How to disable the office 2013 splash screens

MS Office Suite has always had splash screens. Even the archaic Office 2003 had them, though less appealing and functional compared to what we have in the newer suites.

With the entry of Office 2010 the splash screens got a makeover and they were no longer the functionless graphics that merely signified how slow or fast your computer was.

They got some fancy animations, the close and minimize buttons which I’m just realizing I’ve never used and some loading information. Regardless, I’ve yet to find any practical use for the splash screen and prefer to get right to work by skipping over it along with the new start screen introduced in Office 2013.

Unfortunately, the splash screen cannot be disabled in all Office Programs but just in the three most popular ones: Word, PowerPoint and Excel. This will however work with any version of Office from 2003 and above. Here’s how to disable them.

Disable Office Splash Screen using Switches

The splash screens are disabled by using command line switches which I realize may not be ideal for most users. The switches are:

  • Word: /q
  • PowerPoint: /s
  • Excel: /e (this will also skip creating an empty workbook)

So that means one has to navigate in command line to where the Office programs are installed then add that switch to the executable every time you need to launch a program e.g. for Word 2013 it would be:

How to disable the office 2013 splash screens
Launching Office Programs from CMD

Clearly, that’s not practical for everyday use not unless you prefer using the command line to the graphical user interface. To solve this problem we can simply create shortcuts that have the switches added to the target executable.

Shortcuts + Switches

1. So just go to the location where your Office Suite is installed and create shortcuts (right-click > create shortcut) for the following executables:

  • Word – WINWORD.EXE
  • PowerPoint – POWERPNT.EXE
  • Excel – EXCEL.EXE

The location will depend on the type of Windows (32-bit or 64-bit) you’re running as well as the version and type of MS Office (32-bit or 64-bit):

32-bit Office on 32-bit Windows:

32-bit Office on 64-bit Windows:

64-bit Office on 64-bit Windows:

where OfficeXX is the version of Office:

  • Office11: Office 2003
  • Office12: Office 2007
  • Office14: Office 2010
  • Office15: Office 2013
  • Office16: Office 2016

2. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties. In the Properties window, just add the switch to the target after the quotes and click the Apply button e.g. in Office 2013

How to disable the office 2013 splash screens
Shortcut Properties




3. To finish just copy the shortcuts to where typically you launch your programs from e.g. the Desktop. If you use the Start Menu or a launcher that indexes the Start Menu like Launchy, just copy the shortcuts to this folder (you’ll have to enable display of hidden folders to see it):

Alternatively, you can modify the existing Ms Office shortcuts that are in that folder. They can be in the root of the folder or in specific folders:

Word 2010 and below:

Word 2013 and later:

You may however find some of the shortcuts are not editable as shown below.

How to disable the office 2013 splash screens
Non-editable Shortcut

For such shortcuts, delete them and copy the new modified shortcuts into this folder.