How to Delete Microsoft AutoUpdate from Mac

Jul 20, 2019 - 42 Comments

Delete Microsoft AutoUpdate from Mac

Want to delete Microsoft AutoUpdate from a Mac? Perhaps you uninstalled Microsoft Office or some other Microsoft applications from the Mac and thus have no further need for Microsoft applications to automatically update themselves. In any case, you can remove the Microsoft AutoUpdate application from Mac OS.


If Microsoft AutoUpdate is currently running you’ll need to quit out of the application first. You can also forcibly quit the Microsoft AutoUpdate app from Activity Monitor if needed.

How to Remove Microsoft AutoUpdate from MacOS

This will delete the Microsoft AutoUpdate app from the Mac:

  1. From the Finder of MacOS, pull down the “Go” menu and choose “Go To Folder” (or hit Command+Shift+G) and enter the following path:
  2. /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/

  3. Locate the folder named something like “MAU” or “MAU2.0” and open that directory
  4. Locate and drag “Microsoft AutoUpdate.app” to the Trash
  5. Delete Microsoft AutoUpdate application from the Mac

  6. Empty the Trash as usual *
  7. Close the MAU folder and continue using your Mac as usual

With Microsoft AutoUpdate deleted, Microsoft AutoUpdate will no longer be on the Mac or run to update software automatically.

Stopping com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper in Mac OS

You can also delete “com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper” if you find that running in the background on a Mac:

  1. From the Finder, select the “Go” menu and “Go To Folder” entering the following path:
  2. /Library/LaunchAgents

  3. Locate “com.microsoft.update.agent.plist” and add it to the Trash
  4. Next go to:
  5. /Library/LaunchDaemons/

  6. Drag “com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper.plist” to the Trash
  7. And now go to:
  8. /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools

  9. Drag “com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper.plist” to the Trash
  10. Empty the Trash

If you still want to have and use Microsoft apps on the Mac, deleting the Microsoft AutoUpdate application may lead to some unintended consequences besides having outdated software from Microsoft, so it’s probably best to not remove it if you’re a heavy Microsoft software user, whether that’s Microsoft Office, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Edge, or anything else.

* You can also delete the file specifically from Trash if you want to leave other items in the Trash alone for now.
Thanks to Bogdan in the comments for the additional info!

If you know of any other ways to manage, tame, or remove the Microsoft AutoUpdate application on the Mac, share in the comments below!

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Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks

42 Comments

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  1. James says:

    Wow! Spot On directions. Easy to follow and, best of all, it worked! No more auto updates from the GD microsoft.

  2. Billy says:

    Thanks!

  3. Rick says:

    “Microsoft knows best” is precisely why I’ve done my best to avoid MS software for three decades. Thank you.

  4. Luis Alberto says:

    Thanks! Quite useful!

  5. DS says:

    Thank you – I wish MSFT would stop trying to dominate my computer. I nearly uninstalled the Edge Browser because of this.

  6. Steven says:

    One reason to remove Updater and still have Microsoft applications on my computer is because it’s an older Mac. I can’t update Office apps anymore, but darn updater still asks me too. Only to then tell me that I have to upgrade MacOS first. HighSierra is as far is this old boy can go.
    Thanks for the tip, saved me a lot of time and frustration.

  7. Jeremy says:

    I was unable to find MAU or MAU2.0 yet I’m still getting the pop up. Any suggestions?

    • Jim Demers says:

      If you can’t locate it, use Spotlight to search for ‘autoupdate’. It could be in your user Library.

  8. vick says:

    That was so easy to follow to delete Microsoft update.
    Thank you

  9. Donna Ellis says:

    I would never have thought of this – thank you for the help!

  10. Richard Hull says:

    Brilliant, thanks

  11. Saku says:

    Earlier today I deleted all of MS Office and what do you know! Just now MS autoupdate ran requiring me to OK some user license. Totally infuriating! Thanks for this tip, hope it’s good riddance this time.

  12. Keith C Smith says:

    Right-click/Control-click on the MAU2.0 folder and select Get Info. Click on the little Unlock button in the bottom right corner and enter your Admin username and password. In the Sharing & Permissions area, change Everyone to No Access. Click on the Lock button again and close the Info window.

