New look Office 365 isn’t loved by Microsoft’s paying customers

The new look Office 365 and Office 2021 is rolling out and the complaints are coming thick and fast.

We’ve been working thought the messages we’ve received and tried to figure out the problems and possible solutions.

Missing Quick Access Toolbar?

It might seem like the Quick Access Toolbar QAT and all its buttons have disappeared from its familiar top-left location.

The QAT has just moved, by Microsoft edict, but it’s easily moved back.

As part of the ‘new look’ the QAT moved to below the ribbon by default.  That makes sense by Microsoft self-interested logic but rightly annoys long-standing customers who get very accustomed to certain buttons being in fixed locations.

As you can see from the above image, there’s a simple fix.  Use the pull-down menu next to the QAT to choose ‘Show Above the Ribbon’.

Hard to grab title bar

There was a time when the Office title bar was mostly empty space, with few buttons or options.  Office 365 has now gone to the other extreme with an overly crowded title bar full of buttons, fields and choices.

That makes it hard to click the title bar and drag the window to another part of the screen.  In Office 365 most places you click on the title bar starts some option rather than just selecting the window.

The place to ‘click and drag’ is either side of the document name on the title bar, as shown with these red boxes.

However a more crowded title bar (longer document name, more QAT icons, narrower window) greatly reduces the ‘click and drag’ space.

The workaround we use is to click and hold a location just above and to the left of the Microsoft Search ‘magnifying glass’ icon.

There might also be a clickable spot to the left and above the document name.

Give it a try to see what works for you. 

It’s not ideal but it’s what Microsoft leaves customers struggling with their corporate zeal to fill the title bar.

Microsoft would probably scramble for the excuse that Windows 11 has better positioning options under the maximize button. But that doesn’t apply to Windows 10 or 8.1, both officially supported by Office 365 for Windows.  And doesn’t solve the problem for the many customers who simply want to click and drag a window – a quite reasonable customer requirement.

Thick title bar

We’ve been hearing complaints about a ‘thick’ title bar with the new look.  ‘Hearing’ is the operative word because only one person has included images with their complaint.

From Przemyslaw W via Office 365 forum.

As you can see, the title bar is a little thicker (vertical space) than expected. It shrinks when the File side-pane is opened.

The interim solution might be to turn off the ‘Coming Soon’ option at top right look for the megaphone icon  – if ‘Coming Soon’ is available at all.

This is our public Office 365 using the same Dark Theme.  Not a thick title bar in sight and no ‘Coming Soon’ option either.

Office 365 for Windows, version 2110, build 14527.20276 dark theme on Windows 10 21H1

Rolling back to the old look

There’s no simple option to return to the old look for Office 365. 

You could install an earlier build of Office 365 but that would only be a temporary measure.

If the ‘Coming Soon’ option is available, turn it OFF.  That won’t stop the Office ‘new look’ but it’ll put off the evil day.

Let us know what you’re seeing

We’ve received some messages from people complaining about the new look Office 365. Many people are angry, others are rude and (for some reason) blame us for the changes. We’re not Microsoft and hardly responsible for the changes they make.

All the messages so far about the new look Office 365 lack detail and especially images. Don’t assume that what you’re seeing is the same as everyone else.

It seems there are unexplained variations in how Office 365 for Windows is presenting to users. Understanding those problems needs hard info from those affected.

Please contact us with your concerns but with DETAILS and IMAGES.  Exactly which Office 365 you’re using, which Windows, Public release or Insiders plus images that show what you’re seeing and what you don’t like.

Inside the new look and defaults in Office 365
New look for Microsoft 365 and Office 2021
Office 2007-Office 365 – new look – same shortcuts

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