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Where (What) Is My Word Startup Folder?

Word gurus often tell people to look in their Word Startup folder or to put a template in their Word Startup folder. That is a folder to hold Add-In (global) templates. These templates will hold resources for other documents such as macros or AutoText but will not be used directly as the basis for new documents.

The default location of your startup folder will depend on your operating system and your version of Word. Here are a few likely candidates


C:\Windows\Profiles\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup


C:\Users\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup


C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup

(The environment variable %appdata% is equivalent to C:\Users\<your login name>\AppData\Roaming, which is a hidden folder in your profile.)

/Users/[username]/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/Startup/Word (Macintosh)

You always can locate the Startup Folder on your computer through Windows Find (Search) or by going through Word to examine your File Location Options or you can use the macro shown at the bottom of this page.

Word will also load templates stored in the OFFICE startup folder as global templates.

Windows Find (Search)

Word Startup Folder

Shown above is a Windows Vista Explorer search dialog using Advanced Search. Note that there are a number of different folders all labeled "Startup." Your system will likely have two. If only two, one will be the Office Startup folder, the other will be your Word Startup folder.  Those in the Word Startup folder will apply only to Word.

You can identify the Word startup folder using Word's File Location Options

These Options are reached in slightly different ways depending on your version of Word. Note that by using these, you can also change not only the location, but the name of your Word startup folder. I know of no good reason to do so and would avoid doing this.

Word 97-2003   --   Word 2007   --   Word 2010-2021 / 365

Word 97-2003

Tools > Options > File Locations (tab)

Word Startup Folder

Word 2007

Office (Pizza) Button Startup Pizza Button Office Button Microsoft Word > Word Options (button) > Advanced > File Locations (button)

Word Startup Folder Options

Word Startup Folder

Word Startup Folder

Word 2010 - 2021 / 365

File (tab) > Options > Advanced > File Locations (button)

Word Startup Folder

Word Startup Folder

Office 2013-19/365 screens look a bit different but the controls and instructions are the same.


This is a guess. Please feel free to correct me.

Word > Preferences > Personal Settings > File Locations

Once you've clicked on the Modify button you can find the actual location.

Once you have the Modify dialog open, go up one level to see the folder that holds the Startup folder. Right-click on the Startup folder to get its properties. One of those properties is the location. This will probably be a longer line than you can read in the properties box. You can select it with your mouse, though, and copy it.

With that address copied into the Clipboard, close and cancel your way out of the Word Options. Do not modify this location without a good reason.

Paste the address into the address box in a Windows Explorer window to get to the Startup folder.

(This method explained to me by Suzanne Barnhill, MVP.)

See also: Location of Templates in Word 2003 and Word 2007

You can identify the Word Startup Folder using the Visual Basic Editor's Immediate Window

Even if you know nothing about macros, you can use the visual basic editor built into Word. Press Alt+F11. An "Immediate Window" should be at the bottom. If it is not, press Alt+G. Then type (or paste):

? Application.StartupPath

and press Enter. Word will tell you the startup path. You can then copy and paste that into your Windows folder address box and it will open the folder.

Startup Folder Microsoft Word help Visual Basic Immediate Window


Macro to show Startup Folder in Word (All versions)

The following macro will show the current startup path in Microsoft Word:

Sub ShowStartUpPath()
' Macro written by Charles Kenyon 2014-02-25
' Shows setting for Startup Folder location in Microsoft Word in a message box.
  MsgBox _
    Prompt:="Your StartUp folder location is " & _
      Application.StartupPath & _
      "." & Chr(13) & Chr(10) & Chr(13) & Chr(10) & ".", _
    Buttons:=vbOKOnly, _
    Title:="Current Startup Folder Setting Information"
End Sub

Macro to open Startup Folder in Word (All Windows versions)

Sub StartUpOpenStartupPath()
' Opens Windows Explorer window for Startup Folder
Shell "explorer " & Application.StartupPath
End Sub

See Installing Macros by Graham Mayor if you need help on what to do with this code. Or, you can download a zip file containing a .doc file that has the macro from my download page.

See this thread on the Word Answers forum for a discussion of registry entries.

See also How to find the Word Startup Folder.

Shortcuts to Templates in the Startup Folder

It is possible to load templates stored outside of the Startup Folder automatically by placing a shortcut (Mac Alias) to the templates in the Startup Folder. Whether or not macros in such templates will be available depends on whether or not the file is a trusted macro source in user's macro security settings.

The Office Startup Folder

This is not the same as the Word Startup Folder but templates placed there can change your Word experience. Templates placed in the Office STARTUP folder will act as Add-Ins for Word and possibly for other Office Applications.

Macros in those templates will be enabled automatically if that folder is set as a Trusted Location. In recent versions of Word, that location is not set as a Trusted Location by default. Keyboard Shortcuts, QAT Modifications, Building Blocks / AutoText and even XML Ribbon Modifications will be loaded and active when Word starts.

This Office Startup Folder will be stored in the same folder as the WinWord.exe file, that is the program files folder.

MVP Dave Rado recommended moving any templates in the Office Startup Folder into the Word Startup Folder. What do Templates and Add-ins store?


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