Archive for the ‘Office 2016’ Category

Suppressing Microsoft AutoUpdate’s Required Data Notice screen

July 23, 2019 12 comments

Suppressing Microsoft AutoUpdate’s Required Data Notice screen

As part of the latest update to Microsoft AutoUpdate app, a new screen has appeared which requires the logged-in user to click on it.

Disable mau required data notice screen

This screen is to notify users that Microsoft AutoUpdate collects diagnostic data for Microsoft and provides basic information on how to opt-out of the data collection. The overall point of the screen is to help Microsoft comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and similar laws.

While this screen is fairly straightforward for an individual to deal with on their own Mac, it may cause challenges for computer labs because those facilities may remove and repopulate user home folders on each login. Since the setting which records that a user has seen the notification is stored in the user’s home folder, in the ~/Library/ file, this may result in the lab’s users seeing this notification multiple times unnecessarily. To address this, Microsoft has made suppressing this screen possible by adding the following key and value to the file

  • Key: AcknowledgedDataCollectionPolicy
  • Value: RequiredDataOnly

This setting can be applied with a script or with a configuration profile. For more details, please see below the jump.

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Office 2016 DefaultsToLocalOpenSave setting change as of Office 2016 15.33.x

April 17, 2017 2 comments

As part of the release of Office 2016 15.33.0, a number of managed preference options have been added and some have changed from what they were before. An example of one that has changed is the DefaultsToLocalOpenSave management setting, which sets the Open and Save options in Office 2016 apps to default to On My Mac instead of Online Locations.

In Microsoft Office 2016 15.32.x and earlier, the  DefaultsToLocalOpenSave setting could only be managed by running a command similar to the one below on the individual user accounts:

/usr/bin/defaults write "/path/to/user/homefolder/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/" DefaultsToLocalOpenSave -bool true

To set this for all accounts on a particular Mac, I had written the following script:

As of Microsoft Office 2016 15.33.x, this setting can now be set at the global level for all users by running the following command with root privileges:

/usr/bin/defaults write /Library/Preferences/ DefaultsToLocalOpenSave -bool true

I’ve posted an updated script for manage this setting to GitHub, available via the link below:

This setting can now also be managed with a profile, so I’ve created a .mobileconfig file and posted it here on Github:

Enabling debug logging for Microsoft AutoUpdate

February 3, 2017 Leave a comment

As part of assisting a colleague with a customer today, I needed to figure out how to enable the debug logging for Microsoft AutoUpdate. For Mac admins with a similar need, please see below the jump for details.

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Entering additional dialpad numbers after connecting to a call when using Skype for Business

January 24, 2017 2 comments

Now that Skype for Business has been released for macOS, I’ve been using it as a soft phone solution rather than using an actual phone in my office. I ran into an issue with a conference call today though which forced me to use my cell phone instead of Skype. For more details, see below the jump.

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Enabling automatic download and installation of Microsoft Office 2016 updates

October 12, 2016 12 comments

As part of releasing Microsoft Office 2016 15.27, Microsoft has also updated Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) to include an interesting new feature: Automatically Download and Install. In MAU 3.8 and later, this feature will automatically download updates for Office 2016 applications and do the following:

  • If an Office application is not running – Automatically install and update the application
  • If an Office application is running – Prompt the customer and give them the option of updating later or restarting the application. If the customer chooses to restart their application, the application will be closed, updated and then re-opened

Pasted image at 2016 09 15 05 09 PM

To enable the automated download and install option, open the Microsoft AutoUpdate application and set the Automatically Download and Install option.

Screen Shot 2016 10 12 at 9 58 42 AM

For more information on this new feature, please see the following link:

What’s New in Microsoft AutoUpdate 3.8

To enable the automated download and install option via the command line for Microsoft AutoUpdate 3.8, the following defaults command can run by the logged-in user:

defaults write HowToCheck AutomaticDownload

Microsoft is planning to move the MAU preferences to /Library/Preferences as part of an upcoming Microsoft AutoUpdate release, so the following defaults command can be run with root privileges to enable the automated download and install option for those future versions of Microsoft AutoUpdate:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/ HowToCheck AutomaticDownload

For those who want to enable the automated download and install option using management profiles, I’ve created a .mobileconfig file and posted it here on Github:

Accessing Sharepoint sites using Microsoft Office 2016

April 29, 2016 4 comments

As part of rolling out Office 2016 for my shop, I noticed that Office 2011’s Microsoft Document Connection application was no longer included with Office. A number of folks in my shop had been using this application to access documents on our Sharepoint servers, so its absence meant I needed to learn how to access Sharepoint sites using Office 2016.

After some research and discussion with colleagues, I was able to figure out how to connect to Sharepoint from within Office 2016 applications. For more details, see below the jump.

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Deploying Word, Excel and PowerPoint templates for Microsoft Office 2016

March 6, 2016 2 comments

In many shops, Mac admins have a requirement to deploy templates for Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint. With Microsoft Office 2011, this is a relatively straightforward process as there is an existing directory for Word, PowerPoint and Excel templates at the location shown below:

/Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/Media/Templates

Template files deployed to this location are available to all users on the Mac.

Screen Shot 2016 03 05 at 9 29 10 PM


In contrast, the necessary support directories for templates are not created by Office 2016 by default, so they are not likely to exist unless templates had previously been installed. The reason for this is that Office 2016 apps are sandboxed and don’t have the ability to write to locations outside the application sandbox unless granted permission. Fortunately, the Office team at Microsoft has documented in the PDF document linked below where templates should be installed:

Installing User Content in Office 2016 for Mac:

When I read the documentation, it showed that the correct place to store template files is at the location shown below:

/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office365/User Content.localized/Templates.localized

Template files deployed to that location are available to all users on the Mac.

Screen Shot 2016 03 05 at 10 12 32 PM


As mentioned previously, the necessary support directories for templates are not created automatically when Office 2016 is installed. To address this, I’ve written a script that will create the needed directory structure. For more information, see below the jump.

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