How to Bypass Start Screen and Direct Boot into Desktop in Windows 8.1?

UPDATE: When we posted this tutorial using Windows 8.1 Preview version, the option mentioned in this tutorial was used to boot into Desktop only. Now a new functionality has been added to this option in final version of Windows 8.1. Check out the information given below to learn more about the changes.

When Microsoft released Windows 8, they added Windows Phone style Start Screen to the OS which shows live tiles of installed programs. But the addition of Start Screen didn't get good response from users as Microsoft expected. Windows 8 users didn't like the new Start Screen and they asked to bring back the good old Start Menu. Actually Microsoft replaced the Start Menu with Start Screen in Windows 8.

One more thing which many Windows 8 users complained about was the direct boot into Start Screen. Whenever a Windows 8 user logins, the Start Screen is shown at first not the Desktop. If the user wants to go to Desktop, he needs to click on the Desktop tile to switch to traditional Desktop. Although Microsoft added a similar Start Screen to Microsoft Office 2013 suite but they provided an option to disable or bypass it as mentioned here.

But in Windows 8 Microsoft didn't provide any built-in option to bypass or disable Start Screen so that the user can direct boot into Desktop. We had to depend upon 3rd party software such as Classic Shell to bypass Start Screen and boot into Desktop in Windows 8 as shown in following tutorial:

How to Skip Metro Start Screen and Boot Directly into Desktop in Windows 8?

Now the things have changed in Windows 8.1. Microsoft has put a new option in Windows 8.1 to bypass Start Screen and direct boot to Desktop. If the user enables this new option, he'll go directly to Windows Desktop after login screen and the Start Screen will no longer show after sign in.

If you are using Windows 8.1 and want to bypass Start Screen and want to direct boot into Desktop, check out following steps:

1. Right-click on Taskbar and select Properties option.

2. It'll open Taskbar and Navigation properties window.

3. Go to "Navigation" tab and enable "Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in" option present in "Start screen" section.

UPDATE: In final version of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has renamed the option to "When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start". Now this option comes with an extra functionality. It shows the desktop instead of Start Screen as soon as you close a running metro app.


4. Apply the changes and now whenever you'll login to Windows 8.1, Start Screen will not be shown and you'll direct go to Desktop.

NOTE: If you want to make these changes using Registry Editor, check out following tutorial:

Registry Tweaks to Customize Taskbar Navigation and Start Screen Settings in Windows 8.1


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • VG, I'm having a problem with the modern app tiles. When I logged into my computer I saw download icons on most of the apps. What does this mean?

  • But I have 1 little problem with that option in Windows 8.1 It's I want to direct boot to desktop but I don't want it's back to desktop when I close an app on Start Screen. In Windows 8, ClassicShell do it great but in Windows 8.1 it's not anymore. What can I do?

  • Microsoft should have made that "When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start" option separate. Not everyone wants to go to the Desktop after closing a Modern app.

  • VG

    ^^ Agree.

    It means Windows Store is updating the apps or there are updates available for those apps.

  • I also having a problem like pc10282013. I also checked for apps updates through Windows Store Settings > Apps Updates. but it shows "No Updates available". I suppose Do I need to switch Microsoft Account.

  • Dear VG, How to Create and Restore System Image Backups on Windows 8.1?

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:

    @Asrin475 and @pc10282013
    Are you both using avast! in your computers?

  • Yes, I am using avast right now, but it appears only the native apps are affected. It may not be Avast's fault.

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:

  • Dear VG,
    In windows 8' control panel, we have a feature called "windows 7 file recovery", we have create the system image of the system but this feature is not shown in windows 8.1. Is this feature removed or shift any where else. Now basic question how to make system's image without any 3rd party software in windows 8.1

  • VG

    ^^ Microsoft has replaced it with File History.

  • i have problm in my laptop.when i start laptop the bios options is not showing windows is directly i fixed this problem.

  • VG

    ^^ You need to press the key mentioned at the first screen where BIOS logo is shown. It must be either F12 or Delete key.

  • VG,
    when i press the power button the first screen is not showing direct windows load.
    Toshiba monogram , f2 or f12 is not showing.
    after one week ago i change the boot speed in bios setting.i selected fast boot speed options.
    how i fix it plz tell me with details.thankx

  • VG

    ^^ Try following:

    Also dont press power button on your computer to shutdown your system. Click on shutdown option given in Windows. Now it'll properly shutdown and restart with BIOS logo.

  • But my Taskbar properties has'not Navigation .Can you help me thank in advance

  • VG

    ^^ It seems you are using Windows 8. Please check following tutorial for Windows 8:

  • Just got a new HP laptop running Windows 8.1. Yes, can boot straight to desktop by-passing sign on as above but not before get HP Welcome screen with my user name and optional photo ID.
    Although the welcome screen only displays as computer loads up; if take this into account I'm not really booting directly into my desktop!

    I recall it was necessary to create this account on first using the Laptop but can't find a way to disable it. Creating a local account still presents a Welcome User screen?

  • VG

    ^^ Try following:

  • ^^ Thanks: but I'd already done that and yes its an auto log in without needing to enter user name and password. However I also want the option to remove my user name, e-mail address and ID picture that's on display before the desktop screen. e.g. want to boot direct into the desktop like I do on my Windows XP3 desktop computer which just displays a splash screen as it loads into the desktop.
    Maybe this not possible as its part of Microsoft's authentication of Windows 8.1 although I don't recall them wanting personal details in the past as well as a machine's installation configuration.

  • VG

    ^^ I think you are using your Live ID to log into Windows. Switch to a local account and it should help you.

  • ^^ You are right : I used disconnect from my Microsoft user account which allowed me to create a local account with a user profile of just an alternative name. Now I can boot straight to the desktop with just a welcome as Window loads.
    Not sure however that being logged in under a local account will still get automatic Windows updates but thanks for your help.

  • VG

    ^^ Everything will work fine and you'll receive all updates. I'm also using a local account.

  • I have a problem after entering my credentials the screen is just black i dont see any tiles but i see my mouse cursor what to do pls help :(

  • VG

    ^^ Try Reset or refresh PC options. If you have Windows setup disc, try to repair Windows.

  • i have one problem, when i am starting my laptop it dosen't start in first time only blue screen is their, and then i have to power off with the power button , and if again i am stating it starting very simply.... waiting 4 response thank u

  • VG

    ^^ Try following solution:

  • Hello VG,

    I have been following your tips & tricks for a quite some time now.
    Your website is awesome and very helpful. Keep up the good work.
    I bought a new HP 2in 1 with Win 8.1id of
    Love 8.1. I have customized it to my liking.
    However there is one irksome detail I cant get rid of.
    HP ships laptops with their Logo in the splash screen (NOT lock screen).
    Is there a way to go to sign in screen straight?

  • VG

    ^^ I think you are talking about boot screen which contains small progress circle at bottom. Right? You can try to repair Windows using setup disc. I think it'll restore default boot screen.

  • Thanks for replying VG.
    When I power up the machine, I get HP logo in the center with progress circle below it.
    Login screen comes up after 4-5 seconds,
    I want to go to login screen on powering up.
    I do not have setup disc as this is OEM machine.
    How do I go about?

  • VG

    ^^ Skipping boot screen which shows Windows or HP logo is not possible.

  • Thanks for this site! :)
    It helped me a lot

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