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Word 365: Finding your own templates

August 10, 2019

Since Word 2013 (Word for Windows), Microsoft 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 disappeared from Word 2013 onwards.

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 twice 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 (you do this in two places—Save and Trust Center settings)

  1. Open Word 365.
  2. Go to File > Options > Save.
  3. Go to the Default personal templates location, and enter the file path where your templates are stored. NOTE: For some reason, there’s no Browse button, so if you’re using the default location (as above in the intro), just copy that, changing the <your_username> bit to your own name. Alternatively, if the AutoRecover file location field in the same window has the default location of C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\, just copy that and paste it into personal templates location field, changing ‘Word’ in that file path to ‘Templates’.
  4. Go to File > Options > Trust Center.
  5. Click Trust Center Settings.
  6. Go to Trusted Locations.
  7. Click on the row that has Word default locations: User templates as the Description.
  8. Check the path—it should be the same as you entered in Step 3. If it’s empty, click Modify, then click Browse and navigate to and select the folder where your templates are stored (by default: C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates).
  9. Click OK as many times as necessary to close the Options 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 365 way, and the ‘old’ way via a Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) button.

Method 1: Start a new document based on your template (Word 365 way)

  1. Open Word 365.
  2. Go to File > New.
  3. Click Personal.
  4. Click the template you want to use.

Method 2: Add a button to the QAT

  1. Open Word 365.
  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.

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