You can run Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook on a Mac (and on your iPad or iPhone). But it’s not a simple case of installing the application you need and starting to type. You need to choose whether to sign up to a subscription or buy the full version outright. You need to decide whether you need just one application or all of them. And, if you are choosing a subscription package, you need to determine what kind of subscription applies.

There are multiple ways in which you can get the Office apps on your Mac. We’ll help you figure out which version of Office for Mac is the right one for you in our complete guide to buying Microsoft Office for Mac.

What is the latest version of Office for Mac?

The latest version of Office for Mac is available via a Microsoft 365 subscription (from £59.99/$69.99 per year or £5.99/$6.99 per month), which updates the software continuously without the need of having to buy the whole program suite. The service, previously called Office 365, rebranded as Microsoft 365 on 21 April, after receiving a whole bunch of updates which you can read about on our sister site Tech Advisor. Despite the name change and upgrades, the prices remain the same.

If you don't want to buy a subscription, the latest version of Office for Mac is Office Home & Student 2019 (£119.99/US$149.99) or Office Home & Business 2019 (£249.99/$249.99). This is the stand-alone option that you would buy outright and only pay for once, but that does limit you from accessing new features Microsoft 365 users would receive. More on the specific differences below.

Microsoft 365 subscribers get updates every month (though organizational subscriptions can choose to upgrade user accounts either semi-annually, every January and July). 

However, both versions will receive security and performance updates. You can find details of the latest version here:

What’s the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 2019?

Office 2019 for Mac was launched in September 2018 as an update to Office 2016 for Mac. However, some of the new features had already been available as part of the then-called Office 365 subscription.

Office 2019 for Mac

With Microsoft 365, customers pay monthly or yearly to always have the most up to date version of the software. There are various packages depending on whether you will be the only person using the software, if you will be sharing the subscription with friends and family, or if you are a small business or a larger enterprise.

Office 365

The subscription system suits some users but others prefer to pay for software outright and know that they will own it for eternity. Hence, Microsoft also offers you to buy the full Office 2019 suite for a one-off payment. That licence will never run out, although Microsoft might eventually stop support for that version.

As far as stand-alone software go, you can either pick up Office Home & Student 2019 (£119.99/US$149.99), or opt for Office Home & Business 2019 (£249.99/$249.99) if you're planning to use the license commercially.

You can also buy the apps individually, but 

There is also a free cloud-based version of Office that you can access online via a web browser. Think of it as a Lite version of the paid versions of the app. You still need to sign up for a Microsoft Account.

Individual Office Apps

If you are working from home and wondering what you need read this: How to work from home with a Mac.

Here’s how Office 2019 compares to Microsoft 365:

Office 2019 (Home & Student or Home & Business)

Microsoft 365 (Family or Personal)

Pay once.

Pay monthly or yearly. Stop paying and you lose the license.

Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

Includes the most up to date version of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

No services included.

Skype and One Drive included. Family: 6TB (1TB for each person); Personal: 1TB. OneDrive Personal Vault security.

Runs on one Mac or one PC

Runs on Mac, PC, iOS & Android

Home & Student: One person; Home & Business: One person.

Personal: One person; Family: Six people.

Includes security updates, but no feature updates.

Microsoft will update the apps with new features.

Install on one Mac.

Install on all your devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac). Depending on your subscription package you may be able to share your subscription with five others.

You get basic versions of the mobile apps that can be used on iPhones and iPads (as long as the iPad is under 10.1in - so iPad mini only).

You get free versions of the mobile apps with extra features that aren’t available in the basic versions.

No online storage.

1TB of cloud storage in OneDrive, to be used by up to 6 users depending on your subscription package.

Installation help.

Ongoing technical help.

Microsoft 365 for Business

There are also Microsoft 365 subscription packages for businesses and enterprises. Each is charged per user/per month and there are lower monthly prices if you sign up for an annual commitment. 

Microsoft 365 Business Basic (formerly Office 365 Business Essentials) is the cheapest option at £3.80/$5 per user per month. It includes only web and mobile versions of the Office apps. Subscribers also get access to OneDrive, Exchange, SharePoint and Teams.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business provides app access only and access to OneDrive. You get the desktop versions as well but not the added services around the software such as Teams or threat protection. It costs £7.90/$8.25 per user per month.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard (formerly Office 365 Business Premium) includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook (plus Access on a PC), along with business email, Microsoft Teams access and cloud storage via OneDrive. This tier costs £9.40/$12.50 per user per month.

Office 365 Business Premium (formerly Microsoft 365 Business) includes everything you get in the Business Standard option plus cyber-threat protection. This is the most expensive at £15.10/$20 per user per month.

Head to Microsoft now to compare its plans for business.

PowerPoint for Mac

How much does Microsoft 365 for Mac cost?

With so many options around, the pricing varies depending on the type of license you want and how you want to pay. We've broken it all down in our table below.

Microsoft 365 prices

Subscription type

Annual cost

Monthly cost

Max number of users

Microsoft 365 Personal

£59.99/year ($69.99/year)

£5.99/month ($6.99/month)

One person

Microsoft 365 Family

£79.99/year ($99.99/year)

£7.99/month ($9.99/month)

Up to six people

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

-

£3.80 per user month

($5 per user per month  for a year)

Per user

Microsoft 365 Apps for business

-

£7.90 per user per month for a year

($8.25 per user per month for a year)

Per user

Office 365 Business Standard

-

£9.40 per user per month for a year

($12.50 per user per month for a year)

Per user

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

 

£15.10 per user per month for a year

($20 per user month for a year)

 

Office 2019 prices

Home and Student

£119.99

Buy from Microsoft

N/A from Apple

One person, one user, one Mac

Home and Business

£249.99

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

Up to six people

Word

£109.99/$139.99 or £5.99/$6.99 per month

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One Mac (or PC)

Excel

£109.99/$139.99 or £5.99/$6.99 per month

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One Mac (or PC)

Powerpoint

£109.99/$139.99 or £5.99/$6.99 per month

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One Mac (or PC)

Outlook

£109.99/$139.99 or £5.99/$6.99 per month

Buy from Microsoft

Buy from Apple

One Mac (or PC)

If you are a PC user there is also Office Professional 2019 for £419, but there is no Mac version of this suite. More information here.

We also have this article about how to get Microsoft Word for free.

Word for Mac

Should I buy Office 365 or Office 2019?

If you subscribe to Microsoft 365 Personal for two years you’d spend £119.98. That’s essentially the same outlay as buying the software outright.

Of course, there are plenty of disadvantages in this scenario too. Office 365 subscribers will benefit from new feature updates throughout those two years, meaning that you will miss out on some great new tools. You may benefit from technical support that you get with a 365 subscription. Perhaps you need to have access to the iOS and Android versions of the software. We have this article about getting Office apps for free on iPad.

Another factor that may sway your decision is that Microsoft will stop mainstream support for Mac versions of Office Home & Student 2019 as well as Home & Business 2019 on 10 October 2023. This means that it will no longer receive security or non-security updates, such as changes to features or design. If that's a concern for you, you might prefer a subscription.

Will my Mac run Microsoft 365 or Office 2019 for Mac?

In terms of system requirements, both Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 will operate on MacOS Catalina, Mojave or High Sierra (Microsoft will always endeavour to support the current and two previous versions of macOS). Mac users will need at least 10GB of disk space. 

If you have Office 2016 on your Mac you won’t be able to use it in tandem with Office 2019.

See all Microsoft Office and Office 2019 system requirements.