How to Disable New Metro Boot Loader and Restore Classic Boot Loader in Windows 8 and Later?

UPDATE: This tutorial will also work in Windows 8.1 and later.

One of the most interesting and impressive features introduced in Microsoft's latest OS Windows 8 is the new boot loader. Previous Windows versions used to contain a boot loader without a GUI. It was similar to Command Prompt screen where you could use the arrow keys present in your keyboard to select the desired OS to boot.

Microsoft replaced this classic boot loader with a brand new boot loader in Windows 8 which is now called "Boot Options Menu". It comes with a GUI and allows you to interact with your mouse as well. It provides various useful options such as troubleshoot PC startup problems, reset or repair Windows 8, restore Windows, disable device driver signature check, access Safe Mode and much more.

You can read more info about this new boot loader in following article:

How to Access and Use Windows 8 Metro Boot Loader and Advanced Boot Options?


But there is one problem with this new boot loader which occurs when you dual boot between Windows 8 and any other previous Windows version such as Windows Vista or 7.

If you have set Windows 8 as default boot entry in your system, first Windows 8 boots and the new Metro boot loader to select installed OS is shown after Windows 8 boot screen. It might become quite annoying if you want to boot into other Windows version. First you'll have to watch Windows 8 boot screen and then you'll be able to select previous Windows OS from new Metro boot loader.

On the other hand in previous boot loader, no installed OS boots until you select it from the OS list in boot loader. It saves lots of time.

Today in this article, we are going to tell you how to disable new Metro boot loader and bring back Windows Vista and 7 style boot loader in Windows 8.


So if you also want to get Windows Vista and Windows 7 style classic boot loader back in Windows 8, follow these simple steps:

1. To disable new Metro boot loader we'll need to execute a command in Command Prompt. So first open Command Prompt as Administrator using following tutorial:

[Guide] Different Ways to Open Command Prompt as Administrator in Windows

2. Now type following command and press Enter:

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

You'll get a message "The operation completed successfully".


That's it. Restart your system and you'll see classic Windows Vista and 7 style boot loader in Windows 8.

3. In case you want to re-enable Windows 8 Metro boot loader in future, simply execute following command in Command Prompt:

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard

Again you'll get a message "The operation completed successfully". Restart and you'll get the new Metro boot loader back in Windows 8.


You can also try following special commands to tweak and customize Windows 8 Boot Screen and Boot Loader:

To enable advanced options in Windows 8 boot menu:
bcdedit /set {globalsettings} advancedoptions true

To enable editing of kernel parameters at startup:
bcdedit /set {globalsettings} optionsedit true

To disable Windows 8 logo in boot screen:
bcdedit /set {globalsettings} custom:16000067 true

To disable text messages in boot screen:
bcdedit /set {globalsettings} custom:16000068 true

To disable circle animation in boot screen:
bcdedit /set {globalsettings} custom:16000069 true

If you want to restore default settings, simply replace true with false in above mentioned commands and then execute the commands.


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • wow people love to kill everything good about windows 8 all cause they are not smart enough to use the new stuff such a fail but good post

  • I want to see how to customize OS tile icon. To make even more personality.

  • @alex

    Actually legacy boot loader more better if you frequently switch OS. So you dont need to boot win8 first,

    btw, i installer Program called iReboot. I love it and definitely recommended it for multi OS users.

  • And after this it is possible to enter Save Mode via F8 in Windows 8? If yest than it one of most useful hacks related to Windows 8 :)

  • @alex: Thank you for showing us the error of our ways for trying to do things in a Non-Microsoft Approved Way(tm). How can we ever repay your kindness and generosity?

  • @MJPollard By using the features you got Win8 for. :P If you don't like it, use Win7.

  • Awesome!
    This is what I have been looking for. Thank Vishal. You are cute.

  • Great article. However, I think by making Windows 7 or Vista as default OS this problem can be solved.

  • The Genius!!, This is Solution for My Question. Thanks VG....

  • Thank You so much for your research and post.. The main annoying feature which I raise in Windows 8 is the boot loader.By God's grace,I can now comfortably select the desired OS which I need. Thank you Vishal Gupta.

  • @semtex: EVERY hint to get rid of tiles and other W8 crap is worth to publish to the masses.
    Unfortunaly in the near future most poeple will be forced to buy a PC with no choice then tiles.
    Though Anval is the more promoter of W8 his tips for disabling the most perverted UI-gimmicks are nice to find.

