Tech Tip of the Week: Bypass Metro and Boot Directly to Windows 8's Desktop

By on July 13, 2012, 2:01 AM

I've been running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for a few months and although I'm okay with Metro replacing the Start Menu, I hate seeing the new interface by default every time I reboot. When Windows 7 starts, you hit a login screen (assuming it's enabled) and then you're brought straight to the desktop.

When Windows 8 starts, it displays a lock screen that you have to move out of the way before entering your credentials, and then you have to dismiss the Metro interface before accessing the desktop. Like I said, I'm cool with Metro, but I have no desire to see a full-screen Start Menu when I log into my PC.

Hopefully the retail version of Windows 8 will make it a little easier to force Metro into the background, but it's entirely possible to do this on the prerelease builds if you have five minutes to spare. Likewise, it's easy to disable the lock screen and have Windows automatically log you in for hassle-free reboots.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 39

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Emexrulsier said:

To be 100% honest if people are doing this then simply stick with XP/Windows 7. I ahve been using windows8 now for a good few months in the beginning I totally slated the tiles and hated them but with use I have grown to love them and find it much faster to operate. The truth of the matter is that people simply dont like change and if thats the case then dont change simple as

ramonsterns said:

How to bypass Metro: Don't buy Windows 8.

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

How to bypass Metro: Don't buy Windows 8.

Wow. That would have been a very witty post if;

1. I hadn't read the same thing about a million times in every Win8 article on the net, and,

2. You hadn't just paraphrased the post immediately above your own.

1 person liked this | steve7 steve7 said:

Its easier to do this with Classic Shell. Just right click on start button (created by classic shell) > settings > disable metro screen.

Reference: [link]

steve7 steve7 said:

And also if any of you didn't notice, Windows 8 takes less resources than Windows 7. For example I have 8GB of RAM installed. In Windows 7 x64 between 2-4GB of ram is used. In Windows 8 x64 only 1-2GB of RAM is used. That is really optimized. The boot time is wicked fast also. The only thing keeping me from using Windows 8 is that proper drivers for external sound cards are available but don't give full usability. For example I have the Asus Xonar DG sound card (it comes with headphone amp), I mean sure I found a driver that works, but in order to use the headphone amp, I need to have to Xonar DG Audio Center to enable the amp.

Det Det said:

Wouldn't work for me. Even if I skipped executing it through the .bat or just created a shortcut for startup to %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and 32-bit version very stable and can be very quick also if you know how to reprogram the OS.

Windows 8 PV 64-bit and 32-bit is very quick also but still buggy. MS needs to fix a lot of issues before I could ever drop all the systems and tablet to use it 100%

Stardock8 is much needed for Windows 8 PV.

Remote desktop icon and app seems to disappears with each update. I think it's 100% better than what comes in Windows 7U64 really fast. But most of what you have in 8 like TCP Initial RTO : 3000 is 3000 in 8 where 7 doesn't even have that feature. To get that feature in 7 you have to download a special Hot Fix which has to be requested through MS otherwise you can't get it. Once you get it just change it from the default 3000 to 1000 on 7 and 8.

Guest said:

Another thing to consider is the latest processor instructions will only be fully utilized in Windows 8 which will give a considerable performance boost,particularly with AMD FX series processors.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Still a tough desicion on whether to upgrade. What's the word on Media Center in Win8? I heard it's not included, but it is easily added later or completely unavailable?

KG363 KG363 said:

I'm such a start menu power user that I'm going to hate the shift to Win8.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Mike, from what I understand, Media Center is bundled into the cost of the $40 upgrade and you're given the choice to install it.

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Ugliest UI Ive ever seen. No way I want my desktop to look like a Windows Phone home screen. Those colors are hideous. Sticking with what works and I'm happy with Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit for a while and just upgrade my hardware like I do every year.

Jim$ter said:

Going to skip Vista...I mean Windows 8.......Windows 9 is going to rock!

raybk said:

I like change, but not bad change. Neither is my company.

My company has decided not to upgrade to Windows 8 which save hundreds of license.

1 person liked this | Johnny Pappis Johnny Pappis said:

I totally agree I have been using win8 for awhile now and I find it to be extremely fast for multi tasking....people need to sit down with it for awhile before going nuts.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

It's fast but so can Windows 7 be fast. They all suffer from Fragmentation still. Not perfect but Windows 8 more geared for MS Skyxxx aka Cloud. TCP has been beefed up but don't hold your breath it's sill not where it should be. But the version out is still buggy. Windows 9 going to support next gen CPU right now most of us are stuck in either 32-bit or 64-bit. The promise of 128-bit OS for CPU that support it has to be made.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Mike, from what I understand, Media Center is bundled into the cost of the $40 upgrade and you're given the choice to install it.

