Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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

enter image description here

What do those programs have to do with Microsoft Office?

I only have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

share|improve this question
+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
up vote 29 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=""/>
            <app id="org.mozilla.firefox"/>
            <app id=""/>
            <app id="com.operasoftware.Opera"/>
            <app id=""/>
            <app id=""/>
            <app id=""/>
            <app id=""/>
            <app id=""/>


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).

share|improve this answer
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

None of the above!!! just force quit Google and that's it!!

share|improve this answer
How do you force quit Google? And how does this solve the problem described in the question? – patrix Apr 23 '15 at 12:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.