Outlook for Mac – Planned update for injection-based plugins

Updated on May 25th, 2021: We have recently been made aware of certain Data Loss Prevention plugins that do not have add-ins replacements available. This would block core workflows for our customers that use these plugins. Thus, we will no longer block all Injection-based plugins. We have instead, worked with Apple, to only block certain plugins in the next major macOS release (12.x). This version will likely go live sometime in the Fall of 2021. Please continue to migrate to the supported add-ins if you use either Zoom or Webex.

We are reaching out to customers who use injection-based native plugins so that they are informed and can work on a plan to migrate to the Office Web Add-ins available through AppSource, Centralized Deployment, or sideloading.

Why is this happening?

With the release of MacOS Mojave and Catalina, Apple blocked most injection-based plugins from running due to security & stability concerns. With this change, Microsoft and Apple will also block the Zoom & Webex plugins in Outlook for Mac for both Microsoft 365 and Outlook 2019. In order to continue using services like Zoom and Webex, you will need to migrate your users to the supported add-ins from the Microsoft Store.

I use Zoom & Webex, how does this affect me?

In the past, you were able to use injection-based native plugins in Outlook for Mac on any macOS version. With this change, once you update to the next major macOS version, Zoom & Webex injection-based plugins will no longer work. For example, if you use Webex to create online meetings in Outlook for Mac, you will no longer be able to do so with the injection-based native plugin. You will need to download and install the supported add-ins from the Microsoft App Store.

 As an IT administrator, what do I need to do to prepare for this change?

  • Determine if you have these plugins deployed in your tenant.

  • Work with your tenant administrators to help download and deploy the web add-in replacements. These add-ins are already supported today in Outlook for Mac.

  • To get stability improvements, you should also uninstall the injection-based native plugins to ensure that they do not try to interact with Outlook for Mac (see below on tools to help uninstall). 

  • A table of the most-used plugins are listed below:

Add-in

Native Plugin

Office Web Add-in replacement

Cisco Webex

Webex Productivity Tools

Cisco Webex Scheduler

Zoom Meetings

Zoom Plugin for Microsoft Outlook

Zoom add-in for Outlook

Can I uninstall these plugins via device management tools?

Yes! Both Webex & Zoom provide an “uninstall” app that users can run to remove the injection plugin from their devices. So users just need to navigate to the right folder in Finder and double-click to run. 

  • Zoom Plugin - /Applications/ZoomOutlookPlugin/Uninstall

  • WebEx Plugin - /Applications/WebEx Productivity Tools/Uninstall
    Note: You will need administrator access to run these

If you use a device management tool like Jamf, then you can use these script based PKGs that can be deployed, to help with the uninstallation of the plugins:

What are the benefits of Microsoft 365 add-ins?

Microsoft 365 add-ins are designed to be written once and work for all Outlook versions. The Microsoft 365 add-ins are web-based and don't have any code physically installed on the user's device or Outlook app. This brings in some significant advantages for administrators, users, and developers:

  • Reduced possibility of Outlook crashes – Unlike injection-based plugins, web add-ins don't add any code to the Outlook client, significantly reducing the possibility of causing Outlook crashes.

  • Enhanced security – Web add-ins are cloud-based and conform to strict web security and privacy mandates. In comparison, injection-based plugins are not as secure, since they make changes directly to the user registry.

  • Cross-platform support – The same Outlook web add-in and business logic will work across desktop apps (Mac and Windows), the web (includes Outlook.com), and mobile (iOS and Android).

  • Centralized deployment – IT Administrators can deploy web add-ins centrally across the organization.

  • Seamless mobile integration for online meetings – A key distinguishing feature of online meeting add-ins is the seamless meeting creation and joining experience on mobile.

  • Continued investment – While we are ending the support for injection-based plugins, Microsoft will continue to invest in web-based add-ins. Please continue to visit the Microsoft AppSource or your favorite add-in providers as new business add-ins become available.
     

When is this happening?

The new block will go into effect when you upgrade to the next major macOS version (12.x), which will likely be released in the Fall of 2021.

Will these Microsoft 365 add-ins work if I access my mailbox from Exchange Server on premises?

Yes! Both Zoom and Webex support On-premise users.

Need more help?

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

×