iMac / Outlook / zsh - for macOS Big Sur v11.6

SoxJox

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Dec 22, 2003
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So I've got an issue with my iMac that is preventing me from logging into Outlook (for Mac) running macOS BigSur v11.6.

I received an alert that said the new shell for Catalina macOS and later is "zsh" (old was "bash"), and to run the following command to change it: "chsh -s /bin/zsh"

I ran the command, but no joy in Mudville. I went to the Apple Help Desk and the graphics they include with the troubleshooting steps does not match the Big Sur screens. So confusion reigns in the SJ household.

I can still get to Outlook through webmail, but does anyone have an idea how to be made whole again? Thanks in advance.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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Jul 14, 2005
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I had a similiar problem with Word about a week ago, even though it auto updates - it kept crashing as soon as it was opened. I had to reinstall an earlier version of Word. That's all I got for ya.
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
20,006
Rogers Park
So I've got an issue with my iMac that is preventing me from logging into Outlook (for Mac) running macOS BigSur v11.6.

I received an alert that said the new shell for Catalina macOS and later is "zsh" (old was "bash"), and to run the following command to change it: "chsh -s /bin/zsh"

I ran the command, but no joy in Mudville. I went to the Apple Help Desk and the graphics they include with the troubleshooting steps does not match the Big Sur screens. So confusion reigns in the SJ household.

I can still get to Outlook through webmail, but does anyone have an idea how to be made whole again? Thanks in advance.
While it seems deeply weird to me that Outlook would care at all which UNIX shell you use, and your command changed the shell *to* zsh, not back to bash, a quick google suggested that deleting some old preference files and reinstalling Office should get you back on the road.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/uninstall-office-for-mac-eefa1199-5b58-43af-8a3d-b73dc1a8cae3?ui=en-us&rs=en-us&ad=us
 

SoxJox

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Dec 22, 2003
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Rock > SoxJox < Hard Place
While it seems deeply weird to me that Outlook would care at all which UNIX shell you use, and your command changed the shell *to* zsh, not back to bash, a quick google suggested that deleting some old preference files and reinstalling Office should get you back on the road.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/uninstall-office-for-mac-eefa1199-5b58-43af-8a3d-b73dc1a8cae3?ui=en-us&rs=en-us&ad=us
I agree. There are about 6 or so shells that are accepted, but Apple in all its infinite wisdom seems to be the one "caring" about which shell is compatible.
 

SoxJox

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Dec 22, 2003
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OK, so the latest update is that I have Office 365 for Mac, but the last subscription update I got included Outlook 2016. My subscription runs through early 2023 and it seems I cannot independently update this with a separate download of Outlook 2019 by itself. Thanks Apple. Seems I'll have to download Outlook 2019 separately - at $50 - $80.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
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OK, so the latest update is that I have Office 365 for Mac, but the last subscription update I got included Outlook 2016. My subscription runs through early 2023 and it seems I cannot independently update this with a separate download of Outlook 2019 by itself. Thanks Apple. Seems I'll have to download Outlook 2019 separately - at $50 - $80.
I just installed Office 365 on my Mac and the Outlook version is 16.6. Have you tried doing "check for updates" and then switching your channel to be the preview or beta? Maybe you'll get the newer version this way?
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
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OK, so the latest update is that I have Office 365 for Mac, but the last subscription update I got included Outlook 2016. My subscription runs through early 2023 and it seems I cannot independently update this with a separate download of Outlook 2019 by itself. Thanks Apple. Seems I'll have to download Outlook 2019 separately - at $50 - $80.
Weird. Isn't the whole point of the subscription model that you're always using the most up-to-date version?
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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Jul 14, 2005
18,772
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OK, so the latest update is that I have Office 365 for Mac, but the last subscription update I got included Outlook 2016. My subscription runs through early 2023 and it seems I cannot independently update this with a separate download of Outlook 2019 by itself. Thanks Apple. Seems I'll have to download Outlook 2019 separately - at $50 - $80.
Delete your current version, then go to the Office website and download the version that was working?
 
