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How to Change the Startup Folder of MS Word on Windows 11 or 10?

A Comprehensive Guide to Altering MS Word's Startup Folder Location

The Microsoft Word STARTUP folder is the folder Word uses by default to store templates, themes, all data files, and add-ins. When you start Word, the program automatically loads all Word files in the STARTUP folder in. dot. dotx or. By default, it sets the default location of the Startup folder as “C:\Users\user-name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP.” If you want, you can change the Startup folder location.

In this article, we will guide you on changing the Startup Folder of MS Word in Windows 11 or 10.

There are at least three methods for changing the Startup Folder of MS Word in Windows 11 or 10:-

  1. using built-in Settings Panel
  2. using Group Policy
  3. using Windows Registry

How to Change or Modify the MS Word Startup folder using the built-in Settings Panel?

To change or modify the Startup folder of Microsoft Word, do the following steps:-

Step 1. Firstly, open a Microsoft Word document and click the File in the menu.

Step 2. Click Options.

Step 3. When you’re done, the Word Options window will open. Switch to the Advanced tab.

Step 4. Now, scroll down to find the General section and click the File Locations button.

Step 5. On the pop-up “File Locations” window, select the Startup option and click the Modify button.

Step 6. In the opened File Explorer window, select a folder you want to use as Word Startup and click the OK button.

Step 7. Click OK.

Step 8. Click OK.

That’s it.

Now you have successfully changed the Word Startup path. However, you may need to move the data manually.

How to Change or Set the Startup folder of Word using Group Policy?

If you prefer to use Group Policy to apply the changes in the Word Startup folder, you’ll first need to install the Office’s Group Policy template on your computer. After that, you can use this method.

Step 1Open Local Group Policy Editor on your computer.

Step 2. When Local Group Policy Editor opens on your PC, navigate to the following path in the left sidebar:-

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Word 2016 > Word Options > File Locations

Step 3. On the opposite side of the “File Locations” folder, double-click on the Startup policy to configure it.

Step 4. Select the Enabled option.

Step 5. Then, enter the new startup folder path in the empty box beside the “Startup” option.

Step 6. Click the Apply button.

Step 7. Finally, hit the OK button.

That’s it.

How to Change the Word Startup folder using Windows Registry?

To change the Word Startup folder using Registry, do the following steps:-

Step 1Open Registry Editor.

Step 2. Then, navigate to the following path in the left sidebar of Registry Editor:-


Step 3. Now, right-click on the Microsoft folder and select New > Key.

Step 4. Name the newly created key as office.

Step 5. After that, right-click on the office folder and select New > Key. Name it 16.0.

Step 6. Again, right-click the 16.0 folder and select New > Key. Name the newly created key as word.

Step 7. Now, right-click the word folder and select New > Key. Name the newly created key as options.

Step 8. Next, right-click on the free space opposite the options folder. Select New > Expandable String Value and name it as startup-path.

Step 9. Double-click on startup-path and enter the new startup folder path in the Value data field.

Step 10. Then, click the OK button.

Step 11. Finally, reboot your computer to apply the changes.


Customizing the MS Word Startup Folder location in Windows 11 or 10 can enhance your workflow, making data access more streamlined and organized. This guide aids you in achieving this customization with ease and precision. Embrace the flexibility of MS Word and optimize it to your preference.


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