Disable “Pick up where you left off” in Word

The “Pick up where you left off” is one of the worst features that Microsoft added to Word, because it prevents you from quickly opening and searching the document. With this feature enabled, now you have to wait approx. 3-5 seconds after you open any document and before you can hit Ctrl+F.

Disabling this feature is fairly easy, but — because this is Microsoft — again involves messing up with the Windows Registry, so you need administrator account in order to perform these steps.

The method

Follow these steps (source):

  1. Hit Ctrl+R, type Regedit and hit Enter
  2. Paste HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Word\Reading Locations into location bar
  3. If the above doesn’t work, try changing 16.0 with 13.0 or 15.0 in the “address”, depending on your Word version
  4. Right-click Reading Locations key in the left sidebar / tree pane and select Permissions… from context menu
  5. Select Account Unknown (…) and check a checkbox for Full Control row and Deny column
  6. Repeat the above steps checking the same checkbox for RESTRICTED and SYSTEM users
  7. Check the Advanced button below
  8. Check the Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object checkbox
  9. Click OKYesOK to confirm the entire operation

Here’s a summary image:

You must restart your computer in order for the above changes to make effect, because certain Windows Registry items are read only upon Windows start.

Doesn’t work?

On one of my computers it turned out that the above method simply isn’t working.

For the sake of such situation, I have created another article.

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