What is Microsoft AutoUpdate on Mac and how to delete it?

While using your Mac, did you notice the Microsoft AutoUpdate app? Receive occasional pop-up notifications from Microsoft AutoUpdate and wonder what the fuck is that? Or maybe you happened to discover the program in the Activity Monitor that is consuming your Mac’s CPU. That would make you wonder what Microsoft Update is and how to get it off your Mac. But should you do it? This post is going to explain everything about Microsoft AutoUpdate on Mac.

Microsoft AutoUpdate is a harmless app that serves only one purpose: to update all Microsoft-made apps on your Mac. Under certain conditions, it can turn into a pesky eyesore that you want to quickly remove from your Mac. The following sections tell you what Microsoft AutoUpdate does and how to turn it off or delete it from your Mac.

What is Microsoft AutoUpdate?

If you have an app developed by Microsoft (think of: OneNote, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Edge, etc.) installed on your Mac, then you definitely have Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) somewhere on your device.

Microsoft AutoUpdate does one job: to automatically update Microsoft apps on your Mac and to make sure they stay up to date. Have you ever launched a Microsoft app and found that it already has a newly released feature? Microsoft AutoUpdate software did this.

It also installs security and bug fixes. So if that random error you had while using a Microsoft app suddenly goes away after a while, then Microsoft AutoUpdate has likely installed an update (in the background) that fixed the problem.

Why and when should you delete Microsoft AutoUpdate?

While Microsoft AutoUpdate is an app in itself, you won’t find it in your Mac’s Launchpad or Applications folder. So it can get really annoying when you keep getting random notifications about the data you need from a mysterious Microsoft AutoUpdate app.

Sometimes the app will run in the background and use an inconsiderate amount of CPU resources while checking your activity monitor.

Activity monitor for automatic updating from Microsoft

It gets worse. The Microsoft AutoUpdate program remains operational even if you no longer have a Microsoft app installed on your Mac. It’s a little silly, isn’t it?

So you should delete Microsoft AutoUpdate if you don’t have any Microsoft apps and it has become a threat to your Mac’s performance.

How to delete Microsoft AutoUpdate

To completely remove Microsoft AutoUpdate from your Mac, you need to delete both the applications and other related files. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Launch the Finder and type Microsoft Autoupdate in the search bar.

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You should see the Microsoft AutoUpdate program in the search result.

Step 2: Right-click the Microsoft AutoUpdate program and click “Move to Bin”.

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You will be asked to enter your Mac’s password or use Touch ID to authenticate the deletion.

Step 3: Select other files and folders associated with Microsoft AutoUpdate and delete them as well.

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Another way to do this is to launch the Go To Folder tool with the Command + Shift + G shortcut from the desktop. Enter Enter the path in the field provided below and click Go.

/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/

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This will take you to the Microsoft Application Support folder on your Mac. This folder is where the Microsoft AutoUpdate program folder is located.

Open the MAU folder and move the Microsoft AutoUpdate app to the bin.

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To completely remove Microsoft AutoUpdate from your computer, we recommend deleting its files (see step 3 above).

Change the configuration of Microsoft AutoUpdate

If you’d rather not delete Microsoft AutoUpdate, there are other ways to stop the high CPU usage and random pop-up notifications. You can do this by deactivating the app or revoking your notification permission.

Disable Microsoft AutoUpdate

With that in mind, disabling Microsoft AutoUpdate means preventing the app from performing its primary task (i.e. automatically updating other Microsoft apps).

Step 1: Launch the Finder and type Microsoft Autoupdate in the search bar.

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Double-click Microsoft AutoUpdate in the search results to launch the app.

Step 2: Uncheck the “Automatically keep Microsoft apps up to date” check box.

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Step 3: Tap Power Off to continue.

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And that’s it. Microsoft AutoUpdate no longer uses your Mac’s CPU in the background.

Revoke Microsoft AutoUpdate notification access

Of course, you shouldn’t get random pop-ups from Microsoft AutoUpdate anymore when it’s turned off. Even so, you should disable the app’s permission to send notifications to your Mac.

Step 1: Start System Preferences and click Notifications.

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Step 2: Click on “Microsoft Update Assistant” in the left sidebar and deactivate the option “Allow notifications from Microsoft Update Assistant”.

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Delete or not

With this new knowledge, we hope that you now have a better understanding of what Microsoft AutoUpdate is doing on your Mac and when it should be deleted or temporarily disabled. In summary, we recommend deleting the program if you don’t have a Microsoft app installed on your computer. Otherwise, disabling it is a much better option. You can get rid of the app’s excessive CPU usage and curb the incessant pop-up notifications as well. Do you have further questions about Microsoft AutoUpdate? Drop a comment below and we will answer it.

Next Up:

Ever wanted to use your Mac without a keyboard or trackpad? Read the article linked below to learn more about voice control and how you can use it for better navigation and interaction on your Mac.

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