Question Tutorial: Disable the Cloud sign-in option on Office 2019

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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Office 2019 annoyingly wants you to sign in to either a domain or the cloud. It shares the same registry space as Office 2016, so the procedure is:

Preparation:

1. Note that this must be done on a per-user basis, for anyone who logins into the machine. So 2 users on the same machine = do it twice. Or if that user signs into another machine, do it again.
2. Go into one of the Office apps, go to Account, and select "Sign out" & then click Yes when prompted.

First, close all Office applications:

Word
Excel
PowerPoint
Outlook
etc.

Second, open the Registry Editor: (may need to Run As Admin)

Start > Run > regedit

Third, navigate down the tree:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER
SOFTWARE
Microsoft
Office
16.0
Common

Third, add the SignIn folder:

Right-click on the Common folder
Go to New > Key
Name it "SignIn" (without the quotes)

Fourth, add the registry key to disable the sign-in option:

Right-click on the SignIn folder
Go to New > DWORD (32-bit) VALUE
Name it "SignInOptions" (without the quotes)
Set the value to 3

Fifth, verify that it worked:

Open up Word
It should no longer have the "Sign in" button in the top bar
Under File > Account, all of the sign-in verbage should be gone

If you ever need to add it back in, just delete the SignInOptions reg key!
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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It wants you to sign in, sure, but IIRC you can just sign out (using the UI, top-right corner of an office app) right after activation and that's it.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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It wants you to sign in, sure, but IIRC you can just sign out (using the UI, top-right corner of an office app) right after activation and that's it.
Yes, but it leaves the Sign-in button on the top right side of the app, which leads to (1) user confusion, and (2) user temptation to sign in. Then people either (1) sign up for a Microsoft account with their company email address, or (2) use their personal email address to sign in. A lot of companies don't want either of those things to happen due to cloud restrictions & data control, so by removing the option to do so, it negates the issue because then it turns it back into a standalone document-editing app instead of a cloud-connected app.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,387
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Thanks for this!!!
You're welcome! Two additional notes:

1. In Options, under General, disable the "Enable LinkedIn features in my office applications" checkbox
2. In Options, under General > Privacy Settings..., disable "Enable optional connected experiences" checkbox (cloud-backed services)

It's all about data harvesting & selling your data for money, under the guise of convenience. Which is just how we roll in today's world of online advertising, Facebook, etc. But for example, from LinkedIn:


Super scummy stuff to have enabled by default:

Sharing data from your Microsoft work or school account with your LinkedIn account

When you connect your Microsoft work or school account to your LinkedIn account, you allow Microsoft to provide the following data to LinkedIn:
  • Profile data - includes your account information, your photo, and contact information.
  • Calendar data - includes the meetings in your calendars, their times, locations, and attendees.
  • Interests data - includes the interests associated with your account, based on your use of Microsoft services.
  • Subscriptions data - includes subscriptions provided by your organization to Microsoft apps and services, such as Office365.
  • Contacts data - includes your contact lists in Outlook, Skype, and other Microsoft account services, including the contact information for people you frequently communicate or collaborate with. Your contacts will be periodically imported, stored, and used by LinkedIn, for example to suggest connections, help you organize your contacts, and show you updates about your contacts.
Likewise, Microsoft does the same garbage:


From a high level:

Experiences that analyze your content
Experiences that download online content
As routed through their Bing search engine:


Here's a more detailed list of all services;


If you to go down the rabbit hole:


If you're on a domain, you can control more stuff through various policies & whatnot. Just more stuff to add to the setup & configuration checklists lol. Windows 10 itself is a goldmine for your personal data through the various telemetry angles. Here's one such tool to manage it:


But there are risks involved:


For now, my Office 2019 installation procedure is:

1. Install the package
2. License the package (click on the link below the sign-in to switch to activating it via a key)
3. Disable cloud sign-in
4. Disable LinkedIn
5. Disable connected experiences

At that point, it starts behaving more like the older versions of Office. I still do some additional tweaks, like disabling "Show Start screen when the application starts" so that the app boots straight into a blank page of whatever (spreadsheet/presentation/etc.), which is what 99% of the users want. Again, just more stuff for the ole' setup checklists haha!
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
13,564
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Yes, but it leaves the Sign-in button on the top right side of the app, which leads to (1) user confusion, and (2) user temptation to sign in. Then people either (1) sign up for a Microsoft account with their company email address, or (2) use their personal email address to sign in. A lot of companies don't want either of those things to happen due to cloud restrictions & data control, so by removing the option to do so, it negates the issue because then it turns it back into a standalone document-editing app instead of a cloud-connected app.
I see. Thanks for the clarification.
 

MLKlingen

Junior Member
Apr 15, 2020
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Is there another option for when the RegEdit doesn't work? Per screen shot (attached), I created the SignInOptions key and set to 3. When I reopened Word (Office 2019) the Sign In button was still there. Thanks for the tutorial and for any additional guidance you can provide!

SignInOptions.PNGSignInOptions.PNG,
 

MLKlingen

Junior Member
Apr 15, 2020
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0
6
Please disregard the above...Ran Regedit as administrator, so the change took effect on a different account. Worked perfectly when I followed the steps correctly. Thanks again!
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,387
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Please disregard the above...Ran Regedit as administrator, so the change took effect on a different account. Worked perfectly when I followed the steps correctly. Thanks again!
I added "may need to Run As Admin" to the instructions, thanks!

Did you run regedit as admin under the account you wanted it changed under? Or did you run as administrator, log into a different account, and then it applied to that?
 
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MLKlingen

Junior Member
Apr 15, 2020
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I added "may need to Run As Admin" to the instructions, thanks!

Did you run regedit as admin under the account you wanted it changed under? Or did you run as administrator, log into a different account, and then it applied to that?
I initially ran as administrator (on a standard account), and it changed the registry in the admin account. Once I saw that, I logged back into the standard account and opened the registry without specifying to run as administrator and was able to effect the change. ... I know just enough to be dangerous!
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,387
2,128
126
I initially ran as administrator (on a standard account), and it changed the registry in the admin account. Once I saw that, I logged back into the standard account and opened the registry without specifying to run as administrator and was able to effect the change. ... I know just enough to be dangerous!
Yeah, unfortunately it's a per-user-account setting. My other settings include activation, updates, disable those load options so it just opens to an empty template immediately, disable LinkedIn, disable the connected stuff, etc. Gotta figure out how to get rid of the "share" button.

I miss Office 2007 sometimes lol.
 

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