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I have Office 2008 for OS X through Microsoft's HUP (Home Use Program). I want to reinstall, so I need to first remove it.

For Office on OS X, Microsoft provides a binary called "/Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Additional Tools/Remove Office/Remove Office". When I run it, it says it can't find any versions of office on my computer and won't do anything.

I know MS-Office for Mac puts many different components in various places all over the system and not just within it's own applications folder, so how to I successfully remove Office so I can re-install?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Basically, without trying to fix Office Uninstaller nor using any other Microsoft tools, you can search your any files containing the name office or microsoft :

find / -iname '*office*' -or -iname '*microsoft*' >> ~/Desktop/2008.txt

You can easily find the result in ~/Desktop/2008.txt.

And then delete files referring to Office 2008.


I've just downloaded Office 2008 Trial and the installer is a .mpkg, so you can use tools like Pacifist or Suspicious Package to check what is installed with Microsoft Office.

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Are there any other settings (similar to a Windows registry or the contents of an /etc/* file in Unix/Linux) that this wouldn't catch? I'm worried about the contents of global files, not just files MS put down. – kbyrd Feb 24 '10 at 18:02
The find command will only catches files based on their names. If Microsoft is clever enough (which I doubt) to create files or folder without Microsoft or Office, find won't find them. That's because I added another solutions. – Studer Feb 24 '10 at 20:42
Nice tip on the mpkg viewers. That solved my problem exactly. – kbyrd Feb 24 '10 at 21:58

Delete the Microsoft Office 2008 folder from Applications. Office also has files located in your user folder at ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office and ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008. It stores receipts for all the updates in /Library/Receipts and fonts in /Library/Fonts/Microsoft. I may be missing something but those seem to be the main folders.

If you want to reinstall Office 2008, it should be sufficient to remove the Microsoft Office 2008 application folder as well as the file ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 Settings.plist. That way, you won't lose any templates in your user folder.

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I was having the same problem a few weeks ago. I re-ran the installer, and it this time it detected Office 2008. Success!

So, I would try re-running the installer, maybe after a reboot. You could also try downloading the latest updates for Office 2008. Maybe the uninstaller had a bug that has been fixed.

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AppCleaner did the job for me. It's free.

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