How to Boot Straight to the Windows 8.1 Desktop

Despise the Start Screen? Long for the days of Windows 7? Not a fan of change? Wonder who put the Metro in Metro interface?

Have no fear! With the introduction of Windows 8.1 Microsoft has provided an option to bypass the Start Screen and boot straight to the Desktop!

windows 8.1 start screen to deskktop

Locate the Desktop tile on the Start Screen and click it to go to the classic desktop.


Find an empty area of the Taskbar (an area with no icons) and right click, which will cause a menu to appear. In the menu left click on Properties.

windows 8.1 taskbar and navigation properties

This will open the Taskbar and Navigation Properties menu. Click on the Navigation tab at the top. Although it isn’t as clearly stated as possible, click the box to the left of When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start to place a check mark in the box. Click OK at the bottom to accept the change and close the menu.

Congratulations Happy Windows 8.1 User!

You have now concurred the Start Screen. Reboot your PC and enjoy the glorious fruits of your labor.

OK, it isn’t perfect, so don’t get too excited. This does not restore the Start Menu from Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc if that’s what you were hoping. It does, however, skip the Start Screen upon boot and generally bypasses it for everything except when you click on the Start Button, or run a Metro app.

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About the Author

David Hartsock

Executive Editor/Owner/Admin of Daves Computer Tips and all-around good guy - Dave's interest in computers began in the early 1980's during the Apple II era. In the early 1990's the PC began to replace proprietary and mainframe devices in Dave's industry so he began to learn and experiment with the PC. Through DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and now Windows 10. Dave became the "go to" guy for friends, family, and coworkers with computer problems. Daves Computer Tips was born in 2006 in an effort to share these experiences with others in an easy to understand, plain English, form.

One Comment

  1. Even after this excellent suggestion, try as I may, I still can’t feel good about 8.
    With more and more devices coming into my shop running Windows 8 I know I have to get to know it, but for my own personal use I’ll be sticking with 7.