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How to Start Windows 8 in Desktop Mode

Updated on August 6, 2014
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a BS in Mass Communications from SIU and an MA in Communication from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.

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Introduction

By default, Windows 8 boots up to the Start screen that features the tiled apps. You can still access the more traditional desktop-style screen through the Desktop app, but you have to do it by either selecting the Desktop tile or pressing the "Windows" and "D" buttons at the same time. However, if you'd rather boot your Windows 8 machine up directly to Desktop mode, you can do so by creating a task that launches Windows Explorer when your computer boots up.

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Press "Windows" to view the Start screen.Type "schedule" in an open area in the Start screen to open a Search window with "schedule" as the query. Click "Settings" and then click "Schedule tasks."Click "Create Task" in the Action menu on the right side of the dialog box. The Create Task dialog box opens.Enter "Boot to Desktop" or something similar in the Name field, then click "OK." Select the "Triggers" tab and then click "New" to open the New Trigger dialog box.Click the "Begin the task" drop-down menu and then click "At log on." Click "OK." Select the "Actions" tab and then click "New" to open the New Action dialog box.Click the drop-down box to the right of Action and then click "Start a program."Enter "explorer" in the Program/Script section and then click "OK."The task you've created appears in the Task Scheduler.
Press "Windows" to view the Start screen.
Press "Windows" to view the Start screen. | Source
Type "schedule" in an open area in the Start screen to open a Search window with "schedule" as the query. Click "Settings" and then click "Schedule tasks."
Type "schedule" in an open area in the Start screen to open a Search window with "schedule" as the query. Click "Settings" and then click "Schedule tasks." | Source
Click "Create Task" in the Action menu on the right side of the dialog box. The Create Task dialog box opens.
Click "Create Task" in the Action menu on the right side of the dialog box. The Create Task dialog box opens. | Source
Enter "Boot to Desktop" or something similar in the Name field, then click "OK."
Enter "Boot to Desktop" or something similar in the Name field, then click "OK." | Source
Select the "Triggers" tab and then click "New" to open the New Trigger dialog box.
Select the "Triggers" tab and then click "New" to open the New Trigger dialog box. | Source
Click the "Begin the task" drop-down menu and then click "At log on." Click "OK."
Click the "Begin the task" drop-down menu and then click "At log on." Click "OK." | Source
Select the "Actions" tab and then click "New" to open the New Action dialog box.
Select the "Actions" tab and then click "New" to open the New Action dialog box. | Source
Click the drop-down box to the right of Action and then click "Start a program."
Click the drop-down box to the right of Action and then click "Start a program." | Source
Enter "explorer" in the Program/Script section and then click "OK."
Enter "explorer" in the Program/Script section and then click "OK." | Source
The task you've created appears in the Task Scheduler.
The task you've created appears in the Task Scheduler. | Source

Process for Starting Windows 8 in Desktop Mode

  1. Press the "Windows" button to navigate back to the Windows 8 Start screen if you're not already there.
  2. Click an open area on the Start screen and then type "schedule." The Search screen appears with "schedule" entered in the search query in the upper right corner.
  3. Click "Settings" beneath the Search field and then click "Schedule tasks" on the left side of the Search screen. The Task Scheduler dialog box opens in the Desktop app.
  4. Click "Create Task" in the Action menu on the right side of the dialog box. The Create Task dialog box opens.
  5. Enter "Boot to Desktop" or something similar in the Name field, then click "OK." You'll be returned to the Create Task dialog box.
  6. Select the "Triggers" tab and then click "New" to open the New Trigger dialog box.
  7. Click the "Begin the task" drop-down menu and then click "At log on." Click "OK." You'll be returned to the Create Task dialog box.
  8. Select the "Actions" tab and then click "New" to open the New Action dialog box.
  9. Click the drop-down box to the right of Action and then click "Start a program."
  10. Enter "explorer" in the Program/Script section and then click "OK." The task you've created appears in the Task Scheduler, and the next time you reboot your Windows 8 computer it will boot up to Desktop mode instead of the traditional Windows 8 Start screen.

© 2012 Max Dalton

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    • profile image

      Jacki 2 years ago

      Yup, that shloud defo do the trick!

    • profile image

      Christopher V. 3 years ago

      Thanks; it is surprisingly difficult to find concise and easy to follow instructions on getting around some of these inexplicable and off-putting changes in new systems.

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