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I'm using Microsoft Word with Office 365. In order to maintain anonymity, how do I delete my name from the blue title bar at the top right of the Word window, as well as the pink circle next to it that has my initials in the middle of it. Is this possible?

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    You need to remove your name from the Office Account and substitute with an alias if you are allowed to
    – John
    Nov 23, 2019 at 21:20
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    Who do you believe will see your name in the title bar, and how do you think they will see it? Specifically, are you wanting to remove that because you believe that, when you email the document to someone else, they will be able to see your name when they open it? (If so, do you have an experience in which you opened a document that another O365 user sent to you and saw their user information in the same place, complete with a pink circle with their initials in it?)
    – TheHans255
    Nov 24, 2019 at 12:57
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    @theh Perhaps he's recording a screencast that he wants to post to YouTube under a pseudonym? Who cares why he wants to do it?—it's not relevant. Nov 24, 2019 at 15:33
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    @user128216 It does matter, because the question of removing it from their own computer is much different from the question of removing it from someone else's computer. At least one answer to this question interprets it as the latter.
    – TheHans255
    Nov 24, 2019 at 16:35
  • @user128216 if Office doesn't easily provide this functionality, there could be workarounds if we know the use-case. There are e.g. tools which can automatically blur part of your screen in a video cast (for youtube or screen sharing). But if you are afraid of somone sitting besides you in the train and them knowing your name, you could for example use a special foil, which disables people from seeing your screen when sitting besides you...
    – Falco
    Nov 25, 2019 at 11:51

6 Answers 6

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The name in the title bar indicates you are signed in to Office.

According to the article provided below, if this is Office 365, then you’ll have to stay signed in to Office to use the product. That is how the licensing works. Others are reporting that you just need to login once to activate and then can log out. You’re mileage may vary.

If you want to sign out:

In any Office app, go to File > Account (or Office Account in Outlook) > Sign out.

Or, from any internet enabled computer:

  1. From any device, go to your Microsoft account, Installs page and sign in using your Microsoft account, if prompted.
  2. Under Devices, locate the device where you want to sign out of Office.
  3. Select Sign out of Office.

More information can be found here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/sign-out-of-office-5a20dc11-47e9-4b6f-945d-478cb6d92071

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    "If this is Office 365, then you’ll have to stay signed in to Office to use the product". I've tested this with Office 365 Business Premium and signing out doesn't affect activation on Windows or Mac. Perhaps it works differently on the Home version? Nov 23, 2019 at 23:15
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    @MrEthernet I’m referring to the article I linked to. I’m pretty sure Office will deactivate after a period of time. Nov 23, 2019 at 23:49
  • The article you linked to appears to only apply to Office 365 for Home, as per its sub heading "Office 365 for Home". I signed out 6+ months ago from the Office suite on both a Mac and PC and they still allow full editing, show as activated in the admin portal and from within the Account tab of the Office suite itself. They also show my admin email associated with my license, so this appears to be by design rather than a glitch. I wonder why Microsoft decided to make "Sign out" do different things in the different versions. I'll call Office 365 support and ask them why this is so. Nov 24, 2019 at 8:43
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    @MrEthernet I suspect it's because "Office 365 for Home" and "Office 365 for Business" are actually different products which share branding but not implementation. For login, I think Home products use Microsoft Account (formerly Passport and Live ID), whereas Business products use something more like a hosted Active Directory. Meanwhile for licensing, there have always been different processes for businesses to allow bulk buying, unattended installs etc, which were separate from the consumer activation process.
    – IMSoP
    Nov 25, 2019 at 16:51
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Only you will see that; another user opening the document will see his name in that place.
It is not a part of the document, but a part of your installation.

Unless you are talking about sharing or capturing your screen, you don't need to worry about that area.

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If the question is about removing personal information from a Word file, this is how:

  • Open the file in Word
  • In the File menu, click Info
  • Click "Check for Issues" and then "Inspect Document"
  • Select the items you want the tool to check for and especially "Document Properties and Personal Information"
  • Click the Inspect button
  • In the window that opens, click Remove All next to the items you want to remove
  • Save the document with this information removed.
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For Office365 to be activated, it usually requires to be attached to a user who has the right licence, and by entering that user/password once, actually two independent things happen at once - 1) activating the installation with that user (and periodically checking whether the subscription is still active), 2) logging-in that same user to Office and showing the name/initials, as well as allowing to save to remote locations on Onedrive/Sharepoint etc. The trick is to log in to activate the Office but then log out. The activation still will be bound to that account, but the login displayed on the office apps won't. The disadvantage is then that it will perhaps not allow saving files to Onedrive/Sharepoint locations with the ability of Auto-save and simultaneous editation of the same document by multiple people/devices. You can however have the Office activated to another account thant he one who is logged in, so you can log in later with some dummy account without the right O365 licence, and still have the software activated with the former account.

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  • "The trick is to log in to activate Office but then log out". I don't have an Office 365 Home subscription to test this on but this is certainly what happens with Office 365 Business Premium. Nov 24, 2019 at 18:11
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There is a workaround...

1) simply change entry in Registry Editor

CMD >> regedit

2) then navigate to

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Identity\Identities\

3) change key "FriendlyName" to whatever you like

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  • This is the correct answer. That is, if you just want your Office window title bar to stop showing the name. The "pink circle" is still there but will show the initials of the new FriendlyName you just set
    – golimar
    Nov 25, 2020 at 11:32
  • the FriendlyName value gets overwritten with the default one after Office updates
    – golimar
    Nov 27, 2020 at 14:43
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1 Run regedit

Navigate to:
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Identity\Identities
Change string value FriendlyName to: space
Export \identities and save as FriendlyNameSpace.reg

2 Make batch file containing this text:

REG IMPORT C:\Users\NN\Documents\FriendlyNameSpace.bat
Save batch file as FriendlyNameSpace.bat

3 In Task Scheduler make a task that launches FriendlyNameSpace.bat at log on:

This task should contain two identical actions:
start program: C:\Users\NN\Documents\FriendlyNameSpace.bat
start program: C:\Users\NN\Documents\FriendlyNameSpace.bat

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