Turning Off the Start Screen in Windows 8.1

Windows 8’s new Start Screen marks the first time Microsoft has completely overhauled the way users open apps in recent years. Prior to its introduction, users had to click the Start Button or press the Windows key to access a small menu containing all the programs they had recently used, along with a list of every program they installed on their computer. Naturally, users got used to it. Although users cannot fully add functionality without third-party tools, Microsoft allows users to bypass the Start Screen in Windows 8.1. Here’s how to disable the Start Screen in Windows 8.1 and boot directly to the desktop.


Open the Desktop with the Start Screen open or typing ‘Desktop’.

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From the Desktop in an empty partition of Windows. It’s the semi-transparent bar at the bottom of the Desktop that shows the current time and any Desktop apps you have open.

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Click on the Properties menu. It is the second tab from the left inside the Taskbar and Navigation Properties window.

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Under Start Screen options in the navigation menu, tick the checkbox next to it.

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Users who prefer not to use Charms, Search, Devices and Sharing icons can also disable them when you move your cursor to the upper right corner of your screen. The option under the Corner Navigation menu.

The option that comes automatically when you click on the upper left corner of the screen.

checkbox next to Show option This will hide all Live Tiles and apps of the Start Menu. Instead, going to Start will only show you a list of programs.

With this option, your desktop apps will be the first thing you see on the Start Screen, making their functionality compatible with the old Start Menu.

Click .

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Now, when you start your Windows 8.1 PC, it will automatically open the desktop and hide the new Metro-style apps connected to the Start Screen. You also won’t see Charms buttons on the right side of your screen or accidentally click the left corner to open apps you don’t want to use.

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The result is the closest user experience to Windows 7 users can get without having to install third-party tools. Windows 8.1 is a free update available to all Windows 8 users after its launch on October 18.