    Check for Updates no longer appears in the Help menu of Office apps and the system can no longer run AutoUpdate.

  13. lhac says:

    I don’t mind having Autoupdate running. What I mind is that:
    • I cannot choose to do installations manually, but I am forced to allow automatic download and installation
    • when I open a Word doc, I get an annoying banner telling me to run autoupdate. When I run it, it tells me there is nothing to update.

  14. Aidan says:

    After you locate the Microsoft Auto Updater you can double click on it and choose to turn off the automatic update, no need to delete the entire thing.

    • SysAdmin says:

      Wrong. It will always launch, and it always picks the most inconvenient time like when you’re screen sharing, or in the middle of a game.

  15. Mario says:

    I have just blocked it with Lulu…
    No need to trash it

  16. Tony Maceo says:

    Thank you for the easy to follow instructions. I deleted the file and the annoying update balloon no longer appears when I open my docs. I use Word sparingly but the autoupdate gave me the creeps when I could not stop it.

    I hate that these corporations insert program language into our machines and our software (we bought it, we own it) in an effort to get more money from their customers. Greed!

  17. Steve Madison says:

    Rather than throw the “MAU” or “MAU2.0” folder away and lose the ability to auto-update if you change your mind in the future, here’s how to hide MS Auto-Update:
    1) From the Finder of MacOS, pull down the “Go” menu and choose “Go To Folder” (or hit Command+Shift+G) and enter the following path: /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/
    2) Add a new folder in this folder and name it something MS will not recognize like “ms_auto update app”
    3) Drop the “MAU” or “MAU2.0” folder into the new folder and MS AutoUpdate app will be hidden from MS

  18. Miles says:

    Thank you, so much! I read countless articles leading to no solution. Yours was the answer with no b.s. included. Just restarted the computer and it is totally gone!

  19. Nicolas says:

    THANKS!!! AWESOME!

  20. iAnna says:

    Thank you very much! What a relief!

  21. Mike W says:

    Thanks for this!

    It was killing me

  22. Jessica Lee says:

    I was so upset about this Microsoft auto-update option in my mac system. I could not delete from my mac os. Your article process gave me a solution.

  23. Isidore says:

    Another way of taming autoupdate is to use Little Snitch to block connections to Microsoft’s servers

  24. Djay says:

    it works. thankyou!

  25. Hardwoodhal says:

    Does this process work for eliminating updates to uninstalled Malwarebytes?

    • Paul says:

      No these instructions are only for removing Microsoft AutoUpdater.

      MalwareBytes is a totally different application from a different company, but that app should include a separate uninstaller if you want to remove it. You should also be able to uninstall Malwarebytes from that applications “Help” menu.

  26. Daniel Wells says:

    Thanks for the information – I’m getting the autoupdate window everytime I start up and the only microsoft software I’ve ever had on this machine was Silverlight…Silverlight in long gone, but the updater still remains.

    • Guy says:

      Precisely right. The binary is being sourced from a package I have yet to find. As you, the recursive delete of all things microsoft has not remedied the situation… that should teach me a lesson…
      Clearly there is another application built to microsoft api specs still in play.

    • Guy says:

      Precisely right. The binary is being sourced from a package I have yet to find. As you, the recursive delete of all things microsoft has not remedied the situation… that should teach me a lesson…
      Clearly there is another application built to microsoft api specs still in play. Skype??

  27. Bogdan says:

    You should also delete com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper from ~/Library/PrivilegedHelperTools, com.microsoft.update.agent.plist from ~/Library/LaunchAgents and com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper.plist from ~/Library/LaunchDaemons

    • Paul says:

      Excellent additional information, thanks Bogdan!

    • Ayutube Sini says:

      I did a spotlight search on my MacBook Pro for Microsoft Autoupdate and saw the following folders:

      1. com.microsoft.autoupdate.2
      2. com.microsoft.autoupdate.fba

      I can’t even locate them in the computer
      Are they viruses

  28. 1252 says:

    Thank you, but this information came for me 2 days late.
    I spent some two hours to find this autoupdater and I think it was placed in a different folder as displayed on the printscreen.
    I don’t know why Microsoft do not provide an uninstaller, are they thinking that once installed the user will not swap to iWork or some other free Office?

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