    Buy a Mac instead as long you can get it without IOS-crap on the desktop. ;-)

  • I'm using "bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard" and my windows keeps loading windows 7 bootloader and rarely but sometimes it loads windows 8 bootloader.
    Its kinda wierd.
    Would be great to get some help :x

  • 1366x768
    When I reboot my PC, it comes with Windows 7 bootloader but when I shutdown and press the power button to start it starts with Windows 8 bootloader :/

  • VG

    ^^ It might be a Graphics card driver issue.

  • Talking about that! Windows installed AMD Radeon HD 7400M Series (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM v1.20) but I have an AMD Radeon HD 6450M! Might be that?

  • VG

    ^^ Might be. Since Windows 8 RTM is new, you should wait for some time until the graphics card company releases a new updated driver for your PC.

  • This does not appear to work for me.

    I actually like the Metro loader. Since I am dual booting between Windows 8 and 7, I used the options on the metro loader to make Windows 7 the default. As soon as I did that, the Metro loader was replaced by the windows 7 legacy loader.

    To try and get the Metro loader back, I tried the following

    1) I booted into Windows 8 and ran the steps above:

    bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard

    As soon as I did that, the legacy boot menu actually disappeared all together. It started booting directly into Windows 7.

    2) I tried booting the WIndows 8 installation meter and repaing the master boot records and but those commands did nothing, and actual said it could not find any installed os.

    3) Eventually I was able to get the legacy boot menu back by downloaded a free boot ini file editor. Both windows os versions were still in the file, but I moved things around to make sure the file updated.

    Yet, nothing I do has resulted in getting the metro loader back.... Any ideas?

  • VG

    ^^ It was actually very simple. You just need to set Windows 8 again as default OS using msconfig while running Windows 8.

  • Great, my dying PC takes more than 5 trial to power ON; so I better stick to Legacy boot-loader

  • i have windows 8 & xp installed... but i get an error executing this command...
    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.2.9200]
    (c) 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
    The element data type specified is not recognized, or does not apply to the
    specified entry.
    Run "bcdedit /?" for command line assistance.
    Element not found.


  • VG

    ^^ It seems Windows XP is set as default OS in your system. Is it right? If yes, first set Windows 8 as default OS to boot and then try the command.

  • alex, That's not really it, dual booting win 8 with existing win7 is a pity, maybe this fix will help ?

  • This didn't work for me. Every time I boot my laptop, after BIOS, it will go straight to the loading windows screen then windows 8 metro manager then I choose windows 8. but if I restart the laptop, after BIOS, it will go straight to windows 7 boot manager. I have a dual boot setup with windows 8 and linux mint 14.

    I like the new boot manager for its looks but I hate it when I choose to boot Linux Mint. it will reboot -- not pass it to GRUB boot loader to load Linux -- and waste precious boot time. so I want it removed and found this solution but didn't get what I wanted.

  • Actually there is an easier way to do this.

    1. Boot to Windows 7
    2. Open System in Control Panel.
    3. Klik Advanced System Settings.
    4. Klik Advanced Tab.
    5. Klik Setting button on Startup and Recovery section.
    6. On Default Operating System drop-down box choose windows 7.
    7. Ok, Ok. Restart.

  • VG

    ^^ But there is one problem in doing your steps! It'll make Windows 7 as default OS. What if you want to keep Windows 8 as default OS but want to have classic boot loader? In this situation the method mentioned in above tutorial will help. ;)

  • @VG Thanks for the input. It just, i don't know where did i go wrong.

    The purpose of this tutorial is to replace Windows 8 boot loader (the first screenshot) with Windows 7 boot loader style right? (the second screenshot), and of course that means still having the option to choose which OS to boot. If i choose Windows 8, then it will boot straight to Windows 8 without that annoying restart, and if i choose Windows 7 it will boot straight to Windows 7. Well..., that's what happen to me, or perhaps i misunderstood the purpose of this tutorial. :)

    Did you checked the 'Time to display the list of operating systems' check box?

  • VG

    ^^ If you use the method mentioned in above topic, It'll keep Windows 8 as default OS but will use Windows 7 style boot loader. If you use your method, it'll force you to set Windows 7 as default OS even if you want to have Windows 8 as default OS.

