Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac appears to be having some trouble with El Capitan

The latest version of OS X, El Capitan is hitting consumers as an upgrade, but should you rely on Microsoft's Office 2016 suite of apps you may wish to hold off upgrading for now. Numerous reports have surfaced detailing issues when attempting to use Office 2016 on the latest version of OS X.

The Office 2016 suite of apps appear to have some issues with El Capitan that causes them to crash at random times. What's worse is there does't appear to be a workaround to achieve a stable experience, essentially rendering the suite (and your Mac should you rely on it for productivity tools) useless.

Microsoft is well aware of the issue and has been patching to ensure compatibility, but issues still remain. If you happen to be experiencing problems, do join in the discussion over on Microsoft Answers.

Source: Microsoft Answers (opens in new tab), Via: Thurrott

24 Comments
  • Every year we get this crap from Apple. They should leave as is and save major changes for bi-annual updates.
    This stance kills productivity on OSX in a business environment.
  • Says someone in a 1990s enterprise. Apple has the model set, even Microsoft is copying. The new enterprise is one that doesn't adopt software that can't keep up with iterative and regular updates. Or Apple could make 50 year old enterprise admins happy and not change a thing. Personally i've been using Office 2016 for months and only the first couple of beta releases of El Capitan seemed to have issues. Most have been cleared up and rather quickly compared to past years. You can tell that the partnership between the two companies has improved... or at least Microsoft is investing way more to support Macs now under new leadership.
  • How is this Apple's fault? Microsoft has had a month with the GM now. Sent from the iMore App
  • Yep, it's up to MS to make sure their stuff works, not Apple.
  • It's also on Apple to make sure their changes don't have wide-reaching effects on the stability of applications running on their platform. Windows upgrades all the time. There are applications developed for Windows NT 4 or 2000 that run just fine on Windows 10. Because they make these things a priority. Apple... kinda doesn't.
  • The developers are making it a priority on Windows machines to keep their software in line with changes that Microsoft makes. Just because Windows updates all the time doesn't mean they aren't making changes in the way third party software works with Windows 10. It is also on the developer to read the documentation that Apple and Microsoft provide them, outlining what is changing and how to update their software to stay compatible and then implement those changes. Sent from the iMore App
  • That's completely untrue and it can be proven by simply loading up some out of support software from 10 years ago on Windows 10 and watching it run flawlessly.
  • Ha.. this is so funny you made me spit soda all over my keyboard... not sure I've ever heard "flawless" and "Windows" used in the same sentence before.
  • Yet MS made a Windows XP mode for 7 because they knew they were making changes in Windows 7 that in all likelihood could break a lot of things and probably be very time consuming to overcome. MS does a great job of making sure a lot of software can work on new systems, so don't think I'm hinting otherwise, but they're not flawless by any means. MS was given the same notice of the new OS as many other app developers. I don't recall seeing Office 2016 prompt me for an update to get ready for today. Paragon's NTFS for Mac (let's you read and write NTFS) made their new version available yesterday and told us to update before installing the OS update if you want to be able to keep using it w/o interruption. Luckily Office for Mac isn't mission critical for me so I won't mind it crashing while they work on that fix.
  • That was for like decade applications, many of which developed for 9x. You seem completely oblivious of the difference between 9x and NT. You do realize XP Mode was there largely for LOB Applications that were in use and out of support, so instead of having people stay on XP, they simply emulated it (using Virtual PC technology) on latter versions to give them an out. These were things like, old FoxPro applications businesses used for inventory and B.S. like that. That's why XP mode was only available in the higher SKUs, and was not installed by default. It was a niche - special case - solution. 99.8% of applications just installed and ran, even on Vista (as they do on 7, 8.x, and 10). Including those that have been out of support since forever. I've installed developer tools from 1996 on Windows 8.1 (to recompile old code) and they ran fine, Lol. I'm pretty sure a Word Processor is not an issue there...
  • And clearly you stop paying attention after NT 4 since XP was NT 5.1. If they were trying to tackle the 9x to NT issue (which there were a lot during that transition) they would have made a WIndows 9x mode, not a Windows XP mode. if you're going to be condescending, at least be right.
