Wait to install Office 2016 for Mac!

By Luis Cosme, VP of Managed Services

Mac users have waited anxiously for Office for Mac 2016 (the previous version Office for Mac 2011 was released in October 2010). While Office 2016 has been praised as the most robust Office version so far with a number of improvements, it comes with several limitations and bugs that have not been fixed as of the posting of this article. For this reason, we recommend against upgrading until these issues are worked out.   

We have found several major problems or limitations with Office 2016 for Mac. For example:

  • Outlook for Mac 2016 is not compatible with Exchange 2007
  • When using Office 2016 for Mac, it's not possible to export data or import email from a PST (Outlook personal data file) into an existing profile
  • Many people have reported issues with online archiving in Microsoft 365 including the inability to move or copy folders between online archive and mailbox, cannot move multiple items at the same time or search mailbox and archives simultaneously
  • A full list of Microsoft’s Office 2016 ‘known issues’ can be found in thisMicrosoft Office KB article

We also recommend waiting to install El Capitan, Apple’s latest operating system (OS X 10.11) which was released in September. For the past three weeks we’ve seen reports of Office 2016 for Mac crashing when using El Capitan when there is more than one app open. While the most common complaints are concerning Outlook, many Mac users have reported that even Excel and Word have problems after El Capitan is installed.

Microsoft released a statement several weeks after the release of El Capitan stating: "We have isolated the hang after crash/force quit that impacts all Office 2016 apps as well as Outlook 2016 repeated crash after launch. We are working with Apple on a solution, please stay tuned," wrote Microsoft program manager Sunder Raman in a customer support post.

“Microsoft seems to be taking long in providing a fix for this, and Apple doesn't seem to have any comments yet, but rest assured, the two tech firms are working together to resolve this case,” reported TechTimes.

On October 21, Apple released an update for El Capitan (OSX 10.11.1) stating that it “improves compatibility with Microsoft Office 2016” and provides a number of other improvements and fixes. "We’re currently uncertain if this resolves all of the issues reported and monitoring the situation closely," said Apple.

In the meantime, we recommend, as with any new software updates, that you wait to install them and consult with Sinu to make sure your current business solutions are compatible and productivity unaffected.