  • I performed the above steps with Win8.1P and Kubuntu 12.04 and discovered the very same phenomena, a re-boot, the old boot menu, a hard boot the new Windows 8x menu,


  • Hi vishal, I'm having a problem with your method. I've used it before one month and it worked successfully. Recently I'm having a problem, It started to use the metro boot loader again. I tried the above command again but it didn't work. Here are my entries when I run bcdedit.


    Windows Boot Manager
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device partition=C:
    description Windows Boot Manager
    locale en-US
    inherit {globalsettings}
    integrityservices Enable
    default {current}
    resumeobject {b357107b-2201-11e3-8328-bcbf30f45253}
    displayorder {current}
    toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
    timeout 4294967295
    displaybootmenu Yes

    Windows Boot Loader
    identifier {current}
    device partition=C:
    path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description Windows 8
    locale en-US
    inherit {bootloadersettings}
    recoverysequence {b357107d-2201-11e3-8328-bcbf30f45253}
    integrityservices Enable
    recoveryenabled Yes
    allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075
    osdevice partition=C:
    systemroot \Windows
    resumeobject {b357107b-2201-11e3-8328-bcbf30f45253}
    nx OptIn
    bootmenupolicy Legacy

    Real-mode Boot Sector
    identifier {b357107f-2201-11e3-8328-bcbf30f45253}
    device partition=C:
    path \NST\nst_mac.mbr
    description Mountain Lion



  • VG

    ^^ Did you receive any error message after running the command? Also did you open Command Prompt as Administrator? The command should work fine.

  • Hi vishal, thanks for your reply. I've confirmed that I'm running the command prompt as administrator and that command didn't give out any error message, it just said "The operation completed successfully"

    I also had a windows 7 DVD, is there any way to install just the boot loader without the OS from it?

  • VG

    ^^ You can boot into Windows 7 and set Windows 7 as default OS to boot using "Boot" tab in msconfig program. It'll set Windows 7 boot loader as default and you'll not see Windows 8 boot loader at startup.

  • Hi vishal, thanks for your reply. I said I've a windows 7 installer DVD and not that I've installed windows 7. Today I came across EasyBCD, there is an option in that to install [Windows Vista/7 Boot Manager] Can I safely install that? I have large amounts of very valuable data on my HDD and I've been using my system to dual boot windows 8 and os x mountain lion. Does installing that remove my existing entries?

  • VG

    ^^ I cant confirm but EasyBCD has worked fine for me in past.

  • Thanks. Hope this will enable me to enter safe mode. I've got a graphic card issue and windows 8 just loads to quickly for me to press f8 or shift f8. but hopefully I'll be able to do it with legacy loader.

  • its working but after i shut down the pc its came back... what can i do?

  • Actually, VG, I wanted to do the opposite!

    But that's easy to do, so if anyone installed Windows 8 and then 7, you'll get the classic loader. Fix it by booting to windows 8 and then running a Command Prompt as admin. Type in

    bcdboot c:\windows

    This assumes your Windows 8 drive is C. Change if not.

    And voila you have the metro bootloader.

  • thanks very much... very very very useful info.. once again thanks. :-)

  • Having problem after executing the above steps shutting down from windows 8 shows the standard bootloader where as shutting down from windows 7 shows the legacy bootloader when i open the system nexttime

  • Hey VG , I've got Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 running . If I run the command on Windows 8.1 , will I have to do this on Windows 10 as well (BTW I've Windows 8.1 as default , planning to change it to Windows 10)............

  • @Alex:
    The legacy way was superior because it was very quick and simple. This new method requires several steps when only one was previously necessary. Why over-complicate things? It is also a HUGE PAIN when you need Safe Mode right away due to an error that prevents you from even getting into Windows Normally.

  • Did not work for me. I got a fail to load screen and I couldn't access any os at all. just stuck there on the black and whitish gray text screen. i manged to fix it by following the instructions which told me to insert my install disc. after, i went in cmd and typed in bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard. i then got into windows 8.1. i wont be trying this again. how about you put up a LESS complicated process without modifying any part of the system. that would prevent problems. or if there was something i did wrong, tell me.


  • I think the boot menu logos are hidden in the mui's, still searching... If they are and I find them ill try to resign the mui after I edit, and post a tutorial.

