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Discover Tricks: How To Disable Windows 8 Start Screen?

You want to remove Windows 8 Start screen so that Windows 8 can goes straight to normal Desktop after boot up. Microsoft hears that, but…

There is no explicit option in Windows 8 RTM that you can configure to achieve this target, unless using 3rd-party program or applying these “perfect” tricks:

Trick 1: Rearrange the Desktop tile in Start screen (non-destructive)

Hit the ENTER when the Start screen appears – what do you get? Yes, this action will open the first tile.

Therefore, drag the Desktop tile to top-left position (right below the word “Start”, as shown in the following screenshot), essentially making it the first tile in Start screen. From then onwards, whenever you hit ENTER key inside Start screen it will switch back to the good old Windows Desktop.

Rearrange Windows 8 Start screen tiles

Personally, I prefer this non-destructive trick for two reasons:

1. Just hit ENTER key as soon as the Start screen shown after boot-up completes – not a difficult job, right?

2. Don’t have to install additional program.
There are two types of Windows 8 Start screen:

Start screen shown immediately after boot-up completes

This type of Start screen can only be closed by pressing ENTER key (if Desktop tile is the first tile) or either one of these hotkeys: Windows+D, Windows+M, or Windows+B.

Start screen shown after pressing Windows key

If the previous screen is Desktop, this type of Start screen can be closed by pressing ESC key, ENTER key (if the first tile is Desktop app), Windows key (toggle between Start screen and Desktop view), Windows+D, Windows+M, or Windows+B.

Trick 2: Automatically runs Show Desktop function after boot-up completes

1. Create a text file with “.scf” file extension (e.g. ShowDesktop.scf) to contain these lines:
[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop

C.f. trick of re-create Show Desktop shortcut.

2. Open File Explorer, type shell:startup in Address bar then press ENTER – move the ShowDesktop.scf to this Windows 8 Start folder.

Open Windows 8 Start folder

This trick serves as a reference to any application (e.g. kiosk) that requires running automatically after Windows boot-up/logged-on. Though this trick is workable, it takes about 10 seconds to trigger (thus I prefer Trick-1 more than this).

Personally, I think it’s bad idea to dress Windows 8 with Windows 7 theme. The Windows 8 Style of Start screen is nice visual and it’s not hard to live with once you learn how to use it.

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