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.

  • @Reid What would happen if you went ahead with the install & didn't close the browsers ?
    – Simon
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 9:19
  • 4
    @Simon, there isn't a choice to continue the installation without closing the browsers.
    – kirb
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 10:25
  • @thekirbylover Ah ok fine (unlike in Windows)
    – Simon
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 10:26

2 Answers 2


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).

  • Interesting thought, but I see the same issue, and I don't have Silverlight installed Commented Jun 15, 2013 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
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 19:55
  • 2
    Office does indeed add fonts - curiously, in a folder within your /Library/Fonts folder. Remove or keep at will.
    – Zo219
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 23:16
  • 1
    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. Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 18:54
  • Also the /Library/Internet Plug-ins/OfficeLiveBrowserPlugin.plugin. Have now deleted all three.
    – GlennG
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 9:29

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

  • 1
    How do you force quit Google? And how does this solve the problem described in the question?
    – nohillside
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 12:05

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