Microsoft gets more aggressive with Office 2016.

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  1. Posts : 252
    Windows 10 x64 1809 LTSC

    Microsoft gets more aggressive with Office 2016.

    I wish office 2010 was still supported as it did everything we needed. Such is life.
    Office 2016 suffers from a number of annoyances.

    Each application has a set title bar color. There doesn't seem to be any way to change it.
    I don't use mobile computing in any form, nor do I store anything in the cloud. But MSOSYNC and MSOUC just can't be disabled without causing the applications to perform an installation process every time you run them.

    I tried renaming and deleting the files. Office just recreates them.
    I tried changing permissions (Setting deny perms and even removing perms).
    Either of these cause the applications to go through an install process every time you run them.

    I did manage to stop them running by using group policy. Under Window settings, Security Settings, Software Restriction Policies I added a path rule for both the programs under additional rules. This stops them from running, but causes the office applications to launch an install process. It doesn't remove the rules though.

    Microsoft wants the Microsoft Office Tools folder at the root of the start menu. I moved it to the Microsoft Office folder. Every time I run an application, it goes through an install process and recreates it where Microsoft wants it.

    I tried renaming the registry value at Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\Folders

    From C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office 2016 Tools\
    To C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office\Microsoft Office 2016 Tools\

    But that doesn't affect where Microsoft wants the folder. It still recreates it at the root of the start menu.

    If anyone knows of any methods of fixing this, other than "just don't mess with Office" I'd sure appreciate some guidance, otherwise this is just information about Office 2016's behavior.
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  2. mngerhold's Avatar
    Posts : 785
    W10-2009 19042.1116

    I can't help with your problem, but what aspect of 'out of support' Office 2010 concerned you? I am still using it happily. If you mean it no longer gets updates, well that can only be a good thing in my view, as they often failed to install. I carried on using Office 2000 way past its 'out of support' date with no ill-effects - just careful Macro control (I think). I may be taking chances, but I can't see anyone putting much effort into developing 2010 malware, when there is a whole world of social media out there waiting to be pillaged. I promise to 'fess up if I get caught out.
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  3. Posts : 252
    Windows 10 x64 1809 LTSC
    Thread Starter

    Fair point. Yes, it's only because of the lack of security updates.

    I might have found a way to stop office pestering me about the start menu. I made the folder super hidden. Now I only see the one I want in the location I want and hopefully the programs won't unhide the one I don't.

    I posted mainly because these issues appear all over the place on searches. Lot's of frustrated people. I was hoping it might be useful to document what I have been able to mitigate. Nothing worse than spending ages searching and not finding answers :)
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  4. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,629
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 21H1 (19043.1023

    As for "Office 2016 suffers from a number of annoyances" I think that's a matter of perspective. Yes, I used Office 2016 but now am using Office 365.

    Anyway, (if it's that important)....

    Also this thread... MS Outlook 2016 - Add custom ribbon, that has 1 button and when clicked it executes a task

    I've not used or tried any of the above so I've no idea what they do or how they actually work.

    Good luck.
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  5. Posts : 252
    Windows 10 x64 1809 LTSC
    Thread Starter

    @sygnus21 thanks for those links. I'd actually read those previously on my searches :)

    They are not actually related to the issues I'm having. I think I was trying to get the title bar color consistent across each program at the time I came across those. I couldn't do it so I ended up trying LibreOffice and OpenOffce but neither of them can handle my multitude of complex excel spreadsheets without major overhauls (some of the spreadsheets I'd been working on for 9 years).

    My issues are related to the fact that I don't use cloud. I dont sync and I don't upload, so the related "features" in Office are just a PITA and annoying. I was able to turn off the MSOUC icon, but that doesn't stop it running and chatting with M$ servers.

    Adding path rules in gpedit.msc stops them running but causes each program to do an update install process when they start. Swapped one PITA for another :)
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  6. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,629
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 21H1 (19043.1023

    O365 is cloud based but near all my files are kept local. Not sure how cloud is an issue if you don't use it.

    And I not familiar with "MSOUC" what is it? Anyway, I guess I'm not getting what the real issue is other than you don't like the functionality of Office 2016. Perhaps trying to learn it and its features might help ease your annoyances.

    I guess I've been using Office so long I've just learned to go with the flow. It's the same approach I've taken with Windows.

    Sorry I can't be of further help. Wish you luck.
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  7. Posts : 252
    Windows 10 x64 1809 LTSC
    Thread Starter

    No, that's ok, I appreciate you trying to help.

    MSOUC.exe is the Office Upload Center program. When its running it's chatting over the internet incessantly, at least here.

    I don't and will never trust my data to the cloud. My email is downloaded to my PC and deleted from the cloud. Apart from that, I use no program or service that is cloud based for my data storage.

    Msosync.exe is the default Microsoft Office Document [Cloud] Cache (ODC) synchronizer and cache management program for Microsoft Office. When running it takes up considerable resources and bricks processes such as file copies. I find I have to continually kill the process to resolve such issues. Hence why I'm wanting to prevent it running.

