Get rid of “Pick up where you left off” from Word — three methods

Microsoft loves to “enrich” our lives with a wonderful (in their opinion) yet totally useless and pissing off (in our opinions) features. The “Pick up where you left off” is one of them.

This tiny little thing wouldn’t be so irritating and could be easily ignored, if it wouldn’t be for a single fact. It blocks keyboard shortcuts completely, until it hides itself (so for approx. 3-5 seconds)! Preventing you from pressing Ctrl+F to do an ultra-fast-searching-millisecond-after-opening-a-document (my beloved feature).

There’s a fairly easy solution to this problem (my own article) that requires you to do some dirty tricks in the Windows Registry. One and a half month after writing that article it turned out that a method described there simply isn’t working at all on one of my computers. So I came out with the following post.

Method 1: Windows Registry

For the sake of future generations good fortune, here is a link to a my post about the easiest solution.

I encourage you to give it a try before any other below, as this one is the simplest one.

Method 2: Normal.dotm‘s macro

The very same Super User question has another answer to solve this problem (not that I didn’t checked this solution, because second method seemed better for me).

  1. Run Word. Make sure that a blank new document is opened
  2. Go to View → Macros.
  3. Enter AutoOpen into Macro name field and click Create
  4. Paste piece of code that you find below this list and click disk icon to save new macro
  5. Close Visual Basic editor and close macro list.
  6. Click disk icon in the main window to safe modified document.
  7. Change file type in Save as type to Word Macro-Enabled Template (*.dotm)
  8. You should be placed in %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates folder
  9. Save file under Normal1.dotm name
  10. Close all copies of Word and open %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates folder
  11. Delete Normal.dotm file and rename Normal1.dotm back to Normal.dotm
  12. Open any existing document to see if “Pick up where you left off” feature is turned off

If it is still there or if you find the above way too complex then follow to the next step.

Method 3: Word add-in

Christopher Rath from did a wonderful job of creating ViewMgr Word add-in:

  1. Download newest version from his website (version 3.0 available as newest as of writing this)
  2. Unpack .zip file and copy ViewMgr_v3.0.dotm to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP\ folder
  3. Run Word, go to View tab and check, if you see ViewMgr Options button at the end, in the ViewMgr group
  4. Click ViewMgr Options button to see, if configuration window appears
  5. If yes then check the Clear the Welcome Back prompt checkbox in the View tab

(note that Microsoft folder can be hidden and not accessible from %APPDATA%! — 2nd point above)

You’re done.

If ViewMgr Options button is not visible or if clicking it crashes your Word then close all copies of Word (restart your computer, if that doesn’t help) and simply open ViewMgr_v3.0.dotm file as it contains detailed installation instruction and some troubleshooting.

One comment on “Get rid of “Pick up where you left off” from Word — three methods

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for this. The asininity of the Microsoft feature (or ‘anti-feature’) is indeed boggling.

    Method 3 appears to work and surely is preferable to methods 1 and 2.

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