How-To

How to Fix Microsoft Office AutoUpdate for Mac not working

If you installed Office 2016 for Mac back in September but haven’t been able to update the suite since, here’s a look at some troubleshooting tips.

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.

updating

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.


41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. RC  

    Many thanks! It solved my problem flawlessly.

  2. Alex  

    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:):):)

    • 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  

    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  

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

  5. David Hatcher  

    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  

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

  7. Spencer  

    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  

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

  9. mqadir  

    Worked like a charm

  10. You made me so happy!

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

  11. Alex  

    Great job man! Thanks a lot

  12. John Smith  

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

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

  14. Rajiv  

    Brilliant! It worked for me perfectly!

    Really well explained and easy to follow, thank you!

  15. doc J  

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

  16. DrDave  

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

  17. Henrique  

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

  18. Paul  

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

  19. David Anning  

    did the trick. many thanks.

  20. Robin  

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

  21. Russ  

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

  22. Judi Jee  

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

  23. HugoV  

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

  24. Vlad  

    Thanks, it fixed the problem!

  25. Yuri  

    Thank you! It fixed the problem!

  26. Tracey  

    Thanks, this worked for me perfectly too!

  27. Renato  

    Fantastic, it works. Thank you very much.

  28. Carmen  

    Thank you so much!!!

  29. Megan  

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

  30. Matt  

    It updates for all except Excel. Any ideas why?

  31. Keep trying again if more than one update fails.

  32. Thank you!

  33. Suraiya  

    It worked! Thanks so much! 🙂

  34. simon  

    works now, thanks!

  35. Ran  

    Solved my problem, thanks !!

  36. VickiM  

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

  37. Nikita  

    Finally!!
    Thank you.

  38. Pauleuro  

    On a 2016 Macbook pro – I thought it was a glitch in the hardware since it was a problem I’d never seen before. Thanks for solving it!

  39. Ava  

    I didn’t realize this was for a 2016 Mac and I tried it with my old MacBook Pro. When I added the DNS numbers it deleted all of my others. Clicking on apps, it says I have no new updates! Now how do I get back my old DNS addresses? I’m worse off than I was. I can’t get updates and so I can’t update at all now! Help
    Please ?

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