Updates from the Help menu was not working. I even tried to download the update manually, but Microsoft’s Support page behaved unresponsive, even in alternative web browsers.

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It turns out the culprit was the DNS server Microsoft uses to connect to the public Internet. Either it’s a compatibility issue with the version of OS X  Yosemite or Microsoft is not aware of the problem yet. The not so obvious solution I have found for this is to use Google’s public DNS address. Here is how you do it.

Launch System Preferences and go to Network > Advanced.

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Next click the DNS tab and then the Add (+) button at the bottom.

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Now enter the following addresses: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 then click OK.

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Launch, any of the Office 2016 apps, then click Help > Check for Updates then click Install.

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That’s it! You should now be back in business and be able to download and install the updates.

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This solution might not be for everyone, but it’s worth a shot if you’re having a similar problem. You can always try downloading the AutoUpdate 3.4 update manually first to see if that will work. If not, then you can give the DNS entries a try.

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39 Responses to How to Fix Microsoft Office AutoUpdate for Mac not working

  1. RC January 27, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    Many thanks! It solved my problem flawlessly.

  2. Alex January 29, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Andre, you’re the man! The DNS trick made it instantaneously. But how can it be so f… stupid? And how did you have the idea to investigate there? Great job:):):)

    • Andre Da Costa February 7, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

      I have been noticing for weeks now OS X seems to be throttling my network downloads. In fact, I have been unable to download El Capitan because of this. I thought, since its affecting downloads, it must be something to do with how its connecting the Internet. Because I am not so familiar with the command line on the Mac, such as flush/dns on Windows, I researched if there was any alternative on for OS X. Came across Googles DNS solution.

  3. Sandro February 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

    That worked! I’ve been having this annoying problem for a long time.
    I’m really upset that MS cannot correct this simple kind of problem. It seems as if they were doing that on purpose so that we would adopt the always up to date 365 version.
    Anyways, thank you so much for saving me with this problem!

  4. Maggie March 21, 2016 at 12:33 am #

    Wow, wow. Just wanted to say Andre that you’re da man. Thanks for the great info.

  5. David Hatcher March 23, 2016 at 6:03 am #

    This worked for me! I was unable to load Word 2016 after upgrading to osx 10.11.4 and unable to download the Office 365 updates until I used your DNS tip. Now everything has downloaded, installed, and is running perfectly! I use the Office suite every day–you’ve saved me a huge headache and lots of extra work. Thank you 🙂

  6. Toby March 25, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    Thank you kindly. Worked a treat. This has been annoying me for months!

  7. Spencer April 8, 2016 at 12:42 am #

    This is fantastic! I’d pretty much abandoned MS Office 365 because of the auto-update ‘hang’ problem. I found no solution that worked till I happened on this! Bravo!

  8. Mike April 9, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    Thank you. It was an easy fix and worked without a hitch.

  9. mqadir April 17, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

    Worked like a charm

  10. Joan Dempsey April 26, 2016 at 8:02 am #

    You made me so happy!

    This has been driving me crazy, and your solution worked perfectly. Thank you so much.

  11. Alex April 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

    Great job man! Thanks a lot

  12. John Smith June 16, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    Thank you so much!! This has been driving me crazy for months!!

  13. Andre Da Costa June 17, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    I should let users know, if you join another network, these settings might be reset, so you will have apply them again.

  14. Rajiv July 4, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    Brilliant! It worked for me perfectly!

    Really well explained and easy to follow, thank you!

  15. doc J July 12, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    It was making me crazy. Changing the dns worked well. Updated fine. thanks.

  16. DrDave July 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    Brilliant! It worked! You are a god among men. . . .

  17. Henrique July 17, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Thanks, man! Just so you know, it also affects El Capitan, and the Autoupdate update DOES fix it

  18. Paul July 18, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Okay….I don’t understand how it worked or why it worked….but it worked!! Much thanks!!

  19. David Anning July 22, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    did the trick. many thanks.

  20. Robin August 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    Yeah, works a treat, thanks. But why oh why oh why has this not been resolved by Microsoft and/or Apple??

  21. Russ August 13, 2016 at 6:26 am #

    Thank you! This has been driving me crazy! So Many updates!

  22. Judi Jee August 14, 2016 at 12:43 am #

    This worked perfectly for me! Thank you so much!!!

  23. HugoV August 14, 2016 at 1:57 am #

    Did the tricks too, solved in thirty seconds 🙂 Thanks a lot !

  24. Vlad August 18, 2016 at 2:01 am #

    Thanks, it fixed the problem!

  25. Yuri August 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    Thank you! It fixed the problem!

  26. Tracey August 27, 2016 at 7:29 am #

    Thanks, this worked for me perfectly too!

  27. Renato August 27, 2016 at 11:08 am #

    Fantastic, it works. Thank you very much.

  28. Carmen September 10, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

    Thank you so much!!!

  29. Megan September 16, 2016 at 6:47 am #

    This seemed to have works for excel and powerpoint, thank you! But I still can’t update Word.
    Any ideas?

  30. Matt September 18, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    It updates for all except Excel. Any ideas why?

  31. Andre Da Costa September 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    Keep trying again if more than one update fails.

  32. Victor September 28, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    Thank you!

  33. Suraiya October 7, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

    It worked! Thanks so much! 🙂

  34. simon October 12, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    works now, thanks!

  35. Ran October 18, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    Solved my problem, thanks !!

  36. VickiM October 25, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Thanks! This worked for me with OS X Sierra and Office 2016.

  37. Nikita October 29, 2016 at 11:44 pm #

    Finally!!
    Thank you.

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