Word 2013 Quick Tip: How To Disable Read Mode as Default View

Every time when I open a Word attachment from Outlook, it opens in Word in Read Mode, a mode in Word that is basically for reading. Since I never ever need to use this mode in Word, I always switch over to Layout mode right away. Now, it’s gotten to a point where I am getting so annoyed that I want Layout Mode to be my default view mode when I open Word document from another applications like Outlook.

Word - read mode

The reason why it defaults to Reading mode is because the document is opened in Read-only mode. Because it’s an email attachment, Outlook saves a copy of the attachment in the temporary folder first before asking Word to open it with Read-only rights.

To change the default viewing mode in Word 2013, go to File → Options, and in Word Option dialog, un-check option “Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view” under General section and Start up options.

Word Option to disable reading mode

Click OK to save the change. And that’s it.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 04/18/2015

Posted in: Office , Tips & Tricks
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Gary Lee

This would be more useful if it actually worked. After turning off the option box as instructed, my documents still open in Reading View.

Any other suggestions?

And no, I cannot upgrade to Word 2016 without losing Visio, since there is not yet a version Visio 2016. That might help, but is not an option to me at this time.


I have the same problem. Tried this again and again without success (almost a definition of madness). Stuck in awful read and can’t figure a way out.

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