How to Uninstall Microsoft Office

As a popular software suite with increasingly-synergizing features, it's not shocking that over a billion people around the world use Microsoft Office. Like everything else, though, this demand comes with competition and the development of alternate products in the marketplace. Users who want to get rid of Word and other Office software in favor of different tools should follow the steps that Microsoft officially recommends for both Windows and macOS (formerly OS X) users.

A minor complication is that Windows users have two types of Office installations: the Click-to-Run (or Microsoft Windows Installer, AKA MSI) version and the Microsoft Store application version. To determine which type you have, open any file in Office, open the File menu and select 'Account' or 'Office Account.' The Product Information's 'About' section here explains if the installation is Click-to-Run. The application store version will include the text 'Microsoft Store.' MSI installations (which use the same removal steps as Click-to-Run) will not have either of these phrases and are missing version and build numbers.

Users with the Microsoft Store application version of Office should type 'applications & features' in the taskbar's search field and scroll down through the list until they find Office. Left-click it and choose Uninstall. Most users should follow this method, but there also is a text command-based uninstall routine. Open either PowerShell (the currently-supported, administration-oriented update for Command Prompt) and enter the following command:

Get-AppxPackage -name “Microsoft.Office.Desktop” | Remove-AppxPackage

Using this method, the uninstall routine may take several minutes before finishing.

Users with an MSI or Click-to-Run installation should open the Control Panel and click 'Uninstall a program' under the Programs section. Scroll through the list, right-click the Office listing and Uninstall as per the last paragraph. Microsoft also provides a dedicated uninstall utility that handles everything for you. Users should be careful about only downloading this file from an official Microsoft link and avoid using third-party sources that may endanger their devices and PCs.

In many ways, macOS users have less to worry about than their Windows counterparts. However, uninstalling Office from a macOS system may require admin privileges. Either sign into the appropriate admin account first or provide the admin credentials when prompted.

Like with many uninstall routines, this process begins with opening Finder and going to its Applications section. Select each Office application (such as Excel, Word, or PowerPoint) and drag them to the Trash. Users can use the Command key and click combination for expediting this process by selecting multiple items at once. Empty the Trash if desired (this step usually is irreversible).

Users also should remove any Office items from the Dock (Options > Remove from Dock).

In macOS, there also are a handful of other files and folders that users may delete. Navigate to the 'Library' folder by inputting '~/Library' in Finder. Then go into 'Group Containers' and delete these items:

Afterward, go back to the Library and navigate to Containers, deleting these items:

These steps should finalize removing all components of Office from the macOS device.