How to boot to desktop in Windows 8.1

Updated: August 16, 2013

After much speculation and rumor, Windows 8.1 Preview was released to market, only to show everyone that Microsoft is boldly marching into the future with its Modern UI thingie as the presentation layer of choice for their Windows operating system. While this idea sounds great for phones and tablets, it is supremely cretinous for desktops.

Therefore, you want to mitigate the failure by booting to desktop. There are several ways you can do this, and I am going to show you both the wrong and the right way, so that you end up with productivity and efficiency in your hands, rather than shiny and useless tiles designed for people with unpaired chromosomes, with an extra topping of stupidity. After me, gents.


The wrong way

So you have the Start Screen, and you want it gone. Lo and behold, Microsoft has added the Start icon. It is back! Do not celebrate just yet, because it merely invokes the annoying flipturd.

Start icon

However, if you right-click on the Taskbar, choose Properties, then under the Navigation tab, you can change the way Windows 8.1 boots. The first option under Start Screen is, Go to desktop instead of Start when I sign in. Sounds good. But it does not resolve the fundamental problem of having that Start Screen there in the first place.

Boot to desktop

The right way - Classic Shell

What you want is an alternative Start application to replace the built-in crap. To wit, we have the awesome Classic Shell, which we have already reviewed and loved when working with Windows 8. And soon, we will have another article.

Install Classic Shell

Classic Shell running

And some images from the earlier Windows 8 reviews:

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

Classic Shell, options

More reading

For more excellent advice on how to handle issues in Windows 8 family:

Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Enterprise review

Windows 8 new activation & BIOS explained

Windows 8 safe mode explained

Windows 8 recovery options

Skip Menu Suite and Pokki menu alternatives


So here we are. The only sane and cost-free way to mitigate the silly thing called Start Screen and its overbright, over-active, shiny tiles is to use the Classic Shell, which gives you full and total control and visibility of the desktop. You will be able to use the superior desktop programs and not bother with large, simplistic tiled crap. The wrong way of doing the mitigation is by selecting the boot to desktop option, which does nothing remarkable.

Anyhow, there you go. Classic Shell comes to the rescue once more. Do not be tempted by marketing gimmicks designed to placate the customer rage. The Microsoft solution might be a nod toward fixing their colossal failure, but it's not what the users want. Well, I guess that covers it. Enjoy.


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