    Did that, but at the cost of having to wait every time for office products to go through their install process before I can use them.

    I have no use for now, nor will I ever, of cloud computing. I am a disabled person so mobility is useless to me.

    This link provides some insight into what's going on. Except that it's no longer started at system start - it's started when an Office application is opened;

    What is Msosync.exe and Should I Remove it? -
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  8. mngerhold's Avatar
    Posts : 785
    W10-2009 19042.1116

    Only slightly related: you mention issues with the Start menu getting rebuilt. I hate the W10 start menu, and mostly don't use it - it only allows two layers, no 'popping out' on mouse-over, everything is too spread out and its full of junk I don't want and mostly can't get rid of. Although I did my best to tweak it to meet my needs, I have now given up. I was in the W10 Technical Preview program for the year before it released, and when they messed about with the start menu, apparently making it worse than its W8 predecessor, I got frustrated. I attempted to feed back my thoughts (on it and other matters - like title-bar colours and hiding scroll bars) via the Feedback Hub, but never (to my recollection) saw any consequent improvement. Of course, there were other voices, maybe from phone users with small screens - who knows what/who was driving its development?

    A short while before the 2015 launch, I thought 'surely they are going to delay', as the start menu was so bad - I could not believe they would release in that state - but they did! <rant over>

    So I started using a custom taskbar toolbar:
    Microsoft gets more aggressive with Office 2016.-toolbar-menu.png
    It is so easy to create from a rt-click on the taskbar. It can point to anywhere you like, so I have a folder with various categories, and shortcuts within, as shown here:
    Microsoft gets more aggressive with Office 2016.-mng-start-menu.png
    It works absoultely brilliantly - the items pop-out on mouse roll-over, there is no limit (AFAIK) to the number of levels etc etc. I apologise if this is not news to you, but I now pay not the slightest heed to the Start menu - well OK, I sometime have to go looking for a W10 accessory I use so infrequently that I haven't included it in 'my' menu. I don't care what program installations do to it.

    One last thing, which unfortunately may be a deal-breaker: Microsoft Defender seems to insist on checking the contents of each folder before it will allow the pop-out - and it takes its time doing so. It remembers the result after that first read, but resets each log-on or restart. All my attempts to stop it looking at that menu folder area have failed. As a result, I have disabled MD and am running happily without it, but I don't expect others to copy my solution.

    It may be that other AV products do a better job of allowing menu access without incessant interfering.

    hth, or is of interest at least, Martin

    PS I first read about custom toolbars in a post on some forum I can't recall - as I was an XP-holdout (until 2018), I had not realised that pop-out menu itms had disappeared after Vista (I think). I just found this reference, which is not the original I recall seeing, but is from a contributor called Try*3, who may be definitely is 'our' Try3.
    Last edited by mngerhold; 19 Jun 2021 at 08:10.
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  9. Posts : 252
    Windows 10 x64 1809 LTSC
    Thread Starter

    @mngerhold I feel your pain. I too was in the technical preview program but quit about build 9926 I think. It was a long time ago. The keylogger, start menu and a few other things really grated on me and I made a post on the feedback that W10 was (at that stage), and unmitigated disaster and quit at that point. I didn't revisit W10 until 1803. At that point I installed classic shell as the start menu was still a mess IMHO.

    The start menu gets its contents from %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ Programs for current user and %PROGRAMDATA%\Microsoft Windows\Start menu\Programs for the all users items.

    When Office installs it creates the Microsoft Office 2016 Tools start menu entry in %PROGRAMDATA%. And all Office applications at the root of the start menu. If I let all programs do that my start menu would be extremely long.

    I prefer to keep my start menu tidy so all office applications are grouped in a %PROGRAMDATA% start menu called "Microsoft Office". Office doesn't seem to mind the application start menu items being moved to a sub folder, but it absolutely will not allow the tools folder to be anywhere but the root of the start menu. I had to create a super hidden folder at the root so I didn't see it, but the down side is each application still does an install each start, though it doesn't un-hide the the folder. Go figure!?

    I do the same thing with everything. So like 7-zip, WinRAR, WinZIP etc are on a start menu entry called Archivers. You get the idea.

    Classic Shell is now open shell and it's not bad. Certainly better than the default "start menu".

    I've traded one PITA for another. Either I just suck it up and have the tools folder at the root of the start menu, or I put up with each application going through an install when run.

    Having said that, I've seen several implementations of what you describe, but never actually tried it for myself. One of my sons uses something similar. I will have a play with it and see how it goes.

    Taken individually these things are probably not that big a deal. When I get to 4 or 5 issues it gets on my nerves and I get driven to actually do something about them.
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  10. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,629
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 21H1 (19043.1023

    Wobitancrawfodi said:
    I don't and will never trust my data to the cloud. My email is downloaded to my PC and deleted from the cloud. Apart from that, I use no program or service that is cloud based for my data storage.
    I heard the same thing about online shopping and banking. Today nearly everyone shops and banks online. Cloud computing/services are here to stay. Just as e-commerce is.

    For me, I couldn't do without cloud services; even run backups to a cloud backup service.

    Good luck.
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