The Windows 8 Pro version to be exact.

TJGeezer said:

So you have to get rid of something to get rid of something to get to a desktop that lacks a start button. That's... interesting.

When I got Win7 it made me do a little happy dance, which at my age is not something you want to see. But it was fun and exciting and quite a surprise, like sex at age 15. (If your first was younger, I don't wanna hear about it.)

So far I'm not feeling any of that, er, love about Win8. Still inclined to wait and see.

Guest said:

Good lord what did you do to your start screen man. You people are insane. Hilariously stupid people doing this kind of stuff. And Windows 9 will probably deprecate the desktop even further, so I'm not sure what you nutjobs are waiting for in that one. The Win32 business model is dried up, time for you children to get from denial phase to acceptance. Microsoft can't make money off of Win32 in a world where iOS and Android are giving the operating system for free and gaining market share through cheap mobile computers. The only revenue now is through the app store model. The era of $200 operating systems is over now.

ig-88 said:

How to bypass Metro: Don't buy Windows 8.

Wow. That would have been a very witty post if;

1. I hadn't read the same thing about a million times in every Win8 article on the net, and,

2. You hadn't just paraphrased the post immediately above your own.

Maybe he wasn't trying to be funny. Maybe he was being serious. I think I'll take his advice. It just seems easier than having to add permanent scripts to hack the OS right out of the box. It's funny this information is being posted even before the official release of Windows 8. The article really should have been titled, "How to bypass Windows 8's primary user interface".

I am very interested to see whether or not Windows 8 succeeds or fails.

I think it's high-time TechSpot did a poll to find out how many people intend to upgrade to Windows 8 upon release, how many will take a wait and see approach, and how many are planning on skipping it all together.

I like the article's image. That's probably what my actual screen would look like if I tried using Metro for a couple of hours.

The reasons for upgrading to Windows 8 just aren't very compelling to me. All I keep hearing is that it's faster. What other reasons were there for upgrading again?

waltc said:

Matthew,

I thought you might want to check out the Release Preview (newer than the CP) version of Win8:

http://www.forumswindows8.com/windows-8-download/

...although I don't see why your script wouldn't work.

The $40 deal is too good to pass up. People are sheeple, sometimes. The same ones who hated Vista loved Win7, and Win7 is nothing except Vista 2.x...;) The only difference was they'd had time to try out the OS and get used to the changes and recognize the advantages. Then you also have the whole cadre of clowns who think software is worthless and that it should all be free and that there's no difference between a cell phone and a desktop computer. App Store? No thanks.

Anyway, thanks for the tip!

TJGeezer said:

The same ones who hated Vista loved Win7, and Win7 is nothing except Vista 2.x... The only difference was they'd had time to try out the OS and get used to the changes and recognize the advantages.

Which is to say, Vista that's been debugged, is more trim and no longer runs like a pig. Geez, as if the improvements weren't significant and the user experience not vastly better. Wouldn't you be happier in Linux, where in some circles looking down one's nose at the simpler folk is a badge of honor?

TJGeezer said:

My comments are stuck on an image link, it seems. At least, that's what I after posting. That last one started with a quote of @waltc and had no image, no code, no smiley. How strange. What I see here is not even close to what I posted. Moderator? Any tips? Settings? Well, let's see if this one gets through..

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Is there a way to make the metro Start "menu" not take up the full screen? I can't imagine liking a full screen Start menu, ever. I got about two zillion things going and then all of it obscured by a single "menu" makes me twitch.

Also, how does this metro Start "menu" work with multi-monitors? Will my octamonitron have eight screens of Start "menu"?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

How to bypass Metro: Don't buy Windows 8.

Wow. That would have been a very witty post if;

1. I hadn't read the same thing about a million times in every Win8 article on the net, and,

2. You hadn't just paraphrased the post immediately above your own.

Maybe he wasn't trying to be funny

Recognizing sarcasm not your strong suit I take it. Mine, not ramonsterns. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if ramonsterns took issue with my observation, then ramonsterns likely would have made an attempt at disambiguation. This is the internet is it not?

I think it's high-time TechSpot did a poll to find out how many people intend to upgrade to Windows 8 upon release

Not only are some people afraid of change, they also require herding like domestic livestock.

