An easier resolution to the issue of “Microsoft [program] cannot be opened because of a problem” error when you start an Office program

microsoft office updater Microsoft provides several methods of fixing this issue, but they missed a rather easy one – Run the latest updater.

I usually don’t use PowerPoint, so the last time I installed Microsoft Office for Mac (2011) I didn’t install PowerPoint. Recently I needed PowerPoint, so I grabbed the Office installer and installed only PowerPoint. When I tried to launch PowerPoint, I got the error “Microsoft PowerPoint cannot be opened because of a problem”

I tried running the Microsoft AutoUpdate app, but it didn’t find any updates. I tried restarting the app a couple more times, and the issue persisted.

Then I searched for the issue, and found a Microsoft support page detailing three possible resolutions. The first two were non-issues and thus didn’t help at all. The third is to uninstall and reinstall Office. But I don’t really want to do that. I would probably lose things like my Lync history, Outlook settings… and I really just didn’t want to go through all that.

The answer? Just download the last Microsoft Office Update and run that. I quit all my Office apps, ran the updater, then launched PowerPoint and it worked. My Outlook settings and filters are all still intact.

Clearly, I did this running OS X (10.9.1 to be exact.) This may work for Windows instances of this error as well, I’m not sure. And I can’t say for sure that this fixes all instances of this error. It fixed it for me.

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