Opening MS Word 12 for Mac only ever opens "setup assistant" then AutoUpdate, refuses to go further. Why?

johngerity used Ask the Experts™
I'm a big PC support person, total mac n00b. I'm starting it from the icon bar or bouncy bar or whatever that's called, as well as double-clicking documents. I get the "Setup Assistant" asking me whether I want to participate in Customer Experience Improvement Program. I say no (is this a "wrong answer" ?). Then I click Continue at the bottom (go back being the only other choice other than the 3 upper-right buttons X,-,+). Then I have 2 big buttons for Learn More and Register, with Go Back and Finish at the bottom. I click on Finish.

If I click on FINISH, it opens up Auto Updater. If there are updates, they are downloaded and installed. If there are none it says so. Either way, there is nothing after AutoUpdate. Word simply does not run.

Now i know what you're thinking, this is Microsoft's sly sneaky way of gently guiding the user to registering the program and/or activating it. OK so going with that perception, I click on REGISTER. All that happens after that is I get a webpage. I haven't tried filling it out, and since I haven't gotten permission to do so on the computer in question, I'm simply not going to go that route. And frankly, after nearly TWENTY YEARS OF SUPPORTING PCs I would be very VERY surprised if Microsoft was being so passive-agressive just in this particular version of Office and not 97, 2000, 2002, 2003, or 2007.

I'm hoping someone here has actually heard if this issue, but I'm welcome to educated guesses.

thanks guyz
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Are you sure it's Microsoft Office 12 and not Office 2008?

Anyways delete the following files:

• ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 Settings.plist
• /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist

Try opening Word again (you will be asked to enter in a serial key)

You don't have to register with Microsoft to activate. I'm assuming the updates (probably SP1) screwed over the install. If this doesn't work simply uninstall Office and try reinstalling.


Wow thanks. Only thing is I doubt the user has the key. Is there a way to get it ala Belarc or something before uninstalling?
Also for Office 2008 the serial info is held within only 2 files! Copy those 2 files after office is installed on both machines and your golden! The two files are….

Mac HD > Users > Your UserID > Library > Preferences > Microsoft > Office 2008 > Microsoft Office 2008 Settings.plist

Mac HD > Applications > Microsoft Office 2008 > Office > OfficePID.plist

To be on the safe side I would make a backup copy of that office 2008 folder located in the applications folder and put a copy on a flash drive or even on the desktop

This happens when the serial number used to install Office in the beginning was deemed as pirated by Microsoft. If this is the cade then reinstalling Office will work but only until installing some updates that will block it again.


When I had a chance to re-address this issue, the decision had been made to use Google Docs instead. Eh. Anyway the info is highly useful and going in my bag-o-tricks for the future. Thanks!

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