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Article ID: 2026104 - Last Review: May 31, 2012 - Revision: 24.0

Symptoms

When you try to start Microsoft Excel for Mac, you receive the following error message: 

Microsoft Excel has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. 

Cause

Resolution

To resolve this issue, follow these steps.

Step 1: Quit all programs

You must quit all programs before you continueTo quit an application, select the application on the toolbar (top), and then select Quit. If you cannot quit an application or do not know how, hold down the Command and Option keys, and then press Esc on your keyboard. Select the application in the "Force Quit Application" window, and then select Force Quit. Click Force Quit to quit the application

Note  You cannot quit Finder.

When you are finished, click the red button in the upper-left corner and go to step 2.

Step 2: Remove your Excel preferences

  1. Quit all Microsoft Office for Mac applications.
  2. On the Go menu, click Home.
  3. Open Library. Note The Library folder is hidden in Mac OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.
  4. Open Preferences.
  5. Drag com.microsoft.Excel.plist to the desktop. If you cannot locate the file, Excel is using the default preferences. Go to step 7.
  6. Open Excel, and check whether the problem still occurs. If the problem still occurs, quit Excel, restore the file to its original location, and go to the next step. If the problem is resolved, drag com.microsoft.Excel.plist to the Trash.
  7. Quit all Office for Mac applications.
  8. On the Go menu, click Home.
  9. Open Library. Note The Library folder is hidden in Mac OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.
  10. Open Preferences.
  11. Open Microsoft, and then drag com.microsoft.Excel.prefs.plist to the desktop. If you cannot locate the file, Excel is using the default preferences. Go to step 13.
  12. Open Excel, and check whether the problem still occurs. If the problem still occurs, quit Excel, restore the file to its original location, and go to the next step. If the problem is resolved, drag com.microsoft.Excel,prefs.plist to the Trash.

Step 3: Use the "Repair Disk Permissions" option 

You can use the Repair Disk Permissions option to troubleshoot permissions problems in Mac OS X 10.2 or later versions.  To use the Repair Disk Permissions option, follow these steps:

  1. On the Go menu, click Utilities.
  2. Start the Disk Utility program.
  3. Click the primary hard disk drive for your computer.
  4. Click the First Aid tab.
  5. Click Repair Disk Permissions.

Note The Disk Utility program only repairs software that is installed by Apple. This utility also repairs folders, such as the Applications folder. However, this utility does not repair software that is in your home folder. For more information about the Repair Disk Permissions option, see the following AppleCare article:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=10671

Step 4:  Create and use a new user account

To create a new user account, use the following procedure. If you can save when you use a new user account, contact Apple support to troubleshoot your existing account. If you do not want to keep your existing account, you can rename the "Test" account that you create in the following procedure, and continue to use that account. 

Note You many have to reinstall Office if you log on with a new account.

  1. Click the Apple icon, and then click System Preferences.

    Encountered a problem and needs to close.
  2. Click  Accounts.

    Encountered a problem and needs to close.
  3. Click the plus sign ("+") in the lower-left corner to open the new account window.

    Note If you are not the Administrator of the computer, click Click the lock to make changes. Log on by using your Administrator user name and password, and then click OK.

    Encountered a problem and needs to close.
  4. Type the word Test for the user name, and leave the password box blank. Click Create Account. When you receive a warning, click OK.

    Encountered a problem and needs to close. 
  5. Click to select Allow User to Administer this computer. (If this option is not available, just go to the next step).

    Encountered a problem and needs to close.
  6. Click the Apple icon, and then click Log Out <name>.

    Encountered a problem and needs to close.
  7.  Log on with your Test account

Step 5: Remove and then reinstall Office 

For information about how to remove and then reinstall Office, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

2500821 Manually remove Office 2008 for Mac completely from your computer 

2398768 How to uninstall Office for Mac 2011


APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel for Mac 2011
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal KB2026104
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