Tag Archives: Turn off Start Screen

The New Start Screens

2013 Office applications sport a new color-coded start screen:

  • blue for Word,
  • green for Excel
  • orange for PowerPoint
  • green for Publisher
  • burgundy for Access

They all look and behave the same way as this example for Word. Launching the program displays a list of recent documents. A blank document is the default option or instead you can select a template, search online for templates by clicking the Category links or typing key words in the Search Box.

Click Open Other Documents to search for a document on your computer or in a OneDrive folder. The top right of the screen shows details of the OneDrive account that you are currently logged in to use and you can Switch User or access Account Settings with the drop down arrow next to the login name. This is accessible in the same area in all your Office programs, and inside of each of your files.


Start screens help new users find their way around more easily, and experienced users may like having all of their options in one place at startup but not everyone is doing the Snoopy dance here. Turning off the Start Screen will display a blank document when you open the program (just like the old days)!

How to turn off the Start Screen

Word is open:

  1. Click File tab, then Options at the bottom of the category list on the left
  2. The General tab will display
  3. Scroll down to the Start up options section
  4. Remove the check mark from Show the Start screen when this application starts
  5. Click OK and you are good to go.

Test by closing Word and re-opening. The blank document awaits!

Restore Direct Response to Open and Save As

Several 2013 programs display the Backstage when you open or save a file. If you want to bypass it for direct access to the Open and Save As dialog boxes, you’ll be glad to know you can get that control back also. (This applies to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher).

  1. Back to File tab, Options
  2. Click the Save category at left
  3. Click in the checkbox so that the Backstage does not display
  4. Click OK

Test your Open or Save As commands and you have instant dialog box.

Make this process even faster

Press F12 function key for instant Save As (all Office programs except Publisher)

Use CTRL O for Open (all Windows programs)

If this was helpful to you, please leave a comment!