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

Most of Windows 8 users complain about the new Start Screen which automatically appears at startup. They don't want this Start Screen to appear when they log into Windows. They just want to boot directly into Desktop similar to previous Windows versions.

There are many known ways to skip Start Screen at startup such as adding Show Desktop shortcut to Windows startup, scheduling automatic boot into Desktop using Task Scheduler, etc.

Today we are going to share a very easy to use and 100% working method to skip Metro Start Screen and boot directly into Desktop in Windows 8.

Everyone knows here that we love Classic Shell software which brings classic Windows features back in Windows 7 and Windows 8 such as classic Start Menu, start button, standard toolbar buttons in Windows Explorer, etc.

You can check out following exclusive AskVG review of Classic Shell to read more details about this excellent freeware:

Classic Shell: Get Classic Start Menu, IE9, Explorer Toolbar Buttons Back in Windows Vista, 7, 8

Now the good news is that a new version of Classic Shell has been released which comes with a new option to skip Start Screen in Windows 8.

So now you can use Classic Shell software to skip Start Screen and directly log into Desktop in Windows 8.

Please follow these simple steps if you want to skip Start Screen in Windows 8:

1. First of all download and install Classic Shell software using following link:

Download Classic Shell for Windows

2. After installing Classic Shell, open Classic Start Menu Settings window. You can open it either by going to "All Programs -> Classic Shell -> Start Menu Settings" option or by right-clicking on Start button and selecting "Settings" option.


3. Now go to "Windows 8 Settings" tab in Settings window and make sure "Skip Metro screen" option is enabled.


4. That's it. Apply the changes and restart or log off and get ready to directly boot into Windows 8 Desktop.

Please note that you might get Start Screen for a very small amount of time at startup which is a limitation and currently we don't know any working way to bypass it completely.

Also check out our Classic Shell skin to Get Windows 7 look-like Start Menu in Windows 8:

Download Classic Shell Skin to Get Windows 7 Look-Like Start Menu in Windows 8

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Any other way to replicate this effect without installing classic shell? I only want to skip metro start screen i dont wanna get rid of it (or install software to do it). There should definitely be a way to do this via a "register hack".

  • VG

    ^^ Believe me its the best and easiest way to skip Start Screen. There is no registry hack available to disable or skip Start Screen. IMO Classic Shell is a must have software for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users.

  • we need a hacker to rebuild explorer of windows 7 to have a built in start menus and simply replace the old one have that start up as a the new shell

  • I have just come from the Classic Shell forums. A new version of Classic Shell has just been released today,Classic Shell 3.5.1 and in this version you can now boot straight to the desktop in Windows 8 RP and Windows 8 CP,by passing the Metro start screen.

    Classic Shell is the first and only start menu software that enables you to do this. And now in this new version,when you search your files on Classic Shell you are taken to Windows Explorer. Not the Metro start menu like you were in the previous version.

    So this new version of Classic Shell 3.5.1 is what we have been waiting for. Andrea Borman.

  • does all programs that work on windows 7 will 100% work on windows 8?, i mean programs such as ms office 2010, skype etc. will work as expected from windows 7?, not trying to install anything on win 8 except updates, metro apps and .net blah blah,

  • Yes Patchrick,all of the programs I use on Windows 7 work on Windows 8. Also I have installed many of my programs from Windows XP and Windows Vista and they all work on Windows 8. I have reinstated Windows Vista Mail,Vista Sidebar,Windows Calendar,Windows Movie Maker 2.1 from Windows XP,Movie Maker 6 and 2.6 and more software from XP, all work on Windows 8. Andrea Borman.

  • I have always used CoreTemp to skip the Metro Start Screen. I set its options to start automatically with Windows and to start minimized.

  • Too bad I deleted the partition I had Windows 8 on.

  • Hey, VG, can I set the Classic Shell orb to open up the Start Screen?

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. Check out its Settings.

  • It really depends on what programs you are using and want to port over to W8. If they ran on XP then they may have also worked on Vista if you are lucky and also on W7 and also in W8. But this usually always comes down to restricted code and changes MS made to DLL files or its core, they keep this stuff more secret and if the program you want to use was not designed for a new OS chances are it will not support it, if its use relies on a driver for its proper functionality. Just a plain and simple fact.

  • Is the case of this classic shell reversible...i mean if u wnt d metro start screen back

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. Simply uncheck the option.

