Microsoft Project for Mac: How to Run MS Project Files on Your Mac

PM Articles by ProjectManager.com. 

Is There a Microsoft Project for Mac?

You’re probably here because you’re looking for Microsoft Project for Mac. Unfortunately, Microsoft Project, also known as MS Project, wasn’t designed for Mac computers, so it won’t work on any Mac operating system (macOS).

However, while Microsoft Project for Mac doesn’t exist, there are alternatives for those who want to work with Microsoft Project Plan (MPP) files without having to look for complicated workarounds.

If you need to run Microsoft Project on Mac, ProjectManager is the perfect solution. With ProjectManager, you can import MPP files and work on them in a more user-friendly platform: online project management software that works on Windows, macOS and OS X. Empower your teams by eliminating the barrier between Microsoft Project and Mac.

How to Open & Edit Microsoft Project Files on Mac

ProjectManager has a free trial so you can test out its project management features and see if it’s the right software for you and your team. Viewing and editing MS Project files online with your Mac is so simple you won’t even remember Microsoft Project for Mac doesn’t exist. Just follow these steps to get started.

Sign Up for a Free Trial

In order to use ProjectManager and edit MS Project files on your Mac, you must first sign up for a free trial. Visit the pricing page and choose your plan. All plans provide compatibility with Microsoft Project. Once you choose a plan, ProjectManager is free for 30 days with no strings attached!

an image depicting what it looks like to import an MPP file into ProjectManager so it can run on a Mac computeran image depicting what it looks like to import an MPP file into ProjectManager so it can run on a Mac computer

Import MPP Files into ProjectManager

Once you’ve created your account and started your first project, switch to the Gantt chart view. From here, it’s easy to import your Microsoft Project Plan files so that you can manage them on your Mac computer. Below is a step-by-step walkthrough showing you exactly how to edit your MPP files without the necessity of Microsoft Project for Mac.

1. Use the Import Button on the Gantt Chart

Start your MPP file import with one click. Go to the Gantt chart view.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart

2. Select Which MPP File You Want to Import

Follow the prompt on the popup window and select the Microsoft Project file you want to import. After you’ve imported your MPP file, you can view and edit the project on your Mac.

Choose a Microsoft Project file to import into ProjectManager so you can use MS project on your MacChoose a Microsoft Project file to import into ProjectManager so you can use MS project on your Mac

3. Choose Your MPP File Import Options

Pick from the options shown on the new popup menu, such as importing the MPP file to a new or existing project.

4. Import All Data or Just the Task List

Select from the next popup menu whether to import all the data on the MPP file or just the tasks.

Import a Microsoft Project File, choose all data or task list onlyImport a Microsoft Project File, choose all data or task list only

5. Close the Success Prompt

If you see a new window that says “Success,” that means you’ve successfully imported the MPP file.

success prompt from importing an MPP filesuccess prompt from importing an MPP file

6. Bask in the Final Product: You’re Running Microsoft Project Files on Mac!

See the MPP file as it now appears in our project management tool. You can view it in the Gantt chart, as seen below, where dependencies can be linked, milestones set, etc., or use one of the other multiple views.

An MPP file after it's been imported into ProjectManager, as displayed on a MacAn MPP file after it's been imported into ProjectManager, as displayed on a Mac

Open & Edit MPP Files

After you import the MPP file, it opens in the online Gantt chart feature. All of your columns, tasks, resource data, etc., will remain intact and appear on your project plan as they did in MS Project. Plus, the MPP file in ProjectManager is not view-only. You can update the tasks, deadlines and resources online, and you can invite team members to collaborate on the MPP file as well.

You can update the tasks, deadlines and resources online, and you can invite team members to collaborate on the MPP file as well. With a tool like ProjectManager, you and your team won’t need to wait for a version of Microsoft Project for Mac.

Use the Real-Time Dashboard

The data from your imported Microsoft Project file is instantly populated across the charts and graphs of the ProjectManager real-time dashboard, where you can see the project’s progress, team productivity, task status, budget, etc., in real time.

