How to Fix Microsoft Office AutoUpdate for Mac not working

Excel featured

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 updated 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 AutoUpdate for Mac, not Working

To download the latest updates for Office 2016, I needed to have AutoUpdate version 3.4 installed. Unfortunately, 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.

Fix 0

It turns out the culprit was the DNS server Microsoft uses to connect to the public Internet. Either it’s a compatibility issue with OS XYosemite’s version, 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.

Fix 2

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

Fix 3

Now enter the following addresses: and, then click OK.

Fix 4

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


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

Fix 5

This solution might not be for everyone, but it’s worth a shot if you’re having a similar problem. Of course, 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.



  1. RC

    Many thanks! It solved my problem flawlessly.

    • Andre Da Costa

      You are welcome RC!

  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:):):)

    • Andre Da Costa

      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. Joan Dempsey

    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. Andre Da Costa

    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. Andre Da Costa

    Keep trying again if more than one update fails.

  32. Victor

    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

    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 ?

  40. Ina

    thanks for the tip! you are a genius!

  41. Jeffy

    Is not working for me on Office 2011. Sad face.
    After I create the DNS connections the Help menu in Excel only goes to Autoupdate, Check for Updates and does not have an install menu. The response of Cannot Connect to Server does take a half-second longer than before. Smiley face.
    I am considering uninstalling and then repurposing one of my 365 licenses to reinstall.

  42. Beatrice Zelenko

    what if the microsoft update is working but keeps showing Excel requires an update even after an update has been installed? any ideas?

  43. Doug Acker

    This does not work for me .. I can d/l the updates fine, but it gets stuck on the “installing” part so I don’t think it’s a DNS issue.

  44. Andrew Jacobs

    Worked perfectly

  45. Mike

    When I press the update button, i get a message “update already in progress” this is patently not so. Every now and again I get a message,”unable to install updates”

  46. Damon

    Did not work for me. All fields in the MSFT AutoUpdater app are disabled and I’m unable to execute anything. I can click on the links to the privacy notice, etc. However, Manual and Automatic options are disabled along with the “Check for Updates” button.

  47. Regina

    Install button at the very end of the process doesn’t show up :( What do I do? Neither is there an option for it while the Microsoft Autoupdate is on the dock, or on the task bar.

  48. Julia

    I have an older version of Office (2008) and these DNS codes don’t seem to work – also am using Mojave so not sure if this is also the problem. Are there different codes I can try?

  49. Tony Powell

    Its 2020 and this still works to get any microsoft program to launch so that you can activate the updater. I’m using office 365 for mac.

    So thanks again for the tip!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top