Apple’s MacBook laptops and iMac desktop models use macOS. It comes with free iWork application package as part of the operating system which includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps. However, these apps are no match for the Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. If you have purchased a new MacBook or iMac, one of the first things you will be looking is to install your Microsoft 365 apps. In this article, we will explain various methods to install Office apps in your Mac.
Why to Install Office Apps Instead of Using iWork Apps?
You will face lot of problems when moving from Microsoft world to Apple world.
- Compatibility will be the first problem as Pages documents will not work in Windows Word app. The receivers need to convert .pages documents to .docx before reading.
- Formatting and other options within Apple apps are not user friendly. For example, when you save a document in Mac, it will show the name as “Untitled”, and you need to type the name. However, Word app will automatically take the first line as your document name. These kinds of small things will save lot of time when you prepare lot of documents.
- You will have real headache in pasting and aligning images within Pages documents and Keynote presentations.
- If you are publishing content online, then Microsoft Word is the perfect editor to create your content offline. All you need is to simply copy and paste from Word or you can also directly connect the publishing platforms like WordPress to publish your Word document on your blog seamlessly.
- Finally, Office apps have lot of add-ins to improve your productivity like Editor and you need to work with standalone apps in macOS.
Purchasing Microsoft 365 New License
Whatsoever is the reason, there are two possibilities – you already have Microsoft 365 license and want to install the app, or you want to purchase a new license of Microsoft 365.
The easiest way to purchase Microsoft 365 apps is through your Mac App Store. The subscription is valid for a year, and you will get free updates for all installed Office apps for a year. However, the problem here is that you will be paying to Apple and converting this subscription to Microsoft is not possible. This means you will not be able to renew the subscription from your Microsoft account. Also, this license will not be useful later if you want to switch to Windows computer from Mac.
To avoid confusion, we do not recommend purchasing Microsoft 365 from Mac App Store. Go to Microsoft website and purchase the single or family subscription as you need. It is also possible to upgrade from individual apps like Word 2021 to Microsoft 365 in Mac.
Installing Office Apps in Mac
Whether you have purchased a new license or having an existing license, there are multiple ways to install Microsoft 365 apps in Mac.
1. Install from Mac App Store
Good part is that you can install Microsoft 365 apps from Mac App Store and then login with your account to activate the premium subscription. This is the best option as the apps can be downloaded in few minutes with this method.
- Open App Store and search for “word” or “Microsoft 365”.
- Find and open Microsoft 365 app bundle.
- Click “Get / Install” button to download all the apps one by one in your Mac. In our case, it shows a cloud icon since we already use the apps on another MacBook and install afresh on a new iMac.
- Launch one of the Microsoft 365 apps like Word and you will be prompted to login with your account. Click on “Already have a subscription? Sign in” button.
- Login with your Microsoft account and you will see a success message like below. Click on “Start Using Word” to launch the app and start using with premium subscription features.
It is sufficient to activate one app and when you open other apps, you will see they are automatically using your subscription.
2. Install from Microsoft Account
Next option is to install the package from your Microsoft account. Though this is also easy option, the installer package will be huge in size (2+ GB) and downloading from Microsoft account will take hours. We show here with Personal subscription, you may see a Family subscription if you have purchased that item.
- Open Microsoft website and login with the same account from which you purchased Microsoft 365 subscription.
- Click your account profile name showing on top right corner and select “My Microsoft Account” link.
- This will take you to your personal account page and show all subscription details you purchased from Microsoft.
- Click on “Manage Microsoft 365 Personal” link showing in top next to your profile name.
- On the next page, expand on “Office apps for PC and Mac” section to view the existing devices which use your Microsoft 365 subscription. Microsoft 365 Personal version supports 5 simultaneous logins, and the Family version supports sharing with 5 others. You may need to sign out and remove any device from the list if you have already installed the apps in 5 devices. After that, click on “Install Office” button to see a pop-up.
- It will show that you should have one of the three latest macOS version for installing the apps. Make sure you have the latest macOS or update macOS before trying to install the apps.
- If you are using Safari browser, you will see a prompt asking to confirm allowing download from Microsoft site. Click “Allow” to start downloading the installation package to your Mac.
- Since the installation package is more than 2 GB in size, you may need to wait sometime for the download to complete. Click on the “Show downloads” icon in Safari to view the download progress anytime.
After downloading the package, double click and install the apps.
Migrating Office Apps from One Mac to Other
The above methods deal with fresh installation. However, if you have purchased a new iMac or MacBook, then there are some alternate options to migrate your Microsoft 365 apps.
- Using Time Machine – take a Time Machine backup of your old Mac and then restore the apps in your new Mac.
- Copy and Paste with iCloud – this is a tricky method but works for quick access when you have iCloud account. First, copy the apps from Applications folder and paste them in iCloud drive in your old Mac. After that open iCloud from your new Mac and move the apps to Applications folder. Launch the apps and login with your Microsoft account to start using premium subscription. Though this works to access the apps, you will miss the add-ins like Editor. When you update the app next time, Editor will be reinstalled as it comes as part of the package.
- Migration Assistant – if you are setting up a new Mac, then this is the best option for migrating all your apps with their settings. All you need is to connect both Macs in the same wireless network and use Migration Assistant app to transfer the data.