Last edited:

SoxJox

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Dec 22, 2003
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Rock > SoxJox < Hard Place
Weird. Isn't the whole point of the subscription model that you're always using the most up-to-date version?
You would think so. But it appears they push macOS version updates independently from the applications. But it's odd, because the previous macOS version that I had - Catalina - is incompatible with the bash shell as well.

Delete your current version, then go to the Office website and download the version that was working?
That's the problem...the Outlook version (v16.6) that I had - and still have - was working before. Nothing changed with Outlook. It's the macOS that changed. And the store doesn't just let you download them for free. I think the better bet is to download Outlook 2019,
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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Jul 14, 2005
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You would think so. But it appears they push macOS version updates independently from the applications. But it's odd, because the previous macOS version that I had - Catalina - is incompatible with the bash shell as well.


That's the problem...the Outlook version (v16.6) that I had - and still have - was working before. Nothing changed with Outlook. It's the macOS that changed. And the store doesn't just let you download them for free. I think the better bet is to download Outlook 2019,
FWIW, if you have a 365 subscription, I think you can. Log in then do a search. It may not be the solution to your current problem, but it's good to have the option to use an older version of one of the office programs, incase an update is glitchy.
 

Senator Donut

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Apr 21, 2010
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You would think so. But it appears they push macOS version updates independently from the applications. But it's odd, because the previous macOS version that I had - Catalina - is incompatible with the bash shell as well.

That's the problem...the Outlook version (v16.6) that I had - and still have - was working before. Nothing changed with Outlook. It's the macOS that changed. And the store doesn't just let you download them for free. I think the better bet is to download Outlook 2019,
This seems very odd to me. I don't have much to add, but if you are an Office 365 customer, you do have access to their tech support services if this problem is beyond the scope of SoSH's knowledge.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
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That's the problem...the Outlook version (v16.6) that I had - and still have - was working before. Nothing changed with Outlook. It's the macOS that changed. And the store doesn't just let you download them for free. I think the better bet is to download Outlook 2019,
As far as I can tell, there's no 16.6 version. I think you're running 16.60 which is the latest. See this site for update history:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office-for-mac#release-history-for-office-for-mac
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
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What error are you getting when trying to run Outlook? Is it just Outlook or all Office apps?
Agreed. What is the error that you're seeing and how do you get to that error? I created a VM with Big Sur and had no trouble installing O365 (downloaded from office.com). I added my outlook & gmail accounts without an issue to Outlook.
 

SoxJox

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Dec 22, 2003
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Rock > SoxJox < Hard Place
I click to open Outlook. The login dialogue box appears briefly and then disappears. Then I get an alert that Outlook quit unexpectedly. When I click to report to Apple, this appears, followed by several pages of thread synopses.

50993
 

swiftaw

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Jan 31, 2009
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Its weird that the parent process is zsh, for me it is launchd

Edit: Out of interest, does it run if you use a different user account on the mac?
 

SoxJox

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Dec 22, 2003
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Rock > SoxJox < Hard Place
See, that's one of the curve balls. Up thread there was discussion that the bash shell, which I was was on previously, was not compatible with macOS version Catalina and Big Sur. So I ran the command to switch to zsh. I've since returned to bash, but that did not clear the problem.

I'm the only account on the Mac/ Maybe I can create a new account and try that.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
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See, that's one of the curve balls. Up thread there was discussion that the bash shell, which I was was on previously, was not compatible with macOS version Catalina and Big Sur. So I ran the command to switch to zsh. I've since returned to bash, but that did not clear the problem.

I'm the only account on the Mac/ Maybe I can create a new account and try that.
The crash is a stack buffer overflow. I doubt that it has anything to do with the shell that is fork/exec'ing Outlook. You never answered the question about what email accounts did you add to Outlook.

After you install outlook, it prompts you to add an email account. What did you add? You can dismiss this and just add the account later. At this point, Outlook is working for you. Then you add the email account and it crashes almost immediately the next time you startup the program?
 

SoxJox

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Dec 22, 2003
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Rock > SoxJox < Hard Place
I added my lone account. I also logged out of that account and logged in as a guest. Oddly, my email came through the guest account. I wasn't expecting that. I then returned to my account, and it again crashes.