How to bypass the Office 2013 start screen

Microsoft's Office 2013 suite's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs launch with a start screen by default. We'll show you how to bypass it so you can get to the edit screen immediately.

Microsoft Word 2013 Start screen
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Some of the applications in Microsoft's Office 2013 suite launch with a start screen by default. On the left side of the start screen is a list of recent documents and on the right side, a list of templates. It's a useful feature, but if you prefer, you can bypass the start screen and go right to the edit screens of those Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Here's how:

From within the main edit screen, go to File > Options or use the keyboard shortcut, ALT+F, T. Under the General Options tab, go to Startup options and uncheck the box next to "Show the Start screen when this application starts." Perform the same steps for each of the applications in the Office 2013 suite.

Microsoft Word 2013 General options
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

The next time you launch your Office application, you'll get the editor first, rather than the start screen.

Microsoft Word 2013 editor
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

That's it. Remember that you'll need to make the change in each of the Office 2013 applications where you want to disable the start screen.

About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at


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