Fix: ‘You do not Have Permission to Open the Application Microsoft Outlook’ on macOS

Many Mac users suffer from the prompt of you do not have permission to open the application “Microsoft Outlook” after updating the macOS of their system or upgrading their office version. This error is not limited to just Outlook, other Office apps are also reported with the same case.

You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application Microsoft Outlook on a Mac

Prior to entering the solutions discussion, here is a brief list of causes we can identify that can be the reason behind the Outlook permission issue:

  • Outdated Outlook Installation: The Outlook application (like other Office applications) is continuously updated and if you missed an Outlook update, it can render your Outlook installation incompatible with the macOS and thus cause the conflict, resulting in the issue at hand.
  • Outdated macOS of Your System: If your Mac is missing an essential OS update, it can conflict with the latest version of Outlook and thus cause the permission issue.
  • Missing User Profile: An Office or macOS update (due to a glitch) can remove your Mac user profile from the Outlook application and thus you are left with no read/ write permission to the Outlook.
  • Corrupt Outlook Installation: The permission issue could be the result of a corrupt Outlook installation and chances are very high if your system has recently suffered a sudden power failure or an update (Office or macOS) was applied to it.

Before moving on with the solutions to enable permissions in Outlook, check if the Outlook can directly be opened from the Applications folder (not from a shortcut or a document/calendar event). Moreover, if you are a part of the beta channel, then check if opting out of the same (the Office apps will reinstall) solves the issue for you.

Update the Outlook/ Office Installation of Your Mac to the Latest Build

An outdated Office installation could cause incompatibility between Outlook or the macOS, resulting in the error Microsoft Outlook permission error. In this case, updating your Mac’s Office installation to the latest build may solve the problem.

  1. Launch another Office application like Word (if possible) and open the Help menu.
  2. Now select Check for Updates and follow the prompts to update the Office Suite. Afterward, check if the issue is resolved.
    Check for Office Updates on Mac
  3. If another application does not open or did not work, open the Mac App Store and head to the Updates tab (in the left pane).
    Open the Updates Tab of the Mac App Store
  4. Now, check if an Outlook (or Office) update is available, if so, update Outlook (or Office), and afterward, check if the Outlook Permissions issue is resolved.
  5. If that did not work or you do not have installed the Office from App Store, launch a web browser and navigate to the following URL:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office-for-mac
    Download the Update Package of the Outlook for Mac
  6. Now download and install the latest Update Package of Outlook (if the issue is only limited to Outlook) to check if the permission issue is resolved.

Update the OS of Your Mac to the Latest Build

If the OS of your Mac is not updated to the latest build, it may fail to catch up with rapidly updated Office apps and become incompatible with itr. In this case, updating the OS of your Mac to the latest build may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the System Preferences of your Mac and open Software Update.
    Open Software Update in the Mac’s Preferences
  2. Now, if an update is available, click on the Update Now (or Upgrade Now, in case of a new version of macOS) and let the process complete.
    Click Update Now in Software Update
  3. Once the OS of the Mac is updated, check if it is clear of the Outlook permission issue.

Add Back the User Profile in Applications

If an Office or macOS update (due to a glitch in the update) has removed the user profile from the Outlook Profile Manager, it may cause the permission issue under discussion. In this case, adding back the user profile to the Outlook application (with the read/write permissions) may solve the problem.

  1. Go to the Applications in System Preferences and right-click on Outlook.
    Open Get Info of Outlook in the Applications Folder
  2. Now select Get Info and in the right bottom of the window, unlock the setting,
  3. Then, in the left bottom of the window, click on Add User (+ sign) and add your user profile (if your profile is missing from the list). If you are not an admin on the system, then you may require an admin user to complete the step.
    Add Your Mac Profile in the Outlook Profile Manager
  4. Now give read and write permission to your user profile and close the window.
  5. Then launch the Outlook application to check if it is clear of the permission issue.

Reinstall the Microsoft Outlook on Your Mac

The Outlook application might become corrupt due to many factors like a sudden power failure and this corrupt Outlook installation may cause the permission issue under discussion. In such a case, reinstalling Microsoft Outlook may solve the problem. Before moving on, we strongly recommend that you back up your Mac (with Time Machine) and Outlook data (just in case…).

Reinstall from the Microsoft Website

  1. Go to the Applications folder of your Mac and drag/drop the Microsoft Outlook to the Trash to uninstall it.
    Drag and Drop Outlook onto the Trash Icon to Uninstall it
  2. Now restart your Mac and upon restart, navigate to the following path in a web browser:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office-for-mac
    Download the Install-Package of the Outlook for Mac.png
  3. Then, in front of Outlook, click on Install Package to download it, and afterward, install the Outlook package to check if the Outlook application is clear of the permission issue.

Reinstall from the Mac’s App Store

Apple has enhanced the security of its OS by requiring the non-App Store apps (including the Microsoft Office app) to be code signed and as these apps are not, then you may have to install the Microsoft Store apps from the Apple Store. Although, some users have reported that they successfully solved the issue by code signing the Microsoft Office apps (by installing Homebrew) or by disabling Mac’s Gatekeeper but we strongly do not recommend that path.

  1. Firstly, uninstall Outlook (as discussed above) and then open the App Store.
  2. Now find and install Outlook.  For Office 365 users, it will be better to install the whole Office suite from the Mac’s App Store.
    Install Microsoft Outlook from the Mac’ App Store
  3. Then launch Outlook and hopefully, it would be clear of the permission issue prompt.

If that did not work, then you may install a previous version of Outlook (till the issue is resolved) or reinstall the macOS to solve Outlook’s permission issue.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: ‘You do not Have Permission to Open the Application Microsoft Outlook’ on macOS

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