Shostack + Friends Blog


Microsoft Autoupdate hangs Excel 16.47.21032301

Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac has gotten exceptionally aggressive about running. Even if you use launchctl to disable it, you get a pop up roughly every 15 minutes of using an Office program.

That's probably a good thing, overall. There's plenty of evidence that update failures leave folks vulnerable. Note that I'm saying "update failures," rather than "failure to update", because updates fail.

For example, today, I'm being harangued over an Excel update. Trouble is, I've tried to install it, and MAU is failing to install it for reasons that aren't obvious even after I looked at the log files.

If you're having this problem, you can fix it by opening a terminal, and running these commands:

cd $TMPDIR ls -ltd MSau* |head

In one of those directories will be a file Excel_16.47.21031401_to_16.47.21032301_Delta.pkg . Run that. I don't know why the updater is failing, and it's unclear if MAU is sending telemetry back.