Recommendations on MS Office uninstaller

I have a wicked old version of MS Office (2011) that I need to uninstall since it’s 32 bit and I’m looking to upgrade to Catalina.
A Google search turned up several apps that claim to do this so I thought I’d check in here with you all for recommendations. It would appear that Office sticks files every which-where in the Library, Preferences, etc. and I just want that stuff gone-gone.

After doing a backup…

This procedure looks pretty thorough. If you have CleanMyMac X (either purchased or through setapp), I would imagine it would do a good job of cleaning up this detritus, and they mention it on their website.

Paul Bowden (known as “pbowden-msft” on GitHub) is a Software Engineer who works on Office for Mac at Microsoft.

He has a tool to do this:

That‘s what I would use.


I never had Office 2011 on my Mac but I ran the Remove2011 terminal-app and it was nice enough to notice and remove Silverlight from my system.

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Microsoft has an uninstall guide for Office that includes the locations of all their files.

I also recommend AppCleaner as a utility that automatically removes the additional ‘cruft’ applications leave on your computer through the various library folders. It super powers the drag to trash action so it’s pretty automatic. I’d assume it would remove Office 2011 unless it does something really invasive its installation.

Office 2011 really does invasive things in its installation.

(FWIW I think newer versions of Office are much better about this, but Office 2011 was much more like a pernicious weed.)

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Sadly, Office 365 continues that fine tradition. I’d also suggest following the uninstall procedure on Microsoft’s website that @bbech posted, because that way you’ll be sure to remove all traces. While I love CleanMyMac X as a clean-up tool, it doesn’t remove everything.

I just ran the CLI tool and even though I had thought I removed Office 2011 I think it was before I had AppCleaner so it removed a bunch of the extra cruft. Glad I got rid of it.

FYI I wasn’t too impressed with AppCleaner. CleanMyMac is okay, but I own and use it mainly for some of its other functions. I still primarily use AppDelete for cleaning even though it hasn’t been updated in years since the death of its developer in 2017.

In 2016 Macsoftwarereview (now defunct) compared the then current versions of CleanMyMac, AppDelete, and iTrash, and iTrash was found to have overall done the best job. If AppDelete stops working for me I’ll probably spend the $9 for iTrash.

May I ask why? Is it because its not purely automatic or did you feel like it didn’t get everything 100%? I delete applications so infrequently that it not being purely automatic isn’t an issue with me.

How do I run this CLI and does it remove the entire Office suite?

Yes, because I found AppDelete to find more related files.

I have that same version on my 2009 iMac.

If you download the file from github you can just run it from the finder.

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Copy / Paste the following lines:

	cd ~/Downloads/

This is one long line (this will download the file to a local file

	curl -sfLS "" >

Now we need to make that file executable:

	chmod 755

And, finally, to run the script


Let me know if you have questions.

Hmm. I just downloaded the .zip, unpacked it, and double-clicked on the file, and it launched itself in Terminal. No commands needed.

Ahh! Well, that’s good, but:

  1. it relies on macOS knowing the proper app to open for a file with no extension

  2. it also relies on the file having the proper file permissions to mark it as executable

Generally I would never assume either of those things would work properly “out of the box” but it makes sense that a tool from a Mac developer at Microsoft would have those details set properly.

FYI here’s an example of AppDelete in action - I’d downloaded the Mac version of Fantastical to try out, then dropped the app icon on AppDelete’s floating Finder window, and then was presented with:

I love AppDelete and had no clue that it was abandoned because the developer died. Out of curiosity, how did he die?