Delete the Microsoft 365 or Office apps from your Applications folder to remove them from your Mac. You’ll need to follow up by deleting individual leftover files to completely get rid of everything.
Are you done with Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office)? Maybe you’re moving on from an outdated version, or simply unwilling to pay for another year of support. Here’s how to remove the Office suite from your Mac altogether.
Uninstall Office for Mac by Deleting the App
The simplest way to remove Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Office for Mac apps from your Mac is to delete the apps from your Applications folder using Finder. This is the standard way of deleting Mac apps, but it isn’t exhaustive and normally requires a follow-up to delete junk that gets left behind.
To begin, open a Finder window and click on Applications in the sidebar. You can also hit Shift+Command+G and type
/Applications followed by Enter.
Now find the apps you want to delete. For Microsoft 365, Office 2019, and Office 2016, apps will be labeled individually as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, and OneDrive.
If you’re using Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, these apps will be in a separate folder. Highlight the items you want to delete by holding the Command key and clicking.
You can now use the Command+Delete keyboard shortcut to send the apps to the Trash (or right-click and choose “Move to Trash” if you’d rather). To delete the apps once and for all, empty the Trash either by opening it and clicking “Empty” or by right-clicking and choosing “Empty Trash” from the dock.
The Microsoft Office for Mac or Microsoft 365 applications are now removed from your Mac, and the space they were occupying can be used for other things.
This is probably good enough for most users, but if you want to completely remove all signs of Office or 365, there are some additional files you can get rid of too.
Completely Delete All Office and 365 Files From macOS
There are different steps to finalize the removal of Microsoft 365 and the older Office for Mac 2011.
Finish Removing Microsoft 365, Office 2019, and Office 2016 for Mac
In addition to removing the application files, Office 2016 and later also leaves behind some files in your Library folder. You can get there using Finder, simply open a Finder window and hit Shift+Command+G then enter
~/Library/Containers and hit Enter.
On macOS 11 or newer, highlight (by holding the Command key and clicking) these files:
- Microsoft Error Reporting
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft OneNote (assuming you want to remove OneNote too)
On macOS 10 or newer, highlight (by holding the Command key and clicking) these:
Now delete the files using the Command+Delete keyboard shortcut. Finally, hit Shift+Command+G and enter
~/Library/Group Containers followed by enter. Highlight and delete the following, if present:
Finish Removing Office for Mac 2011
If you’re removing Office for Mac 2011, there are a few different files you’ll need to delete to remove Office completely. Open Finder and hit Shift+Command+G then enter
~Library/Preferences followed by enter. Delete files starting with “com.microsoft” from this folder.
In Finder hit Shift+Command+G, enter
~Library/Preferences, and do the same to files starting with “com.microsoft” in there too (except for .com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist if you are still using Office for Mac 2016). Next, open the “ByHost” folder within the Preferences folder and also delete “com.microsoft” files.
Next, hit Shift+Command+G in Finder and enter
~Library/Application Support/Microsoft followed by Enter. Delete the “Office” folder.
Finally, remove licensing helpers from the main Library folder. Hit Shift+Command+G in Finder and type
/Library to open your main Library folder. Now delete the following from the following folders within Library.
- com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist from Library/LaunchDemons
- com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist from Library/Preferences
- com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper from Library/PrivilegedHelperTools
- the “Microsoft” folder from Library/Application Support
- the “Microsoft” folder from Library/Fonts
- any files that begin “Office2011_” from Library/Receipts
Remove Any Dock Icons Left Over and Empty Trash
Lastly, any dock items you might still have should be removed. You can do this by clicking and dragging the dock icon until you see “Remove” appear, then release. Finally, open the Trash and click “Empty” to permanently delete everything you just removed.
What to Do If Free Space Isn’t Showing
If you’ve deleted everything but still aren’t seeing as much free space as you’d have hoped, give your Mac a restart by clicking Apple > Restart. You can then check how much free space you have using Finder.
Restarting your Mac also solves all sorts of other problems like apps that refuse to open or an Apple Watch that won’t unlock your Mac, which is why it’s so often touted as a go-to troubleshooting solution.
AppCleaner Can Help You Remove Applications Too
If you’re keen to remove all signs of an application from your Mac, consider installing AppCleaner by FreeMacSoft. The free app works with all modern versions of macOS from 10.6 onwards, using both a drag-and-drop or list view interface.
Rather than just deleting the main APP files from your Applications folder, AppCleaner attempts to hunt down additional preferences, launch daemons, and other files located on your hard drive. Though these smaller files don’t take up much space, they also serve no purpose once an app has been removed from your Applications folder.
This spares you the bother of having to hunt down associated files. You can even try using AppCleaner to remove Microsoft 365 or modern versions of Office.
Done With Microsoft 365? Try an Alternative
With Microsoft 365 or Office now removed from your system, you should probably have a productivity suite alternative lined up. There are lots of free options to choose from, including a free online version of the Office suite at Office.com. Another alternative is to use Google’s tools which integrate nicely into Google Drive. These consist of Docs for word processing, Sheets for spreadsheets, and Slides for presentations.
If you’d rather have a native solution that runs locally on your Mac consider Apple’s suite of productivity apps that comes free with new computers. This includes Pages for word processing, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presentations.
Finally, a fully open source and cross-platform alternative can be had using the LibreOffice suite. This includes Writer and Calc for word processing and spreadsheets, plus tools like Impress for presentations, Draw for diagrams, Base for databases, and Math for formulas. LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice.org and still receives frequent updates.
RELATED: LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office: How Does It Measure Up?