How to get Windows 8.1 to start up in the Desktop view

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

There’s one thing that is widely hated by Windows 8¬†users everywhere – the Windows 8.1 Start Screen. I usually refer to it as the App Screen, since that’s what it’s filled with – each tile represents an app. Microsoft originally called it “Metro” but changed later to just “Start Screen”. And there are some people that refer to it out of frustration, using words that, in the interest of good taste, I won’t repeat here in my blog.

start screen


I think most people dislike it for a couple of primary reasons:

  1. They’re not used to it, so using it is not really “intuitive”
  2. It keeps showing up when they aren’t expecting it and they don’t want to see it

The Start screen is part of Windows 8.1, but you don’t have to use it. The problem is, with a lot of the Windows 8.1 computers I work on, I see that when the computer first boots up, it goes directly to that Start screen. Then you have to find the “Desktop” app to click on and get back to the more familiar environment of the Windows Desktop.

It would be much more convenient if the computer just booted up directly to the Desktop screen, right?

If that’s what you prefer (as most people do), you can set it to do that. After all, your computer is not the boss, you’re the boss! The computer has to do what you tell it to do! You just have to know how to tell it. Here’s what you do:

1. The taskbar is the bar that runs along the bottom edge of the screen. In an open area on that bar, do a RIGHT click and in the new menu that comes up, choose “Properties”.

2. In the new window that comes up, click on the “Navigation” tab.

3. Checkmark¬†the box that says “Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in”:

Start Screen


4. Click OK. That’s it!

Now, whenever you sign in to your Windows 8.1 computer, it will just go straight to the desktop view – no more Start Screen. Of course, if for some reason you wanted to see the Start Screen again with all the apps, you can get there – just move the cursor to the top right corner of the screen, then in the “Charms bar” that slides out from the right, you can choose the Start screen icon from there.

One thing to note – the procedure described above will only work if you have the Windows 8.1 update. If your computer is still running just Windows 8, the procedure is different and a little more complicated. But you need to get the 8.1 update anyway, so just do that.

listen to my podcast in iTunes

Share this post

3 comments Add your comment »

Get updates when new comments are added. Subscribe to the comments RSS Feed

May 18th, 2015

Have you tried Classic Shell
Windows starts looking like Windows 7 if that is what you like
I would not use 8.1 if I could not use CS

May 18th, 2015

Wow, Thank You Scott!

Just forwarded your Tips to my friends/family and I think I just heard a collective sigh of relief from those whom have Windows 8!

Have a good day, Kim

Scott Johnson
May 18th, 2015

Love Classic Shell Rich. I did a full post on it here: