Slow start Office Mac

Occasional Contributor

My Office applications for Mac (especially Word) bounce approximately 46 times in the dock, before temporarily freezing and then finally presenting a document to work in.

So starting up takes more than 1 minute! When it's finally up and running everything works fine and smoothly, so it's just the start-up that drives me mad.  

Strange enough this is only the case after having shut down the computer or taking the computer out of the slumber-state. If I quit the Office app and then immediately start the app again, starting will only take 2 bounces or less. 

I have already tried several things (re-installing Office, re-installing MacOS, deleting caches, preferences, deleting unused fonts etc) but nothing has helped so far. 

Any other suggestions?

I run Office 2019 on an iMac from 2017 with MacOSX Catalina. No problems with performance or speed of other applications. 

18 Replies

@albert23 If you create a new user account on the Mac and try, does it produce the same result?  I wonder if its something in your iCloud account/keychain that is causing the issue and come back following a reinstall.

@PaulaSillars Thanks for the suggestion! I tried it, but Word did not start significantly faster. And still the issue that the first start-up takes longer than restarting the app directly after quitting it. 

Any other suggestions? 

@albert23 Do you have any firewall or antivirus installed?  


When you did the reinstallation of OSX, did you install Office before installing any other applications?


I wonder if there is something interfering with the startup process of the application?  Though why its significantly slower following a machine start rather than an application quit I'm not sure.  


If you start the machine up, wait say 5 minutes and try to start Office, does it still take ages to start?  



Thank you very much for your suggestions, but no antivirus and no extra firewall except the firewall that MacOS automatically puts up. 

And I did try every possible sequence of installing and re-installing Office and MacOSX with no permanent improvement. 

Also waiting for 5 minutes after starting up the computer does not affect the initial start-up-time of the Office application. 


I too believe that something must be interfering, but I can't figure out what.

I tried removing extra fonts and yesterday I tried configuring OneDrive, thinking that perhaps Office applications by default want to work with OneDrive and are looking for it at start-up. Strange enough having OneDrive active the start-up-time got increased, even after an application quit. 


Any other suggestions? 

@albert23 I'm running out of ideas now.


There are some good tips on this link


I'm hoping someone else will jump in and offer some suggestions for you.  :) 

@PaulaSillars Thanks for the help! :smile:

@albert23 @PaulaSillars 

Hello there :)

I have exactly this same issue and was wondering if you ever found the answer? Any hints, tips, wisdom you have would be hugely appreciated. I've tried many things and, even though I've been spending my time rebuilding and reformatting things that I've uninstalled and reinstalled, there seems to be no improvement.

I'd love to hear if you have any thoughts these few months on.

With many thanks in advance.


Hi McNeelix,

Unfortunately for you (and me) I still haven't found a solution. I also have tried rebuilding, reinstalling, reformatting everything, to no permanent avail. 
My guess it has got something to do with the connection to the library (preferences) and/or with the startup of OneDrive. I do not use OneDrive, but still I think the Office-programs are reconnecting to OneDrive every time you start an application (or every time an application gets out of a freeze). 
The only solution I have found is patience (or at least anger control). 
Good luck,


For what it's worth, I've been working on fixing this exact issue as well for about 6 months. Today I was relentless though. I had uninstalled it at least a dozen times, but never like this. I found this article, and I followed the section titled "Uninstall Office 365 (2016) on Mac:" and golly, it worked after a reboot! 



I had this same problem for over a year (since I installed MS Office for Mac). The problem turned out to be an intrusive program I had been using called CleanApp by Synium Software. It is a software removal app for Mac that does a pretty through job. Although the program does what its supposed to do, it must scan each program that opens. Its somewhat of a pain to delete as well. Not just a simple drag to the trash. I had done many web searches for a fix to this launch problem, because its really bad with Office. None worked.

If you have this software or a similar app remover program, try deleting it. All my apps, especially large ones like Office, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc, open like I just got a new computer.

@versadave....but did you re-install it, too (or did you just ditch MS Word in favor of some other app)? :)

@albert23 did you ever find a solution? I'm having the exact same problem, mostly with Outlook and Word. Both can take anything up to 2-20 minutes to start if the mac has been shutdown!!!! Once running they are fine. If I quit the apps and restart without shutting down my mac, they start within seconds. Can anybody help?

I'm signed into to two 365 accounts - my main account is my personal, but I'm also signed in with my work account for OneDrive, Teams and Outlook. It must be something to do with the sign in. My mac is high spec and everything else runs great, even resource intensive programs such as Adobe run great. It's sooooo annoying and I often just leave the mac running without shutting down.

I've completely removed Microsoft apps and re-installed loads of times. It's usually runs a little quicker after doing this, but over time, starting Microsoft apps gets progressively slower so I need remove and re-install again. Any advice would be hugely appreciated!
@nic222 I did find a solution, but that solution was to change my hard drive to a SSD drive. Since then all Office products run very fast. Apparently the programs were not designed for use with an old-fashioned hard drive...

@albert231370 thanks for your reply.


I have a 1TB fusion drive. I’m running the latest version of Office and my Mac is running Big Sur 11.5.2. (which is the latest version). My Mac is just over a year old - 3.2 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7, 16 GB ram. I thought the spec would be ample to handle office!

@nic222 Hm, yes, one would think that should do the trick... I didn't have a Fusion drive, but an old-fashioned hard drive, so the upgrade was defendable. Anyway, for me the upgrade to SSD was the only thing that was helpful. 

I'm fairly new to Macs and couldn't believe how long Word took to open compared to my PC. I took someone's advice and downloaded the Microsoft Apps from the App Store for all six Office programmes. But I didn't know whether they over-road the original 365 downloads or were something else. So I went into Word via Finder (under Apps). Problem solved! Word opened in less than a minute. I haven't had a chance to see whether it is now faster using the dock icon. I discovered that HP Smart Scan opens faster using Finder too. Maybe someone with technical knowledge can explain this. I'm just happy to have it improved. That bouncing icon in the dock was infuriating!

Hi see my screenshot & Make sure you also have the same things checked in the settings 


This has improved my document opening time from 20 seconds to 2 seconds. 



Click on the Word (Menu) -> Click Preference -> Go to General & Remove the settings checkboxes that will slow you office document openeing. 



@bg15407 Could you please note the screenshot / send it again?  I don't see it showing up on your reply.  Would be good to see what you've checked in your settings : )


Thanks for your information earlier this year!


Take care.