How to remove the Welcome to your new Office screen using Group Policies

Hey guys! Today we are going to show you a little bit about MS Office 2013 and Group Policies. We have been deploying MS Office 2013 to some clients and a lot of them have been complaining about this. As soon as you first start Excel, Word or Power Point application, you get this little annoying “Welcome to your new Office” screen. A lot of people do not want to see it, so we have a simple solution.

There is a Group Policy that you could create within your domain controller, but the problem is you have to get the templates. So, we should close this up and go to the Microsoft website to download Office 2013 Administrative Templates files, which is ADMX or ADML. It will help you to customize your Office and this is awesome. Download it from the link below:

Download it, extract that stuff from .zip file and select the version you need (x86 or x64).

office 2013 version

We are going to deploy it for 64-bit machine. So, from here you should go inside ADMX folder and have to copy (CTRL + C) all .admx files.

office 2013 copy files

Now you have to right click on the Start menu and go to Run.

Type %systemroot%PolicyDefinitions and it is going to take you to catalogue, where the other .admx files are at.

run policy definitions

Just press CTRL + V to copy all the new files in this directory.

The next thing you need to do is drop in your .adml files. So, go to the en-US folder and copy all the files in the same folder in PolicyDefinitions.

adml copy policydefinitions

Now let’s create our first GPO. The whole process we are doing is just for eliminating that welcome screen, but you could do much more with these templates.

So, we are going to open up Group Policy Manager. Now double click on Forest to expand it. Go to Domains and right here we are going to create our first GPO. Just right click on domain and click on “Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here”. Let’s call it “Disable Office 2013 Welcome Screen” and press Ok.

create GPO domain

Once it is created, click on it and it is going to open up the Group Policy Manager Editor for a computer configuration as well as a user configuration, because that is what we want. Double click on this and because the welcome screen is based on a user profile, we need to do everything inside the user configuration note.

user configuration policy

Let’s go inside User Configuration -> Policies – > Administrative Templates -> Microsoft Office 2013 -> First Run.

Right here we have a couple of policies. We can disable first run movie or we can disable Office first run on application boot. We have to disable the second one, so double click on it and enable the policy.

office 2013 first run

office 2013 enable first run

Once you enable this policy, you will not see the welcome screen anymore. That is what we wanted.

But again guys, it is only a small part of customizing. You can do whatever you want using GPO.

If you have any questions, you are free to leave comments in the section below.

I enjoy technology and developing websites. Since 2012 I'm running a few of my own websites, and share useful content on gadgets, PC administration and website promotion.
Cyril Kardashevsky

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