Office 2016 template location – not what you expect!

Hi all,

A short note so that I can remember, and you can find, the template location for Office 2016 on the Mac.  Why do I do this?

It may appear, and certainly Google will agree, that your template location is:

~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/My Templates

BTW, you get Library by holding do the Option key and select Go.  Without the Option key being pressed you will not see it.

However, the correct path is:

~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/User Content/Templates

I thought the UBF8T thing might be different for different people but I have checked several different Mac’s and they have the same one.

So now you have the location where you can place your templates and Office will find them.


  • 3/6/16 – Thanks to Rick I was reminded I had not used the proper slash – should be / rather then \. Corrected.
  • 11/25/15 – Thanks to Ian, you can see below in comments where the stock templates are.  Certainly not where one might expect.  Much appreciate it Ian!
  • 9/29/15 – A reader (seen below in comments) asked where the stock templates are stored.  He wanted to remove them to clean things up.  A good question and I was not able to answer.  Plus, I looked quite hard, and used Google, and nothing was found.  I even know some of their file names and no luck.  Hopefully someone reading this might be able to help?


=== END ===

38 thoughts on “Office 2016 template location – not what you expect!

  1. Indeed, this is where “user templates” are stored. But Microsoft does a disservice calling them templates. When I store a template there and then call it up later, the file has the name of the template ad with the dot or dot extensions. Most other programs I use — indeed even Word 2011 — templates open as untitled documents that must be renamed. This may seem like a minor glitch, but these documents are not really templates. With this type of file behavior, users could just as easily locate their own “template,” saved as a doc or docx file anywhere convenient for them. Of course, they’d have to be careful to rename the document appropriately . . . but that’s what you have to do with these Word 2016 non-templates anyway.

    I hope this (and other problems) are fixed in the final roll out. But I’m not holding my breath.

    1. Hi Will,

      You likely know this now, but I just tested this and it in fact works as it should. Meaning you open a user template and it will be document1 or document2 as it should.


  2. This is not true… perhaps in the 2011 version of Mac Office that is where they were, but if you do a CLEAN INSTAL of Office 2016 they are in:

    Library\Group Containers\UFB8T346G9.Office\User Content\Templates

    What an incredibly insane place to put them. In fact, when you follow Microsoft’s instructions on how to do a complete REMOVAL of Office 2011 (before you install 2016) they have you delete the folder mentioned at the top of this post.

  3. More importantly for me, does anyone know where the built-in templates from MS are stored? If they are in the aforementioned folder, they are certainly invisible to me. I would like to delete them and only keep my own templates. Any idea how to find them so I can do this?

    1. Hello there,

      I looked quite hard for them, as I am sure you did, and I cannot find them. I have no idea where the stock office templates are stored on a Mac. I found the name of one and was not able to find it via browsing or Spotlight. So very confusing. I will remember this and hope to find someone that can help. Or maybe someone reading this might be able to help!


      1. While watching the log file during an install, and then using the “find” command I found that the “.dotx” files (templates) are located in the Application structure. For example Flyer.dotx can be found in “/Applications/Microsoft Word/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/Flyer.dotx”.

        It is also in the ja.lproj, zh_CN.lproj, zh_TW.lproj and FileNewLatinizedTemplatesMac.bundle folders within Resources.

        Hope this helps,

      2. In addition to what Ian Trimnell says, once you are in , click ⌘-J, click on , then sort the column. You will find all the MS Word Templates in several contiguous rows, and you can then delete them, or whatever you may want. In addition to the .lproj folders that Ian mentioned, I found some or all of the MS templates in zh, th, sv, ru, pt, pl, no, nl, ko, it, he, fl, en+GB, da, cs, ar,

  4. In WORD-Option-Advanced option, look down to file locations:
    Define you personal template directory as the “user” as well as the “Work group” template location.
    It then will appear as a tab when creating a new document.

    1. Hi there,
      I am working in the Mac OSX version of word. We have Perferences -> File Locations. But I am not sure what you mean to define a personal directory as user and with workgroup. Sorry. If I knew how to do this, would it put both the system generated templates, and personal templates in the same place? If that is true, it would allow one of my readers to delete the system generated ones.

      1. Thanks so much for this column!

        Regarding the workgroup vs. user templates: I usually work with Word for PC but I believe this is the same for Mac or PC. Word comes with a default location for user templates as you explained, and it has the ability to set any location you want as the Workgroup templates folder.

        I would not set the workgroup templates folder to the same location as the user templates folder as someone else suggested because, like you say, they’d both be looking in the same location.

        Typically a business organization that has “firm” templates set up (maybe letter, memo, fax, proposal, etc.) will put all of their templates in the Workgroup templates folder, or in sub folders of it. That way they can add, change, rename, and delete the firm templates without affecting anything end users are doing in their “My templates” location.

        In both the user/my templates and workgroup templates folders, if you create sub folders and put templates in them, they should show up as category/tabs when you go to create a document from “my templates.”

        The Word default templates that come with word are somewhere else altogether, as you discussed in this thread. I have never removed them but it is my understanding that, with the PC version of Word at least, you can “uninstall” them or tell word not to include them as you’re installing Word. Though it sounds as if deleting them after the fact works just as well.

      2. Thanks Laura for your comments, much appreciated. I think that the templates story on the Mac is not quite the same as the PC. I think the PC solution for templates is clean and function but less so on the Mac.


  5. Thanks for this page. FYI, your slashes are backwards. Apple/Unix uses forward slashes: /

  6. Let me add a little extra knowledge to this discussion.

    Like the Windows version you can change the file locations in Mac Office. However, in the 2016 version the icon only shows up on the Word preferences pane, but any changes affect Excel and Powerpoint too. I use a Dropbox folder so that template changes are available on both my laptop and desktop.

    In doing this I realised that templates are presented in sub-folder sequence, that is all those in “A” will appear before those in “B”, and so on. I use this to group templates by client.

  7. Came here while researching. Is there a way to make the templates be visible to all users on mac? For example: my wife logs in then open word and will see the templates I have listed in her templates?

    1. What I did was to put an alias of “Templates” in the old “My Templates” folder so that I didn’t have to remember all that rigmarole.

  8. Has anybody else lost their Excel template with the latest Mac Office 2016 update? My template is gone from the folder and when I open a new Excel file, my preferred formatting isn’t there.

    I tried creating a new template (Book.xltx) and saving it in the correct folder, but when I open Excel, the formatting still isn’t there. Interestingly, when I just “double click” on the “Book.xltx” file in Finder, it opens with the correct formatting.

    Something tells me Excel is opening another template file from a different location.

  9. I figured out a way to make it work, but I’m still disappointed that 1) my old template is gone (on my wife’s computer the same problem), and 2) that the old method of just having the template file in the templates folder would open the file.

    I created a folder for the template and then set Excel to “At startup, open all files in:” that folder.

    In Excel, go to Preferences, under Authoring, click General, for the “At startup, open all files in:” location click “Select” and go to the folder you created.

    Note: if you have any other files in that folder, Excel will try to open them also!

  10. I am trying to move my custom templates from Office 2011 for MAC to Office 365. Any suggestions? And how DO I copy from one location to another? Thank you! I’ve reached out to Microsoft for help, but all they did was show some articles–no chat or agent option available on this issue.

    1. Hi there, that is a good question and I am sorry I have no idea on an easy way to do this. You could open each template and save it to the new location but that could take a bit of time and effort. Sorry not more help,


Leave a Reply