  • Wow... Just... Wow... We're talking about the difference in architecture. I'm aware that XP is an NT OS. But 9x Wasn't. Windows NT forbids a lot of things that 9x allowed, and after XP, Microsoft started removing more and more legacy code from the OS - dropping support for 16 Bit applications completely and tightening things up. This means that the DOS Embedded Systems developer suddenly could not run his debugger, as it would crash immediately due to NT not allowing that application to access system resources at such a low level. It meant that some older IDEs that were still used to target older platforms (or maintain those code bases) started crashing at certain steps of the build (like the Linker in Borland C++ 5.02 crashing overtime you targeted anything but 32-Bit Windows). These were things that XP allowed in applications, which is why these old (sometimes DOS) applications could run on XP, but when Microsoft went to Vista those applications started to fail, because Vista tightened security dramatically over XP, and they really started to rip out legacy code/components since those other targets were getting more and more niche. XP Mode was a compromise due to that. Some applications had 16-Bit Code/components in them ran on Windows 2000 and some ran on XP, but they errored out in Vista, for example. Those tools were still used years after release and after they were dropped from support because developers still used them for embedded system. Some people still used DOS-based custom applications in FoxPro, Paradox, dBase, etc. in their businesses. In order for those to run, they had to run them on XP. XP Mode was a compromise to allow them to upgrade without having to insure additional cost by requiring them to: 1. Buy a Commercial/Supported VM Solution like VMWare, which is expensive
    2. Buy an additional XP License to run those applications in that VM Microsoft has Compatibility Mode already that fixes most applications. XP Mode was a special case solution for applications that couldn't be addressed by compatibility mode because they ran in a way that was no longer acceptable by the OS, due to the changes in architecture and shedding of legacy code/components for security and stability reasons. There is almost no situation where XP mode was needed for general productivity software. In the vast majority of cases Compatibility Mode fixed it instantly, and those software titles usually had up to date versions that ran properly on the later Windows OS. No one had to run WordPerfect in XP Mode. They just upgraded to a compatible version of WordPerfect Office, instead. XP Mode was an Olive Branch to those people who were still using unsupported software that had no chance of being updated to be compatible with the later Windows OS, and would not run on Vista/7 due to the way they functioned being invalid in the Vista NT update. In the real world, you see people using REALLY OLD software to get things done. Like ATMs that used OS/2 a decade or more after support dropped for it, etc. That was the use case for XP Mode. It was no different than the emulation layer that Apple had for Classic Mac Apps after the transition to OS X. Vista was THAT HUGE an update to the Windows Platform, and Windows NT itself.
  • So this post confirms that Microsoft made changes to the OS that broke software, developers updated their software to be compatible, and Microsoft had to create special modes to make said software continue to run when developers didn't comply. Sent from the iMore App
  • Are you kidding?! You obviously did not live through the past decade of using XP, and the nightmare of Vista which had virtually no driver support for a year. I had a graphics driver that would randomly reboot my PC - and it took nVidia and MS a year to figure it out! Even when malware and viruses did not take over your XP machine, it had to be re-installed fresh at least once a year for it to run reliably.
  • Upgraded to Vista on Day One. I had drivers for everything, even my old Creative SoundBlaster card. Not sure if you're just toting the party line, but things weren't nearly as bad as you and the tech press would have many believe. Drivers are always an issue with major Windows updates that change driver models due to the vast variety of hardware configurations possible. That's not an issue on Macs because only Apple develops the PCs. Microsoft doesn't have drivers issues on their own devices (Surface RT, Surface 3, Surface Pros), which is a much more Apples to Apples comparison. And we're talking about Application software, not device drivers. Again, Apples to Apples. And your statement about XP is patently false. There are probably more Windows XP Machines running reliably on the original install right now than the entire OS X market.
  • Almost every Windows expert has recommended re-installing XP every 6 months. XP was so poor at cleaning up the registry after uninstalls and configuration changes that many people had to use CCleaner to regularly clean it, and Autoruns to keep startup times under 10 minutes. Even now I can see all the crap Windows allows to startup when I check Autoruns. Windows XP was always high maintenance and unreliable. Most of those original install you refer to are very likely to be in bot nets by now so that's not something to be too proud of.
  • Anyone that uses Native Instruments Traktor I would advise not to upgrade as well yet!! They have sent out emails also advising that their are problems with driver support and hardware interfaces with the new OSX.
  • Yea, you know nothing about the developer's plight with developing s/w under Apple's whimsical changes. Apple sucks at software.
  • It’s not as simple as that. My point still stands.
    As I’m sure you are aware, IT departments don’t like change. For them using OSX would be a nightmare from this standpoint.
  • More than a month when you think about the fact that El Capitan has been in beta since June/July. The work-around is simple, completely uninstall Office 2016 (as per their instructions) and reinstall, but don't update. Mine kept crashing and at first I thought it was because of my schools account, but nope. Uninstalled, ran CCleaner to wipe things out and reinstall after a reboot. No issues since...
  • Will give that a try.
  • Not been an issue for me. Been running both El Cap betas and MacOff16 for months now. The reality is that whatever issues might exist with MacOff16, it is far better than any of the older versions.
  • No issues here, been working since early August. The first beta or two of El Capitan had some strange issues with Office 2016 for Mac but they quickly got squashed. I think now its rather stable, only smaller issues like bad font use in notifications or other things easily lived with until fixed.
  • What have Microsoft been doing since they got betas of El Capitan in June??? Surely fixing their software should have been priority one!