"There is not enough memory or disk space to complete the operation" error when you start an Office for Mac program

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Article ID: 980616 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you start a Microsoft Office for Mac program, you receive the following error message:
There is not enough memory or disk space to complete the operation.

CAUSE

The most common cause of this error is a corrupted installation of the Microsoft Office for Mac software. However, other causes that are related to operating system configuration must be ruled out first to accurately determine the cause.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

Step 1: Test the program in Safe Boot

"Shift boot" the operating system to prevent any nonessential software that would typically run in the background from starting together with the operating system. For more information about how to restart your computer in the Safe Mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  

2398596   Perform a clean startup (Safe boot) to determine whether background programs are interfering with Office for Mac 

Once in safe mode, test the program. If the issue continues to occur, proceed to next step. 

Step 2: Repair disk permissions

Repair the disk permissions in case incorrect assigned permissions are causing the error. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all programs that are running.
  2. On the Go menu, click Utilities.
  3. Open the Disk utility.
  4. In the navigation pane, select the icon for the hard drive that contains Office for Mac.
  5. Click the First Aid tab.
  6. Click Repair Disk Permissions.
  7. When you are notified that the repair is completed, again click Repair Disk Permissions.
  8. After the repair process is completed again, try to start the program to see whether the error recurs.
If neither of the previous procedures resolved the error, create a new user account to determine whether the problem may be related to user-specific information that Microsoft Office relies on.

Step 3: Create New User account

To create a new user account, follow the steps below. If you are able to start program on a new user account, contact Apple Support to troubleshoot your existing account. If you do not wish to keep your existing account, you can rename your Test account. 

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1. Click the Apple icon then click  System Preferences.
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Open System Preferences
2. Click  Accounts
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Open Accounts
3. Click the Plus sign [ + ] in the lower left corner to open the new account window. Note If you are not the Administrator of the computer, to be able to add an account, click Click the lock to make changes.  Login using your Administrator user name and password and then press OK .
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Open New Account window

4. Enter the word  Test  for the user name and leave the password box blank. Click Create Account. When you receive a warning, click  OK
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Create Test User Account
5. Check Allow user to administer this computer. If this option is already selected, proceed to next step  
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Set Administrator Permissions
6. Click the Apple icon then click Logout out <Account name> of your original account. 
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Log out original account
7. Login with your Test account.  


Step 4: Remove then reinstall Office

The problem might be caused by a corrupted installation of the Microsoft Office software. In that case, the resolution is to remove and reinstall the software. To do this, follow these steps.
Note Make sure that you have your software installation media available so that you can reinstall after the software is removed. Also make sure that if you are using an upgrade copy, you also have the earlier version installation media available.
  1. Quit any programs that are running.
  2. Open the Hard Drive.
  3. Open the Library folder.
  4. Open the Application Support folder.
  5. Locate the Microsoft folder, and move that folder to the Trash.
  6. On the Go menu, click Applications.
  7. Move the Microsoft Office 2008 folder to the Trash.
  8. Make sure that there is nothing in the Trash that you want to keep, and then empty the Trash.
  9. Insert the installation media for Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac.
  10. Follow the steps in the setup assistant.
  11. After the installation is complete, click Applications on the Go menu.
  12. Open the Microsoft Office 2008 folder, and then start Microsoft Word.
  13. On the Help menu, click Check for Updates.
  14. In the Microsoft Autoupdate dialog box, click Check for Updates.
  15. A list of all available updates will be displayed. Click Install.
  16. Follow the instructions to install the updates.
If the problem continues to occur, then remove Office manually. This will completely remove Office from you system.

To manually remove all files for Office for Mac 2008 on your computer, see How to completely remove Office 2008 for Mac.

Properties

Article ID: 980616 - Last Review: February 15, 2012 - Revision: 7.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac
  • Microsoft Office for Mac Standard 2011
  • Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft Excel for Mac 2011
Keywords: 
kbsurveynew kbprb KB980616

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