Always Starting with a Blank Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2021)

17

When Steven opens Word, he sees a number of choices for either creating a blank document or using various templates as a basis for a new document. He always chooses to create a blank document. He wonders of there is a way to skip this opening palette of choices and simply go to a blank document from the get-go.

The behavior that Steven describes is specific to both Word 2013 and Word 2016. Microsoft calls this new "feature" the Start screen, and you can fortunately control whether it is displayed or not.

  1. Display the File tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Options button. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  3. At the left side of the dialog box, make sure General is selected. (It should be selected by default.)
  4. Scroll down, if necessary, until you see the Start Up Options section. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The General options of the Word Options dialog box.

  6. Clear the Show Start Screen when this Application Starts check box.
  7. Click on OK.

Now, the next time you start Word, you won't be shown the Start screen. Instead, you'll see a blank document, the same as in earlier versions of Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8433) applies to Microsoft Word 2013 and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is 1 + 3?

2022-01-28 13:10:37

Alex

Perfect. Had to live with this annoying startup screen after reinstalling the Word, now it's gone - thanks! Somehow this box "Show startup screen" doesn't stand out, I didn't see it.


2021-11-30 00:13:33

GrIn

How can I get Word 2016 to display all available templates when it is opened? The hint above enables control of whether a blank screen option is shown - sometimes I 'd like to be able to select a suitable template!


2021-11-11 17:52:00

dffd

Thank You so much


2021-08-20 04:18:12

Dovir

Thank you very much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


2021-04-14 10:59:14

Nugg91

Great answer for en entirely different question. Question is how to start with a blank document, blank with no text boxes and no template options. Yes skipping the 'start screen' rids us of unwanted options but still begins with a poluted template not a blank page.
So how to get a blank page please?


2020-12-18 08:25:07

Linda

All these years later and I finally decided to search for a way to do this. Thank you.


2020-07-01 17:23:42

Duane

Thank you.


2019-03-12 10:45:25

DSW

This was really really helpful. Thank you.

@Lucas: Thanks. Why would they hide it in such a silly place in the Mac version? So weird.


2019-02-27 15:30:26

Larry Schwartz

This also works in Excel .


2019-02-25 23:45:52

NWB

Great suggestions if your objective is to open a blank document when you open or switch to Word. What I would prefer is to switch to Word (from any other application) and NOT have Word open anything. Then I don't have that interruption when I want to do something else. Any ideas are appreciated.


2019-02-19 10:37:05

sss

Thank you this was very helpful.


2018-11-09 04:06:56

deku

For me better tip is open Word without any document:
Create shortcut like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\WINWORD.EXE" /n

Regards


2017-01-06 15:31:47

MelissaS

Thank you! Never thought about it, but it is annoying! Same steps work for Excel, etc.


2017-01-03 21:04:09

Glenda Mattes

I have MS Word 2013. I do not get the option to "Show start screen when this application starts." What is wrong?


2017-01-03 12:59:37

Peter Buxton

Thanks Allen.
That removes all the never-used featured templates on startup, and means I start with my preferred formatting and a usable Style Gallery. What I would like though is that when I click File>New, Word defaults to the PERSONAL tab rather than FEATURED.
Can this be done?
Thanks.


2017-01-02 08:49:21

Lucas Hutton

I'd like to add a paragraph for people (like me) who use Word for Mac. In Word 2016 for Mac, click Word on the toolbar, then Preferences ... . Then, in Word Preferences —> Authoring and Proofing Tools, click General. In Settings, uncheck the box for "Show Word Document Gallery when opening Word."


2016-12-31 08:25:09

Hal

Thank you thank you thank you!


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