Word: Get rid of the Start screen and open with a blank document

September 18, 2015

Ah, the joys of discovering new things in a new version of a program you’ve used for years. I’m talking about you, Word 2013 (and later, including Word in Office 365). You are frustrating the hell out of me, wanting to save everything I do to the cloud (no, I don’t want to save to Skydrive etc., and I’ll address this in a later blog post), changing the design yet again, and not opening with a blank document ready for me to start working.

Sure, occasional users of Word might want to choose from your fancy wancy templates (many of which require an always-on internet connection to download) on your new Start screen, but power users and those who use Word every day already use their own templates and just want to get to work. (I’ll address how to find your own templates in a later post, ‘cos they’ve really hidden them in Word 2013 [and later]).

This post is on hiding the Start screen in Word 2013 and later versions (including Office 365) so that when you open Word, you get a blank document, ready to start working. Just like you’ve always done in previous versions of Word.

  1. Open Word 2013 (or later).
  2. Go to File > Options.
  3. Select General on the left side of the Options window (it’s probably already selected).
  4. Go to the bottom of the window and clear the Show start screen when this application starts check box.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close Word.
  7. Reopen Word — it should now start with a blank document.

This is a one-off change; you should only need to use it again if you reinstall Word or change computers.

NOTE: You can do the same with your other Office programs to get rid of their Start screens too.


  1. Call me a dinosaur but I have survived quite calmly until my imminent retirement using Office 2003, although I have used Office 2007 and 2010 on-site at client offices quite a lot.

    It has been well worth not giving any more money to Microsoft to avoid their so-called upgrades and carry on with almost the same set-up, despite changing machines and operating systems a few times.

    Interesting to read as ever – so thanks.

  2. Thank you! I found that one of the most frustrating things about Word 2013. Now, it’s gone. :)

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