>>Here's an idea!...If you think it's "high time", maybe YOU could start a thread and post a poll. It's so basic (both the idea and it's execution) that I don't think you'd even need to be a power user . I'd also suggest that you include an option for what OS the user would choose for a new build, since very few people upgrade their OS in relation to total licenses sold...although judging by the fact that you seem to be trolling Win8 threads with the same dreary repetitive message (FYI this thread is about offering tips for people who are using Win8...as opposed to people who haven't tried W8 but like to troll it) I'm guessing posting a poll would require a level of involvement exceeding your interest level.

mailpup mailpup said:

TJGeezer, I suggest you post the problem you are having in the Site Feedback and Suggestions forum. I notice that you have had a problem more than once. A few problems seem to have remained from the change over to the new XenForo software. An Admin or developer can look into it.

ig-88 said:

OMG,

Talk about trolling and repetition. The same old droning lame argument about people who don't embrace Windows 8 with open arms as being afraid of change. I think that reverse psychological argument has been used in every thread I've read on Windows 8. Even though I upgraded from Windows 95 to 98, to ME, to XP, and to Windows 7. Yes, that's the reason I won't upgrade to Windows 8. Im afraid of change.

And yes, livestock do require herding. That's why TechSpot is releasing article after article as of late on what a higher quality of life one can enjoy for the low, low price of $39.99.

If I started a poll using a forum message it would simply digress into a pissing match much like this thread has done. I want to see numbers without all the self-righteous sarcastic rhetoric. Because in the end, it's the numbers alone that will tell us whether Windows 8 wins or loses.

I want to see numbers, not start yet another thread for back and forth banter. If I have to read the same lame ass arguments again from people telling me that I am afraid to upgrade to Windows 8 because Im afraid of change I may hang myself. So, the poll is the safest option for my well being at this point. And while I do realize that some polls allow thread comments we get a more mathematical result and allow those who don't wish to contribute much more than a mouse click, involved in the process as well.

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I like change, but not bad change. Neither is my company.

My company has decided not to upgrade to Windows 8 which save hundreds of license.

That is always going to happen though. For most businesses it doesn't make sense to upgrade to another OS when what they need done works fine with what they have. So I don't buy this whole 'we aren't upgrading to 8 because it sucks' argument - when that is said, I would wager that at least 90% of the time the real reason is it costs to much to make another OS transition.

1 person liked this | ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I agree, every time Windows 8 is mentioned the comments are full of Windows 8 haters. What's your point people? Except for showing your lack of taste in modern UI's what are do you expect to achieve?

Anyway, I want to thank steve7 for the mention of Classic Shell.

ig-88 said:

What's the point? To let as many people as possible know that giving center stage to a cellphone interface on the desktop version of Windows 8 is unacceptable. A finger is no substitute for a keyboard and mouse. And if your going to post articles like 'How to Bypass Windows 8 Metro Interface' it begs the question why even upgrade to Windows 8 if your going to bypass its most prominent feature??? There are no other features worth upgrading to Windows 8 for and the most prominent feature is the most hated feature. So why bother?

Pretty funny stuff. Thanking somebody for a link that explains an easier way to bypass the Metro User Interface and in the same message asking Windows 8 haters what the point is. Why are you thanking somebody for a link that explains an easy way to bypass Windows 8 primary User Interface?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm asking what the point is because "let as many people as possible know that ... is unacceptable" is equivalent to "just because". You hate it, you want people to know that you hate it. Completely pointless, completely troll.

I don't like metro myself. Does that mean I should go wasting everyone's time posting about it on every thread? I'll either stay with 7 or upgrade for $40 and use something like Classic Shell, and get the benefits of a better underlying OS without the new UI. Haven't decided yet, but I appreciate the people who help me learn more about my options.

ig-88 said:

Your response is lame, seriously. The point of a troll is to draw attention to himself. The point of my posts is to have a "possible" influence on the next version of Windows. The reason this very article exists is because of people expressing their dislike over the Metro UI. If I don't express my opinions and eat everything served to me like a good little sheep they will assume that what they are serving is delicious.I am not going to sit around with a smile on my face when I really wanna puke it back up. If you love Windows 8 so much, knock yourself out. Everyone has a right to express their opinion about it and that's all I am doing. I will express my opinion with my words and with my wallet. Anything I can do to influence the next version of Windows I will do and hope the next version of Windows doesn't turn out like this one did.

1 person liked this | ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

How do you influence Windows 8 by posting here? Did you provide any feedback directly to Microsoft or do anything else that really can have a difference?

