Hide Office 2011’s “Microsoft User Data” on Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

by Michael on February 5, 2013 · 2 comments

Have you ever wished you could move the “Microsoft User Data” folder out of your “Documents” folder? It holds a variety of settings associated with Microsoft Office apps and thus doesn’t really seem at home amongst my actual documents.

You used to be able to move this folder to ~/Library/Preferences and go happily on your way, but with Office 2011 this fix no longer works. Rather, you’ll just get a new “User Data” folder when you next launch an Office app.

You could probably move the folder and leave a symlink behind, but that doesn’t really solve the problem as you’ll still have to stare at what amounts to a preferences folder amongst your documents.

(Yes, I know. I’m anal. It’s a curse that I deal with on a daily basis.)

But fear not. I have a solution. Instead of moving it, you can just hide it. To do so, open a terminal window and issue the following command:

sudo chflags hidden /Users/username/Documents/Microsoft\ User\ Data

Be sure to replace “username” with your username, or… Just drag and drop the folder into the terminal window after “hidden” (plus the space) and it will auto-populate the path for you.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Neil July 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

Thanks for the tip!


Seth Walters March 4, 2015 at 4:31 am

I know this is quite old, but I found that if you move the folder to your
~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office\ 2011/
That it doesn’t reappear upon opening or creating new documents.

This is confirmed working on Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.2)
IF you’re familiar with Terminal you can issue this command:
mv -f ~/Documents/Microsoft\ User\ Data ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office\ 2011/

Hope this helps.


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