09 Aug 2012
As if one Start Screen of Windows 8 was not enough, Microsoft added another Start screen to its latest Office 2013 products. Whenever one launches any of the Office 2013 products, by default he is greeted with a template selection screen where he can choose from many of the available online templates and continue the work.
As far as majority of Office users are concerned, they start with a blank document or open an existing saved one to work on. Template usage, especially when you begin your work, isn’t that common if you ask me. So, the Start screen is no at all necessary for general everyday use.
If you agree, let’s see how we can disable the Start screen on Office 2013 products.
Disable Start Screen for Individual Office 2013 Programs
Step 1: Launch the Office program for which you want to disable the welcome Start screen for. Let’s say you want to disable the Start screen for Word alone. Launch Word 2013 on your computer and choose any of the templates from the Start screen to open the editor window.
Step 2: Click on the File button and then on Option button to open Word Options
Step 3: Under the general options you will have to uncheck the option Show the Start screen when the application starts. Finally save the settings to make the changes permanent.
That’s all, you will now no longer get the Start screen template chooser for the particular Office program. If you want to make the changes for all the Office products, you can change the option individually from each program but using a registry fix can help you do it in one shot. So let’s see how you can get it done.
Disable Start Screen for All Program
Step 1: Open Windows Run box and run the command regedit to open Windows Registry Editor. Make sure you take a backup of registry first in an external drive if you aren’t used to editing the registry. You can’t afford mistakes here.
Step 2: In registry editor traverse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\General and look for the registry keyDisableBootToOfficeStart. If you don’t find the key by default, right-click anywhere on the white space on the right hand side, select New DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it DisableBootToOfficeStart.
Step 3: Double click onDisableBootToOfficeStart key to edit it. Replace the value of the key from 0 to 1 and save the changes. You can now close the registry editor and run any of the Office 2013 products to see if the changes were made.
If everything went right you will no longer get the Start screen on any of them from now on.
Be it tablets or laptops and desktops, I don’t think majority of the people will find Office 2013 Start screen much useful. And, if you have not yet tried Office 2013 on your computer, don’t forget to have a look at the screenshot tour of Office 2013 before you make up your mind to install it.
Last updated on 8 Feb, 2018
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Start Screen is a new feature introduced in Microsoft Office 2013. The start screen is very similar to Windows 8 Start Screen with large tiled interface. The new start screen has been intelligently crafted by Microsoft. The left hand pane lists down the most recently opened documents while the right hand pane displays different formats and templates of the document which are available for creating a new document. This goes on for every application in Microsoft Office 2013.
Like Windows 8 Start Screen, Office 2013 Start Screen has also received a mixed response. Some people like it while others want the old layout because they are comfortable with the old one for years. For those who do not want the new start screen, here are several ways to disable the start screen in Microsoft Office 2013.
Disable Start Screen using Office Customization Tool (OCT)
Microsoft Office Customization Tool (OCT) is a great tool for customizing every aspect of Office through the Group Policy Editor. This is basically a collection of group policy templates which can be installed in order to customize the installation of Office through Group Policy.
1. Download Office Customization Tool. Run it and it will extract all the files to the specified folder.
2. Go to the folder ADMX and copy all the files with the extension ADMX to the following folder: C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions
3. In the ADMX folder, you will have folders named against each language of Office 2013. You should go to the folder of language of Office 2013 currently installed and copy all the ADML files to the same folder in C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions. For example, I have the en-US installation of Office 2013, so I copied all the ADML files inside the en-US folder to C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US.
4. Now open the group policy editor by going to “Run -> gpedit.msc”
5. Go to “User Configuration -> Administrative Templates”. You can see that all the apps of Office 2013 are listed here. These were previously not present.
6. You can expand any Microsoft Office application and go to its “Miscellaneous” sub-folder.
8. There will be three options in the next window. “Not Configured” is the default one which means that the app behavior will be the default which the vendor has set while shipping. Enabled actually means that this rule will be enabled. The rule is to disable the Start screen of that specific Office app. Disabled means that the Office app will start with the Start screen even if it is manually disabled from somewhere else.
9. This will start Excel directly into the new workbook instead of opening the Start screen.
Disable Start Screen using Windows Registry
The above method is good for disabling the Start screen for individual Office apps. If you want to disable the Start screen for all the Office apps at once, you can use the registry method discussed below.
1. Go to “Run (WinKey + R) -> regedit”. This will open the Registry Editor.
2. Go to the following Registry key:
3. In the right hand pane, create a new item named “DisableBootToOfficeStart” (without the quotes) if it doesn’t already exist. It is a DWORD item. Its value should be set to “1” if you want to disable the Start screen of all Office 2013 apps and “0” if you want to enable the Start screen for all apps.
If you want to disable the Start screen of a specific Office app using Registry, you can go to the Options key of that particular Office app. For example, if I do it for Excel, the path will be:
After going to this key, we will need to follow step 3 again.
Other ways to get rid of the Start screen
The techniques discussed above are quite technical and not suitable for a person who just wants to get rid of the Start screen as soon as possible. Here are two earlier ways that you can disable the Start screen without leaving the Office apps.
The magical Escape key
When you start any Office app, you only have to press the Esc key in order to start using the Office app in a traditional way. Pressing the Esc key will take you to a blank document where you can start writing.
Disable the Start screen using the Program Options
You can also disable the Start screen of individual Office apps by opening the program and going to “File menu –> Options –> General” and un-check “Show the Start screen when this application starts”. This will disable the Start screen for that particular program.
For those of you who want to disable the Start screen in Microsoft Office 2013, even though it is pretty good, can use any of the four above mentioned techniques to do so. Personally, I prefer to keep the Start screen enabled and use the Esc key to start working on the blank document whenever I want.
What are your thoughts about the new Office Start screen?