Real-time Dashboard MS Project for MacReal-time Dashboard MS Project for Mac

Create 1-Click Project Reports

Now that your Microsoft Project plan has been imported into ProjectManager, you can take advantage of our easy-to-use yet detailed project reports. We provide different types of project reports including status reports, task management reports, workload reports and more. Use our powerful project management tools to closely examine the progress of your project.

ProjectManager's PPM reports allow you to use Microsoft Project on Mac computersProjectManager's PPM reports allow you to use Microsoft Project on Mac computers

Download & Share

Once you’re done viewing, editing and analyzing your Microsoft Project Plan, seamlessly download your data with one click. All of your updates will be reflected on the MS Project file you download. You can then share this file with your colleagues who are using MS Project, and they’ll be able to see all the changes that you made. Now you can work on the same files without having to run Microsoft Project on Mac.

Related: How to Make a Gantt Chart on Mac

Microsoft Project Overview, Features & Pricing

MS Project is the standard project management software for many project managers, but there are many drawbacks that leave many looking for alternatives.

On top of not offering a version of Microsoft Project for Mac, the expense of the software and its steep learning curve make it an unrealistic solution for many industry professionals.

However, Microsoft Project offers useful project management features that can help you manage projects. Here are some of them.

  • Gantt charts: Gantt charts are an essential component of project management software. Microsoft Project is no exception to this rule, and it offers a Gantt chart view where users can manage tasks and create project timelines.
  • Project calendars: Project calendars allow project managers to plan and schedule projects while helping team members manage their personal tasks.
  • Project reports: Microsoft Project offers a variety of project reports that let you quickly check the status of your projects and share it with stakeholders.

Microsoft Project Pricing

To get the on-premises version of Microsoft Project, you’ll need to pay $679.99 for Project Standard 2021 and $1,129.99 for Project Professional 2021. If you’re interested in other Microsoft Project products, such as Project Online, you can choose between three subscription plans, Project Plan 1, Project Plan 3 and Project Plan 5.

Why You Need an MS Project Alternative for Mac

While there is MS Project Online that gives the software more flexibility than the desktop version, it adds another steep subscription fee for access and doesn’t have the same features. In addition, to use all the features that Microsoft Project online offers you’ll need other Windows apps such as Sharepoint, Microsoft teams Power BI, among others. Of course, all this is moot when you’re working on a Mac, simply because there’s no such thing as Microsoft Project for Mac.

Another problem you might encounter as an Apple user is finding compatibility for the numerous different versions of Microsoft Project. Fortunately, ProjectManager is compatible with every version of Microsoft Project, including:

  • Microsoft Project 2019
  • Microsoft Project 2016 (with Office 365 subscription)
  • Microsoft Project 2013
  • Microsoft Project 2010
  • Microsoft Project 2007

And, since ProjectManager is an online software, it’s always up to date. You never have to worry about buying the latest version because our software team regularly releases updates and improvements that work on Mac and Windows. ProjectManager is also compatible with over 1,000 apps and platforms such as Microsoft Office 365, Onedrive, Google Drive, Slack and Outlook.

Why ProjectManager Is the Best Microsoft Project Alternative for Mac

If you’re not wedded to antiquated software like Microsoft Project, there are many reasons to stop worrying about running Microsoft Project on Mac and change to ProjectManager. First and foremost, at least to your chief financial officer, is the price tag. Because ProjectManager is online and subscription-based, it’s a much less expensive solution to project management. Let’s look at the main features that make ProjectManager a great MS project alternative and one of the best project management software for Mac.

Run Microsoft Project on Mac and Make Gantt Charts with ProjectManagerRun Microsoft Project on Mac and Make Gantt Charts with ProjectManager

Real-Time Data

ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software that provides real-time data. You’re not looking at project progress from yesterday or even an hour ago, but as it happens. You can monitor and track any metric through the real-time dashboard and easy-to-read charts and graphs. Real-time data is critical for effective time tracking, task management and resource management.

