Whenever I start Microsoft AutoUpdate it shows me the message:

We Detected A Problem With Microsoft AutoUpdate. To correct the issue, please install the latest update by clicking the OK button below.

I tried reinstalling it multiple times and also followed instructions for complete removal. So far without any success.

In the log I see the following suspicious message:

[Microsoft AutoUpdate] {"Payload":"HelperTool Status: helperToolExists YES, helperToolCodesigned: NO, inLaunchDaemon: YES"}]

I have not idea what else I could try. I guess the helper tool should be code signed. I have no idea why it isn't or how I can change it. Also I found nothing about this online.

  • What version Office, what OS?
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 28, 2020 at 14:40
  • Microsoft AutoUpdate is the latest release, as I've reinstalled it multiple times. Microsoft Word is Version 16.38. The OS is macOS Catalina 10.15.5.
    – Sandro
    Jul 28, 2020 at 14:48
  • When reinstalling, have you deleted the directory named /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/MAUx.x ? Have you downloaded AutoUpdater from the Microsoft website? Current version is 4.25.
    – harrymc
    Jul 31, 2020 at 8:17
  • Yes, I did both.
    – Sandro
    Jul 31, 2020 at 19:45
  • (1) According to this article troubles started with the April version. Perhaps try using the March version. (2) Try running once msupdate.
    – harrymc
    Aug 1, 2020 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


I found a fix for this Problem: sudo chmod o+r /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper

Now it does not show the error message any more and the log shows: helperToolCodesigned: YES

Also updating applications now actually works.

The problem was found by executing msupdate in a terminal: "/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/MAU2.0/Microsoft AutoUpdate.app/Contents/MacOS/msupdate" --list

  • This mean that Microsoft installed the previous version of their autoupdate with admin priviledge and didn't give user the possibility to read this program to check its signature. Bad habits coming from an environment where everything is done as admin and lazy quality control.
    – dan
    Aug 13, 2020 at 10:23

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