PSA: Office 2011 will not work on the upcoming macOS High Sierra

Later this month Apple is releasing a free upgrade for their Macintosh operating system, macOS 10.13 High Sierra. This is largely a refinement update, with lots of exciting new technologies under the hood that should help your computer run more reliably and more securely. However, Microsoft is ending support for Office 2011 in October and as such is not updating it for compatibility with High Sierra.

This means that if you do depend on Microsoft Office you should upgrade to Office 2016, which starts at a one-time payment of $149.99 or $6.99/month for their monthly plan before you upgrade to High Sierra. If you subscribe to Office 365 you should be entitled to the latest version. Just visit your account to download it. If you use Microsoft Office only occasionally or if you don’t often collaborate with other Office users now would be a good time to check out some free alternatives.

Please don’t use this as a reason to not upgrade to High Sierra. Next month Microsoft is stopping all development on the older version of Office, which means no more security updates for Office 2011 either.

Update: Since macOS High Sierra has come out many people are reporting that it works fine, but others are reporting that it is a little glitchy sometimes. You can roll the dice if you want to stick with Office 2011 and just go ahead and upgrade, but be prepared to invest in an Office upgrade if it doesn’t work well.

Not sure what version of Microsoft Office you have? They have changed the icons quite distinctively with each release:

Office 2008 icons look like balloon animals. This version hasn’t run reliably on Mac since macOS 10.10 Yosemite.
Microsoft Office 2011 icons look like a ribbon. The last system software this will run well on is the current one, macOS 10.12 Sierra.
Office 2016, the latest version, has icons that look like books. If you have this version you can run it on the upcoming macOS 10.13 High Sierra, as long as you install the latest updates in Word’s Help menu.