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Brian Orourke
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Updating My Default Template Location for PowerPoint Won't Take

I am trying to change my Default Template Location in PowerPoint 2016 and the changes will not take.  My desired path is "D:\My Documents\Custom Office Templates".  Although it doesn't seem to matter what pat h I try, it won't take.  Works fine in Excel.  
* Even went so far as to Copy/Paste the text from t he Excel configuration to the PowerPoint configuration without success.  

* Ran the repair option for Office.  No help.  

* Using a suggestion from this site to go into the Registry and create a "PersonalTemplates" key did not help.  PowerPoint knows if I enter an invalid path; only accepting a valid one.  Tried the original C: path and it won't save that either.  

* Clicking on Personal in File=>New gives me an error: "Sorry, we had some trouble connecting to get templates and can't show them right now".

* can't find much on this kind of error.  Only finding messages on where to go and edit the path.

Additional suggestions greatly appreciated.
Microsoft PowerPoint

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James Rudnicki

8/22/2022 - Mon
Jamie Garroch (MVP)

Is that a real path or an alias? What path do you get if you enter "%APPDATA%" in File Explorer?

If an alias, you could try the following, replacing "UserName" with your user name:

D:\Users\UserName\Documents\Custom Office Templates
Echo_S

I am trying to change my Default Template Location in PowerPoint 2016 and the changes will not take.  My desired path is "D:\My Documents\Custom Office Templates".
Where are you inputting this path? It should be in File | Options on the Save tab.

Clicking on Personal in File=>New gives me an error: "Sorry, we had some trouble connecting to get templates and can't show them right now".
Is the D drive available?

You might try making sure that reg key you created has been removed; it could be causing you issues now.

Also make sure you've logged into Office in the File | Account page. That probably shouldn't matter, but it might. If you are signed in, then sign out and sign back in.

And finally, try opening a new, blank file and then File | Save As and click Browse. In the Save As dialog, in the Save as Type dropdown at the bottom, choose PowerPoint template POTX. That will (should) take you to the default documents folder. Let it save there, and then close PPT and reopen it and try changing the location in File | Options.

Oh yeah, and reboot before you try all this stuff. :-)
Brian Orourke

ASKER
Thank you for your responses.  I'll try to cover all at once.

Is that a real path or an alias? What path do you get if you enter "%APPDATA%" in File Explorer?  It is a real path.  It is the exact same path as used in Excel which works correctly.  Even went so far as to Copy/Paste from Excel to PP in case I was introducing a hidden character or just wasn't seeing my mistake.  Cannot use D:\Users\...  the home directory is on the C: drive.  Most of my usable space is on the D: drive so all my documents, etc. are kept there.

Where are you inputting this path? It should be in File | Options on the Save tab. I have done this in PP (same as Excel)  Also did it in the registry key per a different suggestion on this site.

Since my previous post, I have shut down (powered down, not sleep) and restarted my PC.  Has no effect.  

Tried creating a blank file and saved as a POTX.  Interestingly the file gets saved in the correct place.  However, the default templates path in PP is still blank and I still cannot see my personal templates when clicking the personal link under File=>New.  

So, I guess Progress of sorts has been made.  PP will save to the desired (new) location, but I can't go there to take advantage of a template unless I manually go looking for it.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.
fblack61
Jamie Garroch (MVP)

I don't have two partitions on my drive but just as a test a mapped a network drive to B:\My Documents\Custom Office Templates and that worked as expected. That is to say it preselects the folder when saving a file as .POTX and shows the templates in that folder with File / New / Custom Office Templates

By the way, the blank.potx file is a special file and can only be saved here:

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates\blank.potx

This location is fixed/different and independent on the Custom Office Templates folder, which can be changed (or at least you should be able to!).
Brian Orourke

ASKER
Thank you Jamie.  This is my understanding also.  Glad to see it confirmed.  I just wish I could confirm myself.  :)
Jamie Garroch (MVP)

Can you get PowerPoint to accept the path if you try the similar method e.g. mapping another drive letter? That might eliminate "something" and/or point us in the right direction.
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Echo_S

Yeah, this is very odd. I wonder if that registry key  you tried to set is messing things up now.

If I recall correctly, whether you see Personal or Custom in File --> New depends on the reg key you set. I *think* most people usually see Custom ... hm. Let me dig through my files and see what I can find about that.

So in File | Options, you don't see D:\My Documents\Custom Office Templates but when you save a POTX, it does go there, do I understand that correctly?

And you've tried putting other paths there, but they also don't take, right? (So, like, D:\TemporaryTestingFolder doesn't work?)

Here's kind of a weird suggestion, but what happens if you put a folder in D:\My Documents\Custom Office Templates ? So you'd have, for example, D:\My Documents\Custom Office Templates\TestFolder. Then save a couple of templates into that folder. Does it work then?

I guess I'm just wondering if it's got something to do with the whole "My Documents" thing. I don't know why it would, but who knows.
Echo_S

What is the registry key you added? Did you make any other registry changes?
Brian Orourke

ASKER
The old path doesn't work, nor does any other option including adding a folder inside of the path.  I appear to have the same problem with Word even though I hadn't done anything to Word.

The registry change is creating a key named "PersonalTemplates".  This is the same key the existed for my previous version of Office (2013).    At this point I'd go back to the default path, just to have something work, but I can't even do that.  

This appears to be a long-standing problem as I have found similar references, but no "real" solutions.  Appreciate your time.
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James Murphy
Jamie Garroch (MVP)

Could you export the PowerPoint 2016 registry options from the path below and post in this thread for me to take a look at? (you may need to save as .txt rather than .reg for EE to accept it)

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\PowerPoint\Options

(right-click on the Options part of the path in the left hand pane and select Export)
Brian Orourke

ASKER
Key Name:          HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\powerpoint\Options
Class Name:        <NO CLASS>
Last Write Time:   11/30/2017 - 1:38 PM
Value 0
  Name:            DeveloperTools
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0x1

Value 1
  Name:            AppMaximized
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0

Value 2
  Name:            Top
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0xe

Value 3
  Name:            Left
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0x78b

Value 4
  Name:            Bottom
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0x3a7

Value 5
  Name:            Right
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0xd3f

Value 6
  Name:            EnableSuggestionServiceUserSetting
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0

Value 7
  Name:            SuggestionsPrivacyDialogLastShown
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0x43fa

Value 8
  Name:            ToolbarConfigSaved
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0x1

Value 9
  Name:            OptionsDlgSizePos
  Type:            REG_BINARY
  Data:            
00000000   48 03 00 00 ad 02 00 00 - 9c 09 00 00 b3 00 00 00  H...­....      ..³...
00000010   00 04 00 00                                        ....

NOTE: everything above this point was there prior to my digging.  The two below are ones I added.  I've added and removed and re-added PersonalTemplates more than once.  Used same structure as Office 2013.  Tried many different paths. Doesn't appear to have any impact.

Value 10
  Name:            PersonalTemplates      NOTE:  This is the registry entry I made before today and has been part of the dialog.
  Type:            REG_SZ
  Data:            D:\Documents\Custom Office Templates

Value 11
  Name:            officestartdefaulttab      NOTE: This is a new add that I made today.  See comments below.
  Type:            REG_DWORD
  Data:            0x1


COMMENTS:

Added Registry Key officestartdefaulttab.  The purpose of this key is to force PowerPoint to display the Personal tab by default instead of the Feature tab.

Prior to adding this key, clicking the Personal tab resulted in a blank screen except for the error message
      "Sorry, we had some trouble connecting to get the templates and can't show them right now."

After adding the key, the Personal tab comes up by default (as expected).  But now, I got two selections (Blank Presentation [aka BP] and Welcome to PowerPoint [aka WtPP] ).

Next I searched for an online template and downloaded it.  Then I have three selections on my screen (BP, WtPP and the one I just downloaded).  Searched for the new template
and found it in "C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates".  Really interesting in that this is the path for Office prior to 2013.  

So, I found a working path.  Copied another template into the same folder and reopened PowerPoint.  The recently downloaded templete is still showing, but template I just copied
does not.
Jamie Garroch (MVP)

First thing I notice is that on my machine the PersonalTemplates key is of type REG_EXPAND_SZ but I'm not sure if that's relevant. I'm going to delete it and create it as you've done to see what happens. OK, done that. Interesting. I deleted it and created a new one as REG_SZ and when I edited it successfully in PowerPoint, the key type changed to REG_EXPAND_SZ
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Jamie Garroch (MVP)

It's not got something to do with registry permissions (right-click on the Options key in regedit)? I'd assume that you were using your own profile when editing the registry manually and I'd assume PowerPoint would be using that profile too.
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James Rudnicki

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