When updating Office 2011 for Mac, you are prompted that you must close "Microsoft Database Daemon" and "SyncServicesAgent"

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Symptoms

If you're trying to update your install of Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, you may get the following message:

These applications must be closed before the software can be installed:

Microsoft Database Daemon
SyncServicesAgent

Close these applications and try again"

You can click Install Later or click on Try Again.

Resolution

IMPROVED WITH COMMUNITY FEEDBACK!

The original solution (listed as Solution 2 below) did not work for some folks, and Christophe Trefois suggested an alternative method, which proved effective. Here's his excellent contribution:

Solution 1

  1. Open a terminal window
  2. Enter the following command: launchctl unload Library/LaunchAgents/com.microsoft.LaunchAgent.SyncServicesAgent.plist
  3. Perform updates
  4. Enter this command: launchctl load Library/LaunchAgents/com.microsoft.LaunchAgent.SyncServicesAgent.plist
  5. Close terminal

Solution 2

To close those applications and continue with application update, please follow these steps:

  1. Run Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor)
  2. Scroll down until you find Microsoft Database Daemon in the list of active applications
  3. Click on Microsoft Database Daemon and click on the Quit Process button in the toolbar
  4. Scroll down until you find the SyncServicesAgent
  5. Click on SyncServicesAgent, and click on the Quit Process button in the toolbar

Exit Activity Monitor, and return to the update window - click on Try Again to complete your update process.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Cornelius Parkin

    How do I prevent the services from auto starting again? I cannot believe that Office would force an update which causes this much hassle, with their own services that cannot stop. Really? I have killed them several times.

    1) The solution does not work
    2) I am stuck in a rut
    3) I really feel that MS should resolve this asap, as it is not the first time I struggle like this

  • Avatar
    Alistair Windsor

    1) Navigate to

    /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/

    2) Change the name of SyncServicesAgent to something else (e.g. SyncServicesAgent2).

    3) Use activity monitor or the terminal to kill SyncServicesAgent and, if necessary, Microsoft Database Daemon

    4) Proceed with installation.

    5) Change the name of SyncServicesAgent back.

  • Avatar
    Mary Gijsen

    Hello Alistair,
    Managed to do the update but can't change back to SyncServicesAgent because a new file of that name was create with the update! Do I still need the old one?
    Regards, Mary

  • Avatar
    Alistair Windsor

    Dear Mary,

    Unlikely. I would just trash the old one. The update obviously wanted to update SyncServices anyway. However, if you want to be cautious you can leave the old one with the changed name in place while you see if you have any problems. It won't harm anything.

  • Avatar
    Heather Alpha

    Thanks Alistair Windsor! Your solution worked and I was able to change SyncServicesAgent back to the old name. Glad I came across this because I was really starting to get aggravated with it.

  • Avatar
    Alfonso Azcona

    Great solution I had more than 5 months trying, thanks, Allstair Windsor

  • Avatar
    Christophe Trefois

    Actually, all answers I found are doing it wrong.

    Simply open a terminal window and type

    launchctl unload Library/LaunchAgents/com.microsoft.LaunchAgent.SyncServicesAgent.plist

    Do you updates

    launchctl load Library/LaunchAgents/com.microsoft.LaunchAgent.SyncServicesAgent.plist

    Done

  • Avatar
    Omari Young

    Thanks Christophe. It worked. The others not so much. You da' man.

  • Avatar
    DP

    Christophe, your solution worked...kind of. I got the installation to finish, and now get an incessant error "your Office database index is missing and needs to be rebuilt. This is usually caused by restoring an identity with Time Machine." I click to rebuild, and a rebuilding process runs only to finish with "Your database could not be rebuilt." Any additional thoughts?

  • Avatar
    Ilya Lehrman

    Hi all!

    If you're still having this issue - give this process a go:

    Try this: go to System Preferences, then Users & Groups. Pick your user name, click on Login Items, and remove anything Outlook-related (such as the daemon). Restart, and see if this helps!

