How to Boot to Desktop in Windows 8.1

One of the chief complaints about Windows 8 is that Microsoft forced you to boot to the new Start screen rather than the desktop. The Start screen might be fine for a tablet interface, but on a desktop or laptop PC this can be a hassle as many of your major applications are still based off the more traditional desktop interface and not the touch screen interface.

Many utilities were released as a workaround to this problem but the ability to boot straight to the desktop remained one of the top requests by users. Microsoft heard the pleas of the masses and including the ability to boot to Desktop in Windows 8.1. Of course, they didn’t make how to do it very obvious. But, it’s quite easy to do.

How to Boot to Desktop in Windows 8.1

  • Click the Desktop tile on your Start screen.
  • Right-click on your taskbar, then click Properties.
  • Click the Navigation tab.
  • Check the box labeled, “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start.”
  • Click Ok and reboot your PC.

Now, when your computer reboots, instead of automatically taking you straight to the Start screen you will be taken to the desktop. If you decide you would prefer the Start screen again just repeat this process only uncheck the box you checked in Step 4.

This is a great little addition to Windows making it much easier for those of us that prefer the desktop over the Start screen and it’s the perfect solution for offices given that most applications used in the workplace aren’t Metro friendly as of yet. Windows 8.1 has added quite a few new features that really enhance the user experience while using Windows 8 but of all the new features I think this one will have the greatest impact on most users. What do you think? Are you glad to see this option come to Windows 8.1 and which do you prefer – Start screen or desktop?

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