I suddenly can't edit my documents (Mac)

Hey everyone,

I seem to have been locked out or something of my account. I decided to work on a document on my Android when I was out and about, and when I got back home to my laptop, I was told that my account doesn't allow editing on a Mac. I've been using a Mac for years so this doesn't make sense. I can't imagine how creating a document on my phone could have affected my whole account, but it's the only thing I can find that could have changed something. I've tried opening several documents and I've gotten the same message. It's the whole of Office, incl. excel.

There's an option to "Activate" office, but when I log in, it tells me I can view but not edit my documents. Same thing, basically. How was it 'deactivated'? 

If anyone knows why this has happened or has a solution, please help


Hi Céline,

Based on your description,  you cannot edit documents and workbooks and encounter the message "your account doesn't allow editing on a Mac". I would like to suggest you check the following:

1. Ensure you have been assigned the right Office license:
    a. Log in to Office 365 portal (portal.office.com)
    b. Settings> Office 365> Subscriptions
    c. Under Licenses section, make sure you have been assigned the “The latest desktop version of Office”
2. Make sure you are connecting to the Internet.
3. Clear Office credential caches:
    a. Quit Office applications and open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access
    b. Remove the following:
    Microsoft office Identities Cache 2
    Microsoft Office Identities Settings 2

4. Sign in to Office and reactivate it with your account:
    a. Go to the Library folder and open Group Containers. Ctrl+ click each of these folders if present, and Move to Trash.
    b. Restart your mac, open Word 2016 for Mac and sign in with your account.

If the issue persists, please provide detailed steps and related screenshots about how you encounter the issue and the message on your mac, so we can better understand your situation and help you.

If you feel a reply works for you, please kindly vote or mark it as it will be beneficial to other community members reading this thread.

7 people were helped by this reply


Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for marking this as the answer.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this response?

Thanks for your feedback.


Question Info

Last updated October 19, 2020 Views 15,881 Applies to: