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OFFXP: What Is the Osa.exe File and What Does It Do?
Article ID: 290144 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q290144
For a Microsoft Office 2000 version of this article, see 210875
For a Microsoft Office 97 version of this article, see 165071
This article answers some of the frequently asked questions about the Microsoft Office Startup Assistant shortcut (Osa.exe) on the Windows Startup menu. This article is divided into the following sections:
What Is the Osa.exe File?The Office Startup Assistant (Osa.exe or OSA) is a program that improves the performance of Office XP programs. Office Setup places a shortcut to the Osa.exe file in the Windows Startup folder; the file is named "Microsoft Office".
What Does the Osa.exe File Do?The Osa.exe file does the following:
What Are the Advantages of Running the Osa.exe File?The Osa.exe file initializes the shared code that is used by the Office XP programs. When you use the Osa.exe file to initialize shared code, the Office XP programs start faster. If the Office programs, instead of Osa.exe, initialize the shared code, the programs take longer to start.
Can I Remove the Osa.exe File?You can safely remove the Osa.exe file without causing the Office XP programs to fail. However, if you remove Osa.exe, you no longer benefit from the performance advantages that are provided by running Osa.exe. Also, the Office Shortcut Bar (OSB) may no longer start automatically, if you configured the OSB to start when Windows starts. (See the notes for the command-line switches later in this article.)
Additional InformationYou can use the following command-line switches with OSA.exe:
Registry Path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Shortcut Bar
Registry Path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Osa\AutostartTypically, when Osa.exe is present in the Startup folder, it has the -b and -l switches set (Osa.exe -b -l).
To download the Readme.doc file for the Microsoft Office XP Resource Kit (ORK), follow these steps: