Known issues with Office if Desktop or My Documents is redirected

Applies to: Microsoft Office 2013 Service Pack 1


When working with Microsoft Office Documents and the Desktop or the My Documents folder is redirected to a network location, Office applications may exhibit any of the following issues:

  • Crashes
  • Hangs
  • Slow performance when using the Opening, Saving and Inserting Hyperlinks dialogs.

In addition, you may receive error messages including:

"Word has insufficient memory. Do you want to save Document 1 as Rescued document?"

"The file normal.dotm cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents"

"Microsoft Excel cannot access the file "<File Path>". There are several possible reasons:
The file name or path does not exist.
The file is being used by another program
The workbook you are trying to save has the same name as a currently open workbook"

Initializing Folders
Initializing the root folders to display"

More Information

When Office applications launch, a file system initialization process is performed, and among this process is a check for the Desktop location stored in the registry key at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\Desktop. 

From this location, Office applications initiate the volume list and get the first fixed volume.

Since the desktop location is used as a shortcut, and if the network connection is missing or latent, the Office application is unable to find the location of the desktop and the behaviors described above may occur.

Related issues are described in the following articles. 

Desktop Folder Redirection on Windows 7 can cause long delays in Office 2003 File Open and Save As dialogs

The "Look In" and "Save As" Boxes in Common Dialog Boxes Are Slow


If disabling the folder redirection is not a viable workaround to these issues, enabling offline caching of the redirected folders or disabling NetBIOS may avoid these problems.  

How to disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under Network and Internet, click View network status and tasks.
  3. Click Change adapter settings.
  4. Right-click Local Area Connection, and then click Properties.
  5. In the 'This connection' uses the following items list, double-click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), click Advanced, and then click the WINS tab. Click Use NetBIOS setting from the DHCP server, and then click OK three times.

For more information on disabling NetBIOS, see .

This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Additionally, adding the following registry keys may avoid the "Initializing Folders" delay in the File > Open, and File > Save dialog boxes. 

Note: Replace the XX.0 in the registry path with the value of the Office version on your machine. Use 15.0 for Office 2013, 14.0 for Office 2010, 12.0 for Office 2007 and 11.0 for Office 2003.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\XX.0\Common\Open Find
Name: DisableAutoSelect
Value: 0

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\XX.0\Common\Open Find
Name: DisableLinkResolution
Value: 1

Name: DisableLoadLookIn
Value: 1