Project 2016 New/Blank Projects are opening in [Compatibility Mode] - Issue with "Save Microsoft Project files as" Group Policy setting. RRS feed

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  • We've recently started testing Microsoft Office Project 2016 and found that new/blank project were opening in Compatibility Mode for some reason.

    I managed to trace the cause back to the "Save files in this format" option which was configured through Group Policy.

    In Project:

    Group Policy:

    As you can see above, although the Group Policy is set to "Project (*.mpp)", Project is reading this as Project 2007 rather than Project 2016.

    The policy setting puts down a registry key here:

    Path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\16.0\ms project\options\save
    Name: defaultsaveformat
    Type: REG_SZ (String)
    Data: MSProject.MPP.12

    This was a bit of an "aha" moment, the Project 2016 Administrative Template still puts down the 2007 file format value. So now we know what is causing the compatibility mode issue, but that's not really helpful; a setting configured correctly is having an undesired effect because "reasons".

    Turns out the options configurable in the Group Policy (above) do not align with the options in Project 2016 (below):

    Now I'm starting to think that this particular policy setting hasn't been updated since the 2007 ADMX. Wouldn't be the first time.

    I fiddled with the registry values and made the following discoveries:

    MSProject.MPP.12 = Project 2007, Interpreted as "Microsoft Project 2007 (*.mpp)" and opens in compatibility mode.

    MSProject.MPP.14 = Project 2010, Interpreted as "Project (*.mpp)" and opens in normal mode.

    MSProject.MPP.15 = Project 2013, Interpreted as "Project Template (*.mpt)" and opens in normal mode.

    MSProject.MPP.16 = Project 2016, Interpreted as "Project Template (*.mpt)" and opens in normal mode.

    Based on this, it appears the value which does achieved the desired outcome is MSProject.MPP.14. I can't explain why the values for Project 2013/2016 are interpreted as templates.

    So with all this in mind, it appears I have a solution, set defaultsaveformat to MSProject.MPP.14. I was reluctant to edit the ADMX so I've used GPP to put this key in the registry. Crude but it gets the job done.

    If anyone else has come across this or has different findings let me know in the comments below.

    @Microsoft, if you're reading this, pretty please can you fix your Project 2016 Administrative Template?

    Thank you!


    • Edited by MrGoodBytes Thursday, September 14, 2017 4:31 AM minor grammar and typo fixes
    • Changed type MrGoodBytes Thursday, September 14, 2017 4:32 AM Not really a topic for discussion
    Thursday, September 14, 2017 4:28 AM

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