    Please post here and let me know your results!!

  • Avatar
    Natalie Nesser

    Hi Ilya,
    Nothing you have suggested helps the issue.

  • Avatar
    Ilya Lehrman

    Hi Natalie!

    I'm sorry to hear that! It may be that there are other issues at play on your computer, which is difficult to determine through a threaded discussion. If you'd like direct support, please create a support request on this site and we'll reach out to you with a remote assistance session.

    thanks!

  • Avatar
    Patrick Mannion

    Christophe - thank you! I am on a deadline and your answer worked instantly. I thank you and my family thanks you:)

  • Avatar
    Judy Johnson Dworschak

    Solution 2 worked for me.

  • Avatar
    Jocelyn Oldham von Klein

    This took me awhile to decipher. #2 didn't work for me and #1 didn't make sense.
    For us non-computer folks, opening "terminal" doesn't mean anything. We don't know what that is: and it looks really scary.
    But I typed TERMINAL into spotlight and figured it out.
    Also, I was unclear that is's the whole line you type into terminal.
    "launchctl unload Library/LaunchAgents/com.microsoft.LaunchAgent.SyncServicesAgent.plist"
    Then I hit enter (not sure if I was supposed to)
    THEN go back to Outlook and try to import your old info from Oulook 2011.
    And not sure if I have to go back and type the other info in after it's loaded, but I guess I'll try it when it's done.
    Good luck to all.
    Why can't things like this be easy and just WORK! ;)

  • Avatar
    WILLIAM PATRICK BAURESS

    Solution 2 has worked in the past on my iMac but not now.
    Fortunately Solution 1 does the trick. Thanks, Christophe!

  • Avatar
    Richard G Scurry

    An easier way is to shut down entirely and then startup again in SafeMode (by holding down the shift key.) Then when you quit "Microsoft Database Daemon" and "SyncServicesAgent", they will stay shut.

  • Avatar
    Carol Worthen

    I realized that I need to click on the correct button for where to install the update. If I click on the right one, then this error message will not appear at all. If I forget, the error message will appear, and then when I try to do any of the above suggestions, it is a hassle, and I can never figure it out. It never works with the activity monitor; as soon as I remove them, they immediately reappear. ;

  • Avatar
    Richard Gronostajski

    Solution 1 worked for the install. Do I ever need to turn it back on again? I don't use Outlook so maybe I can leave it off?

  • Avatar
    Paul Guy

    As a non computer guy, this was about as simple as it gets. Solution 1 worked for me Thanks

  • Avatar
    Steve Webster

    Sadly neither option worked for me. Sync Services Agent just starts up again and changing the name didn't work either. Hard to understand why this keeps on happening. Surely MS can sort it permanently? I don't understand Christophe's suggestion "open a terminal window"???

  • Avatar
    Angela Jones Gunter

    Alistair - I could kiss your feet! THANK YOU!

  • Avatar
    Debra Bacon
    I found that if I exit Outlook (as well as the other microsoft tools, the daemons stop and I can install.
  • Avatar
    Steve Webster
    Lucky you Debra. Nothing works for me!
  • Avatar
    John Brady

    Solution 1 worked for me. many thanks.

  • Avatar
    Steve Webster

    Still doesn't work for me. I am so frustrated with this! I'm tempted to just uninstall Microsoft Office and use another suite of software!

  • Avatar
    Steve Webster

    I googled "terminal window" got the answer I needed, performed the steps in suggestion #1 and it worked!

  • Avatar
    CυrvyGιrlMe

    Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Mickey Maousse

    Thank you Christophe, your solution 1 via Terminal did the trick.

  • Avatar
    Paul Verkruissen

    Overtime MS wants to update Office (which is surprisingly often on a Mac) I come back to this favourite. Works overtime, thanks.

    But I can't believe MS have such a poor system that something like this is necessary to simply update the software! These are reasons why I typically stay away from MS products, but need to use Office for work compatibility.

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