How to Turn Off the Start Screen in Windows 8.1

By  |  4 Comments

Windows 8’s new Start Screen marked the first time that Microsoft completely revamped the way users open applications in recent years. Prior to its introduction, users needed to click the Start Button, or press the Windows key, to access a small menu containing all of their recently used programs, along with a list of every program they installed on their PC. Naturally, users grew accustomed to it. While users can’t fully add the functionality back without third-party tools, Microsoft is allowing 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 into the desktop.

Go to the Start Screen.

How to Disable the Start Screen in Windows 8 (1)

Open the Desktop by clicking the Desktop Live Tile or by typing ‘Desktop’ with the Start Screen open.

How to Disable the Start Screen in Windows 8 (2)

Right click on an empty section of the Windows Taskbar from in Desktop. It’s the translucent bar along the bottom of the Desktop that displays the current time and any Desktop applications you have open.

How to Disable the Start Screen in Windows 8 (3)

Click Properties.

How to Disable the Start Screen in Windows 8 (4)

From the Properties menu, click Navigation. It’s the tab second from the left inside of the Taskbar and Navigation Properties window.

How to Disable the Start Screen in Windows 8 (5)

Under the Start Screen options in the Navigation menu, click the check box next to “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start”.

How to Disable the Start Screen in Windows 8 (6)

Users who prefer to not use the Charms, the icons for Search, Devices and Sharing the pop-up when you place your cursor in the top right-hand corner of your screen, can disable those too. Uncheck the “When I point to the upper-right corner, show the charms” option under the Corner Navigation menu.

Uncheck the option that automatically pulls up recently used apps when you click on the top-left corner of the display.

Click the check box next to the option for show “Show Apps view automatically when I got to Start.” This will hide all the Start Menu’s Live Tiles and applications. Instead, going to Start will only show you a list of programs.

Click the check box next to “List desktop apps first in the Apps view when it’s sorted by category.” With this option, your desktop applications will be the first thing you see in the Start Screen, bringing its functionality in line with the old Start Menu.

Click Ok.

How to Disable the Start Screen in Windows 8 (8)

Now, when you boot your Windows 8.1 PC, it’ll automatically open the desktop, and hide the new Start Screen dependent Metro-style applications. You also won’t see the Charms buttons on the right of your screen, or accidentally open applications you don’t want to use by clicking in the left hand corner.

How to Disable the Start Screen in Windows 8 (9)

The result is a user experience that’s as close to Windows 7 as users can get without having to install third-party tools. Windows 8.1 is a free update that is available to all Windows 8 users, following it’s October 18th launch.



Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.


  1. John Matthew

    10/06/2013 at 1:11 pm

    I believe that Microsoft is not going to get back everything that they have lost with Windows 8. The Windows 8.1 update sound promising but still they have lot of things to offer back. I found this option pretty useable.

  2. isacco11

    10/07/2013 at 1:02 am

    Jeremiah. I see what you mean… Teresa`s bl0g is unimaginable… last week I bought a top of the range Land Rover Defender since getting a cheque for $6763 this past 5 weeks and would you believe, 10k this past munth. with-out any question its the easiest-work I’ve had. I began this 7-months ago and immediately began to earn at least $86… p/h. More hints…….

  3. Acer

    10/08/2013 at 2:30 pm

    I used to hate it, but now i’m starting to come around… its actually pretty cool when u mix touch screen and normal plug in blue tooth mouse controls together creating an all new and sometimes even exciting environment to play around in if you re willing to give it a chance___but___it does require a lot of time consumption to get used to it enough that it doesnt make you want to throw your brand new computer against the wall, then out the window, then back over it in the driveway____THATS FOR SURE!!!! wait until you try reformatting___is it good or bad<<<????? i dunno yet LMFAO!!

  4. fishy

    11/05/2013 at 10:09 am

    thx for your tip. this was useful to change my new laptop settings!

Leave a Reply