Installing Office 2021 on macOS will give you a real headache

by Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • A lot of users got stuck while trying to install Office 2021 on their Apple devices, due to some sort of software conflict. 
  • After removing the 2019 version completely and installing the new one, they somehow got the first one again for some reason.
  • The first, and most important, thing to keep in mind when trying this is that you need the latest version of macOS as well.
  • Also, deleting the old license files for Office could also help the clean install of the 2021 version get installed without any issues.
Office MacOS

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Multiple users are complaining about their inability to install the latest version of Microsoft’s Office app suite on macOS-powered devices.

The applications still work, but some are just having trouble updating the suite to the latest available build.

Why can’t Apple users can’t install office 2021 over 2019

Before we begin, it’s important to understand one crucial factor. As new major versions of macOS are made generally available, Microsoft will remove support for the oldest version and support the newest and previous two versions of macOS. 

Product functionality and feature availability may vary on older systems, so for the best experience, use the latest version of any operating system.

While the initial build of Office 2021 for Mac will install and work on macOS 10.14 Mojave, in December of 2021 macOS 10.15 Catalina or later will be required to receive updates to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

If you continue with an older version of macOS, your Office apps will still work, but you’ll no longer receive any updates including security updates.

Upgrading your operating system to macOS 10.15 or later will allow Office updates to be delivered for your apps. Note that new installs of Office 2021 for Mac will also require macOS 10.15 or later.

What if I don’t update macOS to a supported version?

If you’re on an unsupported version of macOS, your Office apps will still work but you would no longer receive any updates including security updates.

For example, if you’re on macOS 10.15, but later you don’t update your macOS to a supported version when macOS 10.15 is no longer supported, you won’t receive any updates of any kind.

As new major versions of macOS are released and older versions become unsupported, we highly recommend you continue to update your macOS to a supported version in order to receive mainstream support such as security updates as well as new features.

Apple announced that macOS Monterey will be generally available in the fall of 2021, and customers can access a public beta starting in July.

You can use the latest builds of Office alongside Monterey for testing purposes, but official support will not begin until Monterey is made generally available.

Removing previous Office license files might help

We don’t know exactly what the problem is, but an educated guess would be that maybe some license files from the previous version are causing some sort of conflict.

If you’re troubleshooting Office and would like to remove the license files on your Mac, you can use the license removal tool from Microsoft.

Before using the tool, make sure you have the correct account info and password associated with your purchase of Office available for when you reactivate.

After going through this quick troubleshooting phase, try reinstalling Office 2021.

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