Word: Finding your own templates

September 22, 2015

Word 2013 has hidden your own templates fairly well, seemingly trying to force you into using theirs. However, every organization I’ve ever worked for uses its own templates, not the Microsoft ones, so when users in those organizations want to create a new document, they need to choose from the organization’s templates.

You used to be able to click File > New and then My Templates, but that’s gone in Word 2013.

And even if you’ve put your templates into the Templates location on your computer (C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates), you still can’t find them when you click File > New. There are a few things you can do to get them back. First, you have to tell Word to look in that location. Then you have to know how to find your templates when you click New, and I’ll show you two ways to do this.

Tell Word where your templates are

  1. Open Word 2013.
  2. Go to File > Options > Advanced.
  3. Scroll down to the General subsection.
  4. Click File Locations at the end of that subsection.
  5. Workgroup templates is likely empty. Click it, then click Modify.
  6. Navigate to where your templates are stored; typically, C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates
  7. Select that folder, then click OK.
  8. Click OK twice more to close the windows.

Now that you’ve told Word where to find your templates, you need to know how to get to them easily when you click File >New. There are two ways to do this — the Word 2013 way, and the ‘old’ way via a Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) button.

Method 1: Start a new document based on your template (Word 2013 way)

  1. Open Word 2013.
  2. Go to File > New.
  3. Click Shared. (It’s not easy to see!)
  4. Click the template you want to use.

File > New then click Shared to show your own templates

Method 2: Add a button to the QAT

  1. Open Word 2013.
  2. Go to File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar.
  3. Change the selection at the top of the left column to Commands not in the ribbon,
  4. In the panel below that selection option, scroll down to New Document or Template and select it.
  5. Click Add to move it to the right panel and thus onto your QAT.
  6. Optional: Use the up/down arrows to move it where you’d like it to go on the QAT.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Test that it works by clicking this new button on the QAT — the old-style dialog box for choosing a template should open.

Choose New Document or Template from the Commands not in the ribbon options, then click Add


  1. […] 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 […]

  2. Hmm…in my version of 2013 Word, in Word Options, Save, there is a field to put the path to the templates. I see “Personal” not a “Shared” link. Weird.

  3. […] The official newsletter/blog of CyberText Consulting – technical communication specialists « Word: Finding your own templates […]

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