How To Make Windows 8.1 Boot To The Desktop

Many existing Windows users find the Metro Start screen in Windows 8 disorienting or inefficient. Windows 8.1 gives you the option to skip straight past it and boot to the desktop. Here's how to enable that if you haven't already.

It's hard to make a compelling case for many Metro-style apps on a device with a keyboard attached, and under those circumstances getting away from the Start screen as fast possible makes sense. Here's how to set that up in Windows 8.1:

  • Head to the desktop (Windows key+D is your fastest route).
  • Right-click on the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen and choose "Properties".
  • Select the Navigation tab and make sure "When I sign in or close all applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start" is ticked.
  • Click "OK".

Done! Remember, if you want access to the Start screen, it's still only a matter of hitting the Windows key. And if you want to access Search (the only function in Metro I ever use), you can simply type Windows+S to start searching. Simples!


    As the crappy Metro interface is largely useless on the vast majority of computers, there should be an option to get rid of it entirely.

    If w8.1 really is superior to w7, this would have to be the "killer" mod that would get a boatload of people to upgrade.

    I use Start8 to remove all this crappy metro stuff. We shouldn't be forced into using it on PC.

      Start8 is what returned sanity and usability to my Win8.1 machine. Totally worth the $5 cost.

      I tried the many free alternatives first and gave up frustrated and annoyed. I know LOVE using Win 8... because it looks and feels just like Win 7

      +1 for Start8.
      I tried using the Metro interface for the first few weeks, horrible design on a desktop with dual monitors. Start8 was definately the best of the start menu replacements I could find.

      Last edited 21/01/14 9:05 pm

      I prefer StartIsBack since Start8 creates a service and runs on that where as StartIsBack reimplements the start menu into the windows shell.

      And it's cheaper $2.99 for one license, two for $4.99 and 5 for $9.99

    Yeah Windows 8 is really kicking lots of goals...not. I saw it just a minute ago somewhere HP pushing Windows 7 on thier machines again by popular demand

    Hmmm i seem to have this already ticked but it still takes me to metro from memory (will restart my machine now to be 100% though).

    Classic Shell. No need to pay for a start menu.

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