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

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

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


  1. 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.

  2. Sometimes you need to add the folder the file is in to trusted locations. Bear in mind that this can be a security risk since items in that folder will be automatically trusted and macros disabled. However it does fix the read only mode. Which happens because file is open in protected mode.

  3. Did not work. Have tried and re-tried. This is very annoying. Don’t understand why Microsoft would set this as the default. I see this worked for some. Why isn’t it working for all????

  4. THANK YOU. Who the !#$% designs this @!%$?? I don’t want to open every @#$%ing document in giant font, unformatted bizarro mode! Why the @#$% would anyone want that? At least I finally found your instructions. Liberating!!

  5. This didn’t work for me. But if you try opening Documents (in Files) and right click on one of the files a list of options should come up. At the bottom there is a button labeled Properties and click on that. Then another list of options should come up with one that says Read-Only. Untick that and you should be fine. Thanks

  6. Another option:
    Save As another file.

    1. Go to Save As.
    2. When dialogue box opens, select where you want to save it. Look for the Save Button on the lower right. On the left of the Save button, there is a down arrow with Tools next to it. Click on the down arrow.
    3. Select General Options
    4. Uncheck “Read-only recommended”.
    5. Click OK. This will close the General Options window.
    6. Now click Save.

    Thank you.

  7. Office 365, Word read Only Mode
    I was able to create and save new documents from Word but when opening a saved Word file is opened in a View/read only mode, I had the same behaviour for all documents on all locations.

    Tried to repair the office 365 installation, tried to reinstall Office 365 with no result.
    The solution was to change layout, there are three small layout icons in the right bottom in the word window, the first one is Read only layout, the second is Print layout and the last one is Web layout, a click on the Print layout solved this issue.


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