  • Lost new window 8 tiles on start up screen
    how do you retrive them with out refreshing your Laptop

  • VG

    ^^ You can try the method given in following tutorial:

  • Hi VG,
    I checked your resolution or display settings information, but it does not change the display or size of the welcome screen, the icons and titles on my screen are too small even if changed to large, the charm bar is also too small, cant read any of them. Is there a way to increase the size of the icons (or palettes0 on the welcome screen?

  • VG

    ^^ I didnt understand which information are you talking about? Please provide more details.

  • hello i think metro screen looks best and i appreciate to the team of windows8 but metro screen looks more beauty on touch screeeeeen.

  • There is a way to boot straight into ClassicDesktop with a registry edit without ClassicShell if for any reason CS isn't an option:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Server]

  • VG

    ^^ It'll not work in client OS i.e. Windows 8. It was created for Windows Server 2012.

  • This is such a confusing topic; the Windows 8 "desktop" is a Metro app itself. Classic Shell is part of that same Metro app.

    The Start screen IS the Start button of old...but customizable, of course.

    There is no Windows 7 (or earlier Windows) Desktop mode anymore.

    Why do people labor so hard to run a Metro app if they hate Metro so much?

  • nice. thanks for that. awesome work

  • The creator of classicshell is my new hero! Windows 8 was driving me so batty that for the past month instead of switching over properly to my new laptop, I've been using the old one. Working with hot corners was doing my head in. It's like trying to work with an ADHD colleague who during a meeting gets up and goes to the printer, their office and you have to follow them around to try to have a conversation!

  • This has been bothering me since I got Classic Shell. This feature doesn't work for me!

  • 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:


    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

  • ok, this has been driving me crazy. most of the time it will boot to desktop with the start button. but just recently, it has been booting back to the start menu and the button disappear with me having to go to the classic shell settings to get it back. i have Skip Metro Screen enabled and Enable Start Button enabled. can someone help me?

  • iv managed to get win 8 to boot direct to desktop is it possible to take it one step further by direct boot to internet explorer home page

  • I think you can boot to desktop if you drag show desktop shortcut to "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup". I have not tested this because I move to windows 8.1 asap.

  • VG sir
    start 8 is the other option

  • Tihiy produces 2 utilities that will fix these Windows 8 problems:

    1) Freeware: EX7forW8 replaces W8 shell with W7 shell & skips metro entirely.
    *Notes: Only works in W8. No 8.1 support. Not even changing compatibility modes fixes this.

    You will need 2 files from your Windows 7 OS:
    x32 8: -> x32 explorer.exe & en-us folder (copy to C:/Windows/Explorer 7 folder)
    x64 8: -> x64 explorer.exe & en-us folder (copy to C:/Windows/Explorer 7 folder)

    Launch EX7forW8 & select W7 shell.
    When it logs off, then back on, you will have Windows 7 start menu. Metro won't even load.

    If something happens you try this in 8.1 or unsupported OS & login to blank screen:
    CTRL + Shift + Esc to bring up Task Manager. File/Run new task/Explorer/enter.
    Launch EX7forW8 & select W8 shell (to unhook on logoff/reboot) to return to W8 shell.

    Trialware: StartisBack works in x32 & x64 8.1 & skips metro also.
    But, after the 30 day trial, you have to pay.
    Uninstall isn't mentioned, but to do so, Control Panel/Add Remove Programs/StartisBack

    Idea: Using Developer Preview 8, enable start menu via RPEnabled key.
    Export RPEnabled key to flash drive, along with explorer.exe & en-us folder.
    Test EX7forW8 with Developer Preview 8 files & registry key to see if it will work in 8.1.

    Some say it is impossible to skip metro, but I know this is untrue.
    I have tested both EX7forW8 & StartisBack.

    Both work flawlessly, provided you use the correct OS version they are labeled for.
    Metro doesn't even load like it does in Classic Shell, & there is less delay to desktop.
    Charms are disabled.

    Windows 8 & 8.1 use a modified explorer.exe that hooks to start screen, instead of start menu.
    This is evident, because using Windows 7 explorer.exe in 8 bypasses Metro entirely.

    Solution: Write an Open Source explorer.exe that mimics the explorer.exe in Windows 7.
    One that we can use in 8 & 8.1, to replace the buggy Metro shell.

    Preferably one that will include a few options, such as:

    Start Menu Styles:
    Classic: Mimic Windows 2000 Start Menu
    XP: Mimic XP Start Menu (Include more color choices than 3. Perhaps 9?)
    Vista: Mimic Vista Start Menu
    Windows 7: Mimic Windows 7 Start Menu
    Windows 10: Mimic Windows 10 Start Menu

    Skinnable: Include option to download/update menu.

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