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How to Turn Off the Start Screen in Windows 8.1



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.





  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!

    • nunya bitnez

      07/10/2014 at 7:23 am

      Just give us a magic wand so we can make the interface like XP pro, every OS is worse than the 1 before, a bunch of knuckle heads sitting around trying to impress their coworkers with blingy doo-dads like charms (oh, isn’t that cute) and all the social media nerds trying to make a computer that some people work on look and act like a smart phone, this touch screen (going to be a PUNCH screen) is stupid, smart phone in 1 hand, other hand doing all the other stuff is fine, like using a calculator was, but put the screen 2-3 feet away and now I’m getting a cardio workout while smudging the display at the same time I’m trying to sort, grade and edit 3000 photos from the race weekend. Seems all programs (oops, better stay with the charmy blingy talk) apps designers are like dogs, they all want to be on top and anywhere 1 dog has been all the others have to follow and leave their mark too. They all want their stuff to start at boot and be right there ready, all itchy nervous ready to go cause that’s what the other programming dudes do, never mind that all the crapware hogs system resources. Just who do they think is buying all this tech stuff, with so many bad experiences with “customer service” I’ve developed a Pavlovian response and find myself reaching for my ankles. I could go on for hours but have too much to ferret out and delete with this 8.1 OS.

  5. altenergyinc

    07/30/2015 at 8:41 am

    after a year, I still find Win 8/8.1 to be an absurd exercise in disorganization, illogical processes and inefficiency. I am constantly undoing things it does, with no hope of fixing it. It is like they built it for a twelve year old on Facebook. These fixes helped, but during the typing of this message, I’ve had to kill a couple of interferences, some cursor induced, others app induced, others software induced. I do a lot of things at one time. When someone is able to use technology effectively to run projects, run a company, and communicate, then core operations are disrupted, while the vender keeps shouting about how great they are, it’s pretty clear that they either don’t care or can’t envision user experience.

  6. Ruthjtoney

    08/30/2015 at 10:26 pm

    0=014 Hey Friends,,,,!my neighbor’s ex-wife makes $68 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for 6 months but last month her pay was $18404 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
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  7. yuki

    04/23/2017 at 7:32 pm

    thank you

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