No to mention that you never post anything constructive. How do you expect to influence anything this way? You just tell people that there's no point in buying 8, and that they're stupid if they want that. When people give you reasons they want to upgrade you dismiss them. You basically ignore everything people say (certainly if you say "if you love Windows 8 so much" it means you haven't read what I posted). So as you so nicely said, you just try to draw attention to yourself and your hatred of Windows 8.

It's a bit silly of me to reply, considering that you're not really reading what's being said, so I'll try not to do it from now on.

Guest said:

I actually kinda like the metro ui, and it boots up in 1o seconds on a old sata hard drive. however, I refuse to pay over $150 for win8 pro. if it was $30 or $50, sold. till then, ill take win7 ultimate (thank you ebay)

Det Det said:

How do you influence Windows 8 by posting here? Did you provide any feedback directly to Microsoft or do anything else that really can have a difference?

No to mention that you never post anything constructive. How do you expect to influence anything this way? [...]

To be fair I really don't think it would make any difference. MS _knows_ a lot of people don't like Windows 8. Probably even the devs creating it since the early days have said "god, this is going to suck".

It has been Microsoft's decision to go on with it nontheless.

Although, I do agree that not only isn't ig-88 helping either MS or the actual Windows users here in any way, he's also doing it in a particularly annoying way. I've never really had much regard for people who just keep whining about decisions that aren't theirs to make. They just go nuts over the fact that other people are accepting or even defending those decision. What they don't understand is that the better choice would have been to either do something _constructive_ about it or shut up.

In this case I would have recommended the latter. You don't like it? Fine. Don't use it. Nobody gives a sh*t anyway.

ps. And the "poll" point was just stupid because you wouldn't even have to look at anybody's posts but your own.

pps. Yeah, and I've already ignored you so go nuts all you like. I might come back at some point of course, if I wanna have a good laugh.

steve7 steve7 said:

I agree, every time Windows 8 is mentioned the comments are full of Windows 8 haters. What's your point people? Except for showing your lack of taste in modern UI's what are do you expect to achieve?

Anyway, I want to thank steve7 for the mention of Classic Shell.

You're welcome. I really liked Windows 8 with Classic Shell, the only reason im still using Windows 7 is because my sound card (Asus Xonar DG) isn't fully supported on Windows 8, what I mean is it still works but a lot of features don't work like virtual 7.1 and dolby headphone amp, because the Asus Audio Centre doesn't work (not compatible with Win8). As for performance its quite better than Windows 7. I think we need to give Windows 8 a second chance. And you know this is coming from an avid Windows 8 critic and hardcore PC gamer.

Guest said:

win8 is rocks, and it's here to stay. Sure the previews got some bugs, but thats why its called previews, the end product will be spectacular and ol' BG will have negative ignoramuses like you folk to thank for it. Get with the times people or get out of the way, upgrade to Linux if it makes you happy, go to the zoo and throw a half eaten Apple at a Lion but don't badmouth win8 anymore.

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

The truth of the matter is that people simply dont like change and if thats the case then dont change simple as

No, it's not simple because when you're using services (like websites) that companies decide to re-design we're forced to deal with it.

New software allows usage of new technology that you want to use? Forced to deal with it.

It is not simple and not everyone can change like some people can.

Guest said:

Boot To The Desktop - For Windows 8 and 8 Pro

Make sure you have "Hide extensions for known file types" unchecked in Folder Options. Just for file verification purposes.

Re-check it afterwards if you want.

Create the "Show Desktop" file:

Open a text editor like Notepad. (not Word or Wordpad)

Copy and Paste or type the following into the text editor:

[Shell]

Command=2

IconFile=explorer.exe,3

[Taskbar]

Command=ToggleDesktop

Do not have any extra spaces at the top and do not "Carriage Return" (enter) to next line at the end.

Save the file as - Show Desktop.scf (actually any name you want, just remember it)

When you see the file it will have the Desktop icon but it will not have .scf at the end even with "Hide extensions for known file types" unchecked. Right click the file and go to properties. It should have "Type of file: File Explorer Command (.scf)" and the name should be just "Show Desktop" with no extension.

Copy the file to the "Start Menu\Programs\Startup" folder.

There are more than one "Startup" folders in Windows 8 and 8 Pro. Put it in this one:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Close everything down. Restart your computer.

When it boots up, it will pause at the "Start" screen until it reads the contents of Startup.

It will then go to the Desktop with nothing opened up.

Side note: If you want something to open automatically when you boot up, put it in this same Startup folder after Show Desktop.

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