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Microsoft Office 2011 For Mac End Of Support

by Graham Needham (BH) on 12th October 2017

Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac became end of life on 10th October 2017 - there will be no more security updates for this version of Office! This includes all editions of Office 2011 i.e.

  • Standalone / perpetual licence / retail box edition
    • Home & Student
    • University
    • Home & Business
  • Volume license edition
  • Office 365 subscription edition
If you already have an Office 365 subscription you can upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 free of charge as long as you are running OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later.

So, if you're still running Office 2011 you probably should be asking yourself the question "What should I do?". This blog post will help clear up a few things to help you answer that question.

Microsoft Office 2011 isn't going to stop working overnight. In fact, if you don't upgrade macOS / OS X, it'll probably carry on working for a good length of time into the future but there are some important things to know if you are contemplating doing this. Firstly, the version of macOS / OS X that you stay on will eventually became insecure as Apple will eventually stop supporting it with important security updates. Additionally, Office 2011 itself will become insecure as Microsoft no longer provides important security updates for the suite. You may shrug your shoulders and (falsely) think Macs don't get viruses and are therefore secure, so whatever. This is a fallacy - Macs are not secure, there still isn't a Mac "virus", but there are many other forms of attack especially if you use the internet/connect your Mac to a network. And Microsoft Office itself is an attack vector for the bad guys - they can create malicious Word/Excel/PowerPoint files that can crash your Office software and then run code on your computer which has the potential to take it over or install really bad stuff on it. So, the bottom line is that by continuing to use Office 2011 it is an ever increasing security risk to you, your computer and your data.

You have three options:

  1. Continue to use Office 2011 and try to reduce the security risk
  2. Remove Office 2011 and install/use non-Microsoft Office software that is kept up-to-date
  3. Upgrade to Office 2016 - as long as you are running OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later

Option 1: Continue To Use Office 2011

Microsoft have officially stated that they have not tested and will not test/support Office 2011 on macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later. Although initial reports suggest Office 2011 works okay on macOS 10.13 a future macOS update or upgrade could render Office 2011 unusable and there would be no update to fix that. Although unlikely, even a security update from Apple for an older version of macOS / OS X could potentially break Office 2011. If you're going to continue using Office 2011 make sure you do the following:

  1. Install the last security update for Office 2011 - Office 14.7.7 update
  2. Keep your macOS / OS X system software up-to-date but look out for (security) updates that break Office 2011 (in which case you will need to install/use non-Microsoft Office software or upgrade to Office 2016
  3. Keep your Mac secure
  4. Do not open/use Office documents/files (Word/Excel/PowerPoint) from unknown sources especially:
    • people that you don't know
    • people/friends/family that you know but you have no idea if they keep their computers secure/up-to-date/virus free
    • (downloaded from) the internet
    • email attachments
    • CDs/DVDs
    • USB sticks
  5. Document/file types to look out for from the sources listed above include:
    • Word = .doc / .docx / .dot / .dotx / .docm / .dotm
    • Excel = .xls / .xlsx / .xltx / .xlsm / .xltm / .xlsb / .xlam / .xll)
    • PowerPoint = .ppt / .pptx / .pptm / .potx / .potm / .ppam / .ppsx / .ppsm / .sldx / .sldm
    NOTE: Not all documents will have the (correct) file name extension so always be especially careful with any documents from the sources listed above!

Option 2: Install/Use Non-Microsoft Office Software

Unless you need absolute file compatibility with Office for Windows non-Microsoft Office software is very good and some of them are free - but do make sure you have the right version of macOS / OS X required to run the software:

Option 3: Upgrade To Office 2016

The easiest option is to upgrade to Office 2016 but do be aware of the following before upgrading:

  • Office 2016 is not free but you can buy it as a traditional perpetual licence (retail box), volume licensing for companies/organisations or you can rent it as a subscription (monthly/yearly)
  • The subscription edition a.k.a. "Office 365", has additional perks over the perpetual/volume licence editions and you will get future/new versions at no additional charge
  • Office 2016 requires OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later. If you need to upgrade:
  • There are increased requirements for using Outlook 2016 with Exchange Servers i.e. Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 or later
  • There are major differences in the support for Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
  • Notebook and Publishing Layout views in Word have been removed
  • The My Day application has been removed
  • Office Reminders only works if Outlook is running/open
  • Excel keyboard shortcuts have changed to be more in line with Excel for Windows
But there are also many benefits to Office 2016 - see our Microsoft Office 2016 (365) Frequently Asked Questions FAQ article for more information along with Microsoft's what's new and improved in Office 2016 web page.

Further Reading

Blog Post Author = Graham Needham (BH)
Blog Post Created On = 12th October 2017
Blog Post Last Revised = 25th January 2018 12:55
Blog Post URL =

This blog post is representative of the blog author's individual opinions and as such any opinions that may be expressed here may not necessarily reflect the views of everyone at MacStrategy or the holding company Burning Helix Limited.

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