How to Change the Default “Insert Picture” Location in Microsoft Word

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2024 by

Microsoft Word is a powerful tool for creating documents, but sometimes its default settings can be frustrating. One common issue is the default location for inserting pictures. By default, Word will always open the “Pictures” folder when you click on the “Insert” tab and select “Pictures.” This can be inconvenient if you have your images stored in a different location. Luckily, there is a simple solution to change the default “Insert Picture” location in Microsoft Word.

Step 1: Open the Registry Editor

Before making any changes, it is important to note that the Registry Editor is a powerful tool and any incorrect changes can cause serious issues with your computer. It is recommended to back up your registry before proceeding. To open the Registry Editor, press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box. Type in “regedit” and press Enter.

Step 2: Navigate to the Appropriate Key

In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Open Find\Microsoft Word. (Note: The “16.0” in the key may vary depending on your version of Microsoft Word. For example, if you have Word 2013, the key will be “15.0” instead.)

Step 3: Create a New String Value

Right-click on the “Microsoft Word” key and select “New” and then “String Value.” Name the new string value “InsertPicturePath.”

Step 4: Edit the String Value

Double-click on the “InsertPicturePath” string value to open the Edit String dialog box. In the “Value data” field, enter the file path for the folder where you want to set as the default location for inserting pictures. For example, if you want to set your “Documents” folder as the default location, the file path would be “C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents.” Click “OK” to save the changes.

Step 5: Test the Changes

Open Microsoft Word and click on the “Insert” tab. Select “Pictures” and you should now see your specified folder as the default location for inserting pictures.

Step 6: Revert to Default Settings (Optional)

If you want to revert back to the default settings, simply delete the “InsertPicturePath” string value from the Registry Editor.


Customizing the default “Insert Picture” location in Microsoft Word can save you time and frustration when working on documents. By following these simple steps, you can easily change the default location to fit your needs. Have you encountered any other frustrating default settings in Microsoft Word? Let us know in the comments.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.