Timesheets

Timesheets are also online, which means that team members can update their timesheets anywhere and at any time. Managers receive alerts when the timesheets are ready for approval, so that process is swift and efficient. Given the range of ProjectManager’s features, you’ll be able to ditch other resource management tools and keep all your project management under one roof.

Collaborative Environment

As noted, one of the biggest benefits of using ProjectManager as an alternative to running MS Project on Mac is that it fosters collaboration among team members. They can add files and comment at the task level on the online Gantt chart. Discussions are facilitated either one-on-one or at the group level. Project managers can easily assign tasks and track progress with time tracking and task management features.

Again, whether they’re using a Windows or a Mac OS device, ProjectManager allows your team to seamlessly import and export both MS Project and Excel files without losing any data. With robust project management software like ProjectManager, you won’t have to look for complicated workarounds to run Microsoft Project on Mac.

More Ways to Run Microsoft Project on Mac

A virtual machine (VM) allows you to run Microsoft Project on Mac by emulating a windows operating system. The most commonly used VM solutions for Mac are Parallels Desktop and VirtualBox. They’ll allow you to run MS Project on Mac computers, but there are several drawbacks.

Parallels Desktop

If you choose Parallels Desktop, you’ll need to install the VM on your Mac and pay for several software licenses and subscriptions. You’ll have to pay for Parallels Desktop, the windows operating system, Microsoft Project and all the Windows apps that you might need.

VirtualBox

On the other hand, you can download VirtualBox on your Mac for free, but you still have to pay for the Windows operating system, Microsoft Project and other Windows apps. Its user interface is also more difficult to use than the Parallels Desktop, which requires users to be more tech-savvy.

Read More: Best Microsoft Project Alternatives of 2022 for Project Managers

Why There’s No Microsoft Project for Mac

As we’ve explained, there’s no Microsoft Project for Mac. It just doesn’t run on Mac computers or Apple devices by default, only on Windows. But why would Microsoft want to keep Apple users from running their project management software?

It boils down to the fact that Microsoft wants more people to use Microsoft computers and Windows operating systems. By not creating a version of MS Project for Mac, Microsoft is betting that Apple users will come to the Windows platform in order to use MSP.

This leaves many Mac users to seek a Microsoft Project alternative for Mac since most “Mac people” would never switch to a Windows PC. Tools like ProjectManager give teams the flexibility to work on project plans, regardless of operating systems preference. So sadly, the development of a Microsoft Project for Mac is unlikely.

Microsoft Project for Mac FAQs

Since there’s no Microsoft Project for Mac, many Mac users need to find a way to open their MPP files and collaborate with team members. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to Microsoft Project and Mac.

Does Microsoft Project work on Mac?

No, there’s no Microsoft Project for Mac. However, you can use ProjectManager to get all the project management tools from Microsoft Project without its drawbacks. Get started for free.

Does Project Professional Work on Mac?

No, Project Professional was designed for the Windows operating system, so unfortunately Microsoft Project Professional doesn’t work on Mac.

Can I Use Project Online on Mac?

Yes, Project Online can be used on Mac. However, if you’re looking for Microsoft Project or Project Professional, you won’t get the same features.

Does Apple Offer Project Management Software?

No, Apple doesn’t offer any project management software like Microsoft Project. However, there are software alternatives such as ProjectManager that let you open and edit Microsoft Project files on Mac.

How Can I Open MPP Files on Mac?

There are several apps and software that allow you to open files in a read-only view, known as Microsoft Project viewers. If you want to edit your MPP files but can’t run Microsoft Project on Mac, you can try ProjectManager for a full project management experience.

Related Content

MS Project becomes so much more when it’s used in collaboration with ProjectManager, online project management software for Windows and Mac OS. Once you’ve tried out our software with this free 30-day trial, you’ll ditch MS Project and use ProjectManager full-time. It’s less expensive, more user-friendly and keeps all your project management needs in one place for greater efficiency and productivity. Try it today!

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