Problem: You are notified that there is an update to Microsoft Office 2011 for your Mac. You proceed through the steps but get stopped up by one or more programs that will not close. My problem was that the Microsoft Office Installation program could not close two programs. They were hidden as start up applications explained shortly.
Solution: Write down the offending programs. We will go look for them in a rather unlikely place.
Go to the Apple menu (upper left corner) > System Preferences > System Users & Groups. It just so happens that each user can specify some applications that will automatically open when that person logs into the computer. Problem is that some applications load their programs into this auto load when you install them. We are going to see if the programs on your list appear in the automatic start up list. Even if they don’t, you might turn off all start up items until this update installation is complete.
Go to “Login Items” tab (see image above) when selecting “Current User” and see what programs have turned themselves on “automatically when you log in”.
If you see the programs listed, deselect them, turn them off, for automatic start and then reboot your computer. After the restart those programs should not have started and will no longer impede the Office 2011 update.