Booting Windows 8 Straight to the Desktop

I recently decided to give Windows 8 a try on a spare laptop as I was keen to see what Microsoft had done with it. I normally don’t jump on new versions of Windows straight away as I don’t really have a need with the sort of work that I do. But curiosity got the better of me this time.

My first impressions are generally very good. I found not having the traditional Start menu strange at first, but after a while I didn’t really miss it. What is useful is you can press ‘Windows Key + X’ and you get a stripped down version of the start menu with the important links like Control Panel, Run, Search etc.

The new Tiles screen (formally Metro) is quite nice, and I can certainly see how this would be great on a tablet or touch screen. When you work on a desktop machine or traditional laptop, I find it best to think of the Tiles screen as a fancy Start Menu that you can switch too with the Windows Key.

But being as picky as I am, I wanted Windows 8 to boot straight to the desktop. This is possible, but there is a little setup which is very easy to do.

Just follow the next few steps and you will have Windows 8 booting straight to the desktop.

    • First load up the Windows Task Scheduler. The easiest way to do this is to go to the Windows 8 search bar and type ‘Task’.
Boot Windows 8 to Desktop : Task Scheduler

Boot Windows 8 to Desktop : Task Scheduler

    • When the task scheduler is loaded, click on the ‘Create Task’ option on the right side of the window.
Boot Windows 8 to Desktop : Create Task

Boot Windows 8 to Desktop : Create Task

    • You need to set the highlighted options as per the above screen shot. This makes sure the task executes for any user who logs onto the machine (Only do this if you actually want that to happen for all users.). Then set the ‘Configure for’ option to Windows 8.
Boot Windows 8 to Desktop : Create Trigger

Boot Windows 8 to Desktop : Create Trigger

    • Next create a trigger.  Change the ‘Begin the task’ drop down menu to ‘At log on’. This makes the task execute every time a user logs on to the machine. Then make sure the ‘Enabled’ option is ticked.
Boot Windows 8 to Desktop : Create Action

Boot Windows 8 to Desktop : Create Action

    • Next you need to create an Action. The ‘Action’ drop down box needs to be set to ‘Start a program’. Then set the ‘Program/script’ text box to be :
      • C:\Windows\explorer.exe

That is all there is to it. You just need to log off the machine and log back on again. The machine should go straight to the desktop. You can then treat the Tiles view as a beefed up Start Menu.

It’s a small tweak, but for me it made all the difference. I guess it just made the operating system feel more traditional. Perhaps I am just a Luddite, but it make me happy.

Participate with Coding in the Trenches on Facebook

Participate with Coding in the Trenches on Facebook by Click the button above.

This entry was posted in Windows 8 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Booting Windows 8 Straight to the Desktop

  1. Peter says:

    Interesting article. I have a friend who got Windows 8 on a new pc and asked for help so I’ll show him this.
    Once I worked out how to search in the tiled interface ( just type ) and how to get to control panel everything else fell into place.

  2. Startisback says:

    To customise more (esp. the evil new tiles menu), get this utility – startisback DOT com
    In its config window, set the log into desktop
    It will remove the tiles entirely. For tiles again, press Windows key and CTRL.

  3. Jay Freeman says:

    you should have a look at greenshot for image marking…

    • Stephen Haunts says:

      Cheers Jay. That tool looks really good. I will use it on my next post that requires screen grabs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s