Note: These instructions assume you are not having technical issues with Office (other than it needing upgrading). If you are having other issues with Office, you may wish to start by completely uninstalling the old version of Office, but for most cases this is not needed.

Step 1: Download and install Office 365

  1. Go to, click on “Install Office”, and choose “Office 365 apps”. This will download a .pkg file (name starts with “Microsoft_Office_16”) in your Downloads folder.
    Choose Office 365 apps to install
  2. When fully downloaded, open the .pkg file (it could take a while).
  3. Follow the instructions clicking on “Continue”, “Agree” and “Install” buttons, where appropriate.
  4. When complete, click on “Move to Trash” to remove the .pkg file.

Step 2: Remove the old licence

Please see how to remove Office license files on a Mac on the Microsoft site.

  1. Download the license removal tool.
  2. Open the licence removal .pkg file from your Mac's Downloads folder.
  3. Follow the instructions clicking on “Continue”, “Agree” and “Install” buttons, where appropriate.
  4. When complete, click on “Move to Trash” to remove the licence removal .pkg file.

Step 3: Activate the email account associated with Office for Mac license

Launch any Office app and sign in to activate with the email account associated with your Office for Mac license.

  1. Launch one of the Microsoft Office apps (e.g., Word).
  2. Use the standard Office 365 authentication where your email account username is in the format of “” based on your WatIAM username. Then click the “Next” button.
    Sign in with your full credentials, including the "" component
  3. Click “Work or school account” if you are given an option.
  4. Type in your WatIAM password at the University of Waterloo branded authentication window. If your account has 2FA enabled you will be prompted to select an option (Send Me a Push, Call Me, or Enter a Passcode).

Step 4: Confirm Outlook email is working

If you use Outlook for email, you may wish to confirm the settings are working. If not, please follow the “Outlook for Mac” instructions on post-migration instructions for Office 365 employee email.

Step 5 (optional): Confirm there are no old versions of Office

While the installer will have replaced recent versions of Office (e.g., Office 2016) it is possible that you have older versions of Office on your Mac.

  1. Open Finder > Applications.
  2. Look for folders titled “Microsoft Office 2011” or “Microsoft Office 2008”.
  3. Ctrl+click the old Office folder (e.g., “Microsoft Office 2011”) and click “Move to Trash”.
    move old copies of Office to the trash
  4. If there are any Office apps on the dock that do not work, go to each one and ctrl+click > Options > Remove from Dock.
  5. Restart your Mac.

Note on completely uninstalling Office 2016 or 2019

Completely uninstalling Office only needs to be done if you are having technical issues (where a clean install may help) or to remove Office from the computer (for licencing reasons). It is usually not needed to do in a normal upgrade to Office 2019. Microsoft has information on how to manually remove Microsoft Office.