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In an update for MS Office for Mac, the installer asks to close Chrome and Safari — why?

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What do those programs have to do with Microsoft Office?

I only have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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+1. It's incredibly annoying. –  Reid Jun 18 '13 at 21:27
@Reid What would happen if you went ahead with the install & didn't close the browsers ? –  Simon Jun 21 '13 at 9:19
@Simon, there isn't a choice to continue the installation without closing the browsers. –  kirb Jun 21 '13 at 10:25
@thekirbylover Ah ok fine (unlike in Windows) –  Simon Jun 21 '13 at 10:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 27 down vote accepted

Presumably, the Office installer can modify/update the Microsoft Silverlight.plugin (which is installed in /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/), which Safari and Chrome could potentially be using.

It's primarily just a precaution against updating files which an application is actively using.


After further investigation, it looks like it's actually the fact that the installer modifies the fonts in /Library/Fonts/Microsoft/ which is the motivation behind requiring that several apps not be running. The following is an excerpt from the XML Distribution script that's in the 16807Office 2011 14.3.5 Update.pkg installer package:

<choice id="fonts" selected="true" start_enabled="false" start_selected="false" start_visible="false" title="fonts-title">
    <pkg-ref id="fonts">
            <app id="com.apple.Safari"/>
            <app id="org.mozilla.firefox"/>
            <app id="com.google.Chrome"/>
            <app id="com.operasoftware.Opera"/>
            <app id="com.microsoft.Word"/>
            <app id="com.microsoft.Excel"/>
            <app id="com.microsoft.Query"/>
            <app id="com.microsoft.Powerpoint"/>
            <app id="com.microsoft.Outlook"/>


Another pair of potential culprits are


They are installed by default with Office 2011 under /Library/Internet Plug-Ins. (Note: Silverlight was not an option to install with 2011).

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Interesting thought, but I see the same issue, and I don't have Silverlight installed –  nthonygreen Jun 15 '13 at 0:42
I had always assumed it was Silverlight, which (IIRC) is an option that you can install. I always just assumed the installer was too lazy to check whether Silverlight was actually being installed. –  TJ Luoma Jun 18 '13 at 19:55
Office does indeed add fonts - curiously, in a folder within your /Library/Fonts folder. Remove or keep at will. –  Zo219 Jun 18 '13 at 23:16
Fonts make sense for first time install, but not for service packs. How often are the security fixes patching files in the fonts folder? This is just annoying. –  Code Commander Jun 5 '14 at 18:54
Also the /Library/Internet Plug-ins/OfficeLiveBrowserPlugin.plugin. Have now deleted all three. –  GlennG Jun 11 '14 at 9:29

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