Launch Word 2016 with new (blank) document

Opening Word 2016 (part of the Microsoft Office productivity suite) will show you the startup animation. Then, you are presented with a bunch of templates to start with. This can be handy, if you are looking for a good foundation to start a document with.
But this behaviour can also be annoying. Personally, I mostly start a blank document. So in summary: if I open Word 2016, I almost always want a new blank document to open by default. Currently, this takes me an extra click.

To make Word open a new document by default instead of the Start Screen, you should change a toggle in the settings menu. Here are the steps:

  1. Open Word 2016
  2. Go to File > Options
  3. In the General tab, untick Show the Start screen when this application starts

The next time you open Microsoft Office Word on your computer, you will be presented with a new document instead of that start screen that you actually never use.

New document in Word 2016

New document in Word 2016


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37 thoughts on “Launch Word 2016 with new (blank) document

  1. Thank you, Thomas. I was recently updated and the extra click was driving me nucking futz! Your simple solution worked perfectly, and was exactly what I was looking for. Awesome!

  2. Is it possible to disable the feature that automatically opens a new document in Word when I click on the application icon in the Dock? I just want to get back to a particular document, but Word always opens a brand new doc, that I have to close, and then open the document that I want. I hate this feature, and it’s one of the reasons I kept Word 2002 for an insanely long time. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the tip! The same holds true for Excel 2016: File > Options -> General -> untick “Show the Start screen when this application starts” will ensure that Excel opens to a blank spreadsheet rather than the start screen.

  4. Not so much a reply as a question. Just downloaded Office for home (Mac)2016. All suite downloaded ok. Templates in Powerpoint and Excel all launch ok. Word Templates not so good. The blank one and half the others work but the other half just don’t launch. Using Mac OS Sierra on a Macbook Pro mid 2014. 500 MB hardly used any of storage. Very quick. Only get the usual Mac display issues but nothing drastic. Wi-Fi good etc. Any ideas on this Word Template problem please?

  5. Hi Thomas,
    Wondering if you can help me with a problem. When I close a document I’ve been working on in word 2016, a blank document is left on the screen; can you tell me how to prevent it from happening?


  6. Hooray, this was exactly what I was after.

    If anyone’s worried about no longer seeing the list of Recent Files (it can be quite handy for me, after I’ve gormlessly switched the computer off without saving properly!) they’re in File > Open > Recent.


  7. Thomas, would really appreciate your help. I’m on Mac Word (Office 365).

    Everyday, multiple times, I have to create a document in Word that has to have two sections of about six to ten lines each. The first I can start where I need to by customizing the top margin. The second section needs to always be about 4.2 inches from the top. Is there a good way to jump to this second section when I’m done withe the first section without hitting return several times to get there?

  8. Thanks for this tip, you’ve probably saved me thousands of mouse clicks over the years to come ;-)

    One note, I had to open a blank document after opening Word 2016 and before I could go to File > Options.

    Don’t misunderstand, I am sincerely grateful for your tip!

  9. Very useful – BUT is there a way of starting Word 2016 with a specific template? I use textflow.dotm all the time and if that started automatically it would be an excellent tweak.

  10. Thank you Thomas! Not having Word open up with my default template bugs the #$%*! out of me! I have done it before but had forgotten. Thanks for taking the time to make this post!

  11. Thank goodness for you! I was so annoyed with this feature. Waste of my time since I usually just want a blank document. So helpful!!!

  12. Such an easy change to make…for years I have taken used the extra click procedure and always whined about it. Now, no more….THANK YOU…I am glad to have googled the question and am lucky I got here for the answer.

    Wonderful…thank you…no more whining !!!

  13. I recently replaced Word 2013 with 2016 and first thing I noticed were all the templates showing when I just wanted a blank page. Thank goodness I found your website and — voila — just like that it was fixed! You made my day! Thank you for what you do.

    Want to open a new word document
    Cannot find location from where or how to open

    I can open a SAVED document and go file open new document
    But want to avoid this process
    Simply a word icon on desktop to open a new blank document||

    Please guide. Thx

  15. When Word launches with a new, blank document, its size on the screen is quite small. I have to drag the corners and edges to have it the size I want. When I close Word and then start it again, the new, blank document always starts with that small size and I have to enlarge it every time. How can I have the opening blank document start at a larger, almost full size? Thx.

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