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Just Hit ENTER or ESC Key To Close Windows 8 Start Screen

Whenever my colleagues and friends ask me how to turn off or remove the modern but unfamiliar Windows 8 Start screen from appearing after boot-up, I said no, don’t do it, but get used to it with a handy trick.

First thing to do after installing or boot up Windows 8, please arrange the Windows 8 Show Desktop app (the Desktop tile) to the upper-left corner (the first tile below “Start”), as shown:

Rearrange Windows 8 Start screen tiles

Once this arrangement is done, you can just hit ENTER key in Start screen for “Show Desktop”, whenever you want to get rid of this Windows 8 Style Start screen and switch back to classical Desktop view. This non-destructive and easy-to-use trick maintains the needs of both camps – one camp supports the Windows 8 Modern UI and the other flavors the good old XP style (and to those who support both, of course).
Don’t panic if you’ve accidentally unpin Show Desktop app from Windows 8 Start screen, as it’s really not difficult to locate and pin it back!

Besides ENTER key, the ESC key can also function as “Show Desktop” or Windows key (toggle between Start screen and Desktop). These hotkeys (ESC and Windows key), however, can only close Start screen switched from Desktop – it CAN NOT turn off Start screen that shown immediately after the boot-up completes, or if the previous view is not Desktop but a Windows app.

By using the “first thing to do” trick, the ENTER key guarantees Show Desktop function work in any occasions/situations :)

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