I use a lot of temporary workbooks, and when I open existing workbooks, I do it from my desktop or elsewhere. I don't ever want to see Excel's list of Featured or Personal templates that I have-never used and will-never use, and I definitely do not want to Search online for more.

I would like Excel to automatically open a Blank Workbook any time that I:

  • open Excel, or,

  • click FileNew.


I am aware that I can use Ctrl+N but honestly, I never, ever remember, and that only solves half the problem anyhow.

I'm surprised I've never seen a setting for this, but I'm thinking there must be a registry key or other buried settings?

And if not, can I at least delete or at least hide all the templates (that I've never even seen anyone use)...? (The only context commands on right-click are Preview, Create, and Pin.)


  • 1
    Do you want to keep the start window with Blank Workbook template or just want to open Excel without Start Window? How about other Office applications?
    – Lee
    Mar 8, 2018 at 7:36
  • @Lee The answer below did what I needed. The only other Office app I use frequently is Access, which doesn't have the same option, but that's not a big deal since I'm not creating dozens of new DB's per day (like I am with workbooks).
    – ashleedawg
    Mar 10, 2018 at 0:44

1 Answer 1


Disable the Start Screen

Here's how to disable the Start screen so that you go directly to a blank workbook when opening Excel:

  1. Open the program and, click File > Options.

  2. Under Start up options, uncheck the Show the Start screen when this application starts box and close the program.

    enter image description here


Remove Featured Templates

I doubt there's a way to avoid the new design for the New workbook screen. It's an integral part of the application's interface. The CTRL+N shortcut may be your best bet for bypassing it.

However, according to this site you can disable the Featured Templates section with the following Registry value:

Registry Hive    HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Registry Path    software\policies\microsoft\office\16.0\common\general
Value Name       disablehyperlinkstowebtemplates
Value Type       REG_DWORD
Enabled Value    1
Disabled Value   0

disablehyperlinkstowebtemplates=0 (default)      disablehyperlinkstowebtemplates=1

disablehyperlinkstowebtemplates=0 disablehyperlinkstowebtemplates=1

  • Disabling the Start Screen (in Options) solved 80% of the annoyance (Figures that I've been through those options a million times and never noticed that one!). For the other one, I only had as far as HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0 so I added the last 2 keys & the value. It disables the Search for online templates bar and strangely hides some of the templates & changes the formatting on the remaining ones, but that's close enough. (I'll add screenshots to the end of your answer.) Appreciate the help; thanks!
    – ashleedawg
    Mar 10, 2018 at 0:33

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