  • on windows 7 too...I checked that..Thanks :)

  • This classic Boot Loader saves a lot time for those who want to work windows 7.
    I have Installed Windows 10(32bit) with Windows 7(64bit). Windows 10 TP automatically changed itself to default OS, and its boot loader was a headache for me, as I use Windows 7 more frequently, it was not easy for me to boot in Windows 7, I waited (25 seconds) to Windows 10 to boot, then selected Windows 7, laptop restarted, Windows 7 booted (18+4 =22 s) and then got back into work. Total time wasted = 22+25= 47 seconds (~=1 minute). On the other hand, Windows 7 boot loader (edited by EasyBCD) loads more faster(after BIOS screen in 1 sec), and then select which OS you wanna start, starting windows 7 takes only 23 sec, whereas 10 TP takes 25 seconds, really fast :-D (Y) Thanks a lot.

  • Hi,
    Of course I'm running a dual boot system, I'm running windows 8.1 (32-bit) as my primary o.s., I created a new partition on my hard drive and installed windows 10 technical preview there. Yesterday, I ran the command as shown here:
    1. To disable new Metro boot loader we'll need to execute a command in Command Prompt. So first open Command Prompt as Administrator using following tutorial:

    [Guide] Different Ways to Open Command Prompt as Administrator in Windows

    2. Now type following command and press Enter:

    bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

    You'll get a message "The operation completed successfully".
    I did receive the confirmation message as stated, after I finished using my laptop last night, I shut down my computer. This morning when I powered on my laptop, I expected to see the 'legacy' bootloader appear, but much to my surprise..the metro/modern style one appeared. Has that happened to anyone else ?

  • VG

    ^^ Try to execute the command in the other OS as well.

  • Anyone has problem with identifier, just change {default} to {current}.
    Assuming you done this step from windows 8.
    bcdedit /set {current} bootmenupolicy legacy

  • So awesome! Thank you so much for this article!

  • Hi leomate,

    For multi OS you can use the very simple "GAG Boot Manager" (Freeware) which use some special sectors of the HD and handle up to 9 OS's. Its very small and easy to install. I can boot Win 8.1 and Linux . I use this tool since years and I did not find in the meantime a better one.

    Anyway, I find these hinds very helpful !
    Thank you very much !

  • For those experiencing issues with the W8/8.1/10 Boot Options Menu returning after shut down/start up, this may be related to the Fast Startup feature, which only simulates a shut down by putting the system into an advanced state of hibernation, retaining the current session configuration.
    Fast Startup does not apply to restarts.
    You may have to disable Fast Startup to make the modification stick. (?)
    Maybe VG can confirm whether or not that is the issue.

  • the windows 8 boot selector looks nice, but sadly couldn't go without problems, making it useless. if it worked more like grub, with this graphical interface, it would be pretty awesome. but it is kind of stupid to make a bootloader that runs after the operating system loads all with the boot screen. it has potencial but in this state looks useless from what i see. sad that one needs to revert to the classic one.

  • i seem to have this odd problem where if i shutdown from win 10 pro (1511) it gives me the metro bootloader no matterwhat
    yet if i restart in 10 or 7 or shutdown in 7 it gives me the legacy bootmenu

    i tried win 10 enterprise before this and it seemed to respect the bootloader options after i set 7 as the default os when i booted 7 up... did the same with win 10 pro but it gave me the metro loader

    disabling fast startup seems to have fixed it maybe by default fast start is off in 10 enterprise but on in standard editions

  • That's right, Omnescient's solution worked a charm! -> The bootloader would default, so I had to disable the "fast startup" nonsense on my machine.

  • I have a problem. I've been using easyBCD to manage my boot menu for Windows 10. I've set it to the classic screen repeatedly and every couple days it's back to the metro screen. My problem with the metro boot screen is simple. One OS is booting first to master all the other ones. If that OS boot record gets messed up, my whole system is a brick. I had this happen recently and it took me more than a day to get it working again because none of the recovery options were working. Does anybody know how to set it back to the old boot screen PERMANENTLY without Windows 10 going behind my back and resetting it? I just tried this method, but I have a feeling this is exactly what easyBCD is doing, except hidden by a fancy button. I want a permanent solution. If I can't find one, I'll jury rig it by writing a C++ programme that executes the command and dropping it into my startup folder. If anyone can help me avoid jury rigging it, I would a appreciate it.


  • VG

    ^^ The command mentioned above is permanent. I'm using it in many machines.

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