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

When Microsoft introduced new Start Screen and Hot Corners features in Windows 8 operating system, lots of people complained about the inability to customize or disable these new features. Actually Microsoft didn't allow any built-in option to disable hot corners (such as Charms Bar and App Switcher) in Windows 8 or to disable Start Screen and direct boot into Windows 8 Desktop. That's why we had to use 3rd party software such as Classic Shell to turn off Hot corners and skip Start Screen in Windows 8.

Finally Microsoft listened users feedback and provided new options in Windows 8.1 to customize and change Start Screen and hot corners functionality. Microsoft added a new tab "Navigation" in Taskbar properties to allow Windows 8.1 users to disable Hot corners, direct boot into Desktop and customize Start Screen look and functionality.

Taskbar_Navigation_Properties_Windows_8_1.png

Windows 8.1 allows users to change or customize following options using this new Navigation tab in Taskbar properties:

  • Disable upper-left and upper-right hot corners as mentioned here
  • Replace Command Prompt link with Power Shell in Win+X Menu as mentioned here
  • Direct boot into Windows 8.1 Desktop as mentioned here
  • Use Desktop wallpaper as Start Screen background as mentioned here
  • Show Start Screen on current monitor screen
  • Set All Apps page as default in Start Screen as mentioned here

Although these options are easily accessible through Taskbar properties but sometimes you might need a ready-made script to quickly change these options in single step. For example, you prefer to disable hot corners and direct boot into Windows 8.1 Desktop and you always change these options whenever you perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1 in your computer. There may be another situation where you need to apply these same settings in many computers in your work environment.

In such conditions, if you have a ready-made Registry script with you, you can just double-click on it and it'll automatically change all these options according to your requirements. You'll not need to open Taskbar properties and enable/disable each and every option given in Navigation tab.

A similar request was made by our reader "Francesco" who wanted a Registry script to apply his desired Navigation tab configuration each time he performs a fresh installation of Windows 8.1.

After receiving his request, we decided to create this exclusive tutorial which will tell you the exact location of Registry keys in Registry Editor which are modified by these options present in Taskbar properties. So that you can change your desired settings and then take a backup of these Registry keys. Once you take the backup of Registry key, you can use the Registry script in future to directly apply your preferred settings without any need of opening Taskbar properties and change the settings.

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

STEP 1: Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

STEP 2: Now you'll need to go to the correct Registry key containing values associated with options present in Navigation tab of Taskbar properties.

We are going to mention the option name present in Navigation tab, its corresponding Registry key location and its DWORD name and value. You just need to go to the associated Registry key and change the value of DWORD according to your requirements:

Registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\EdgeUi

Disable_Hot_Corners_Windows_8_1.png

Option name: When I point to the upper-right corner, show the charms

DWORD: DisableTRCorner

To enable option, set DWORD value to 0 and to disable this option, set DWORD value to 1

=== === === === === === === === ===

Option name: When I click the upper-left corner, switch between my recent apps

DWORD: DisableTLCorner

To enable option, set DWORD value to 0 and to disable this option, set DWORD value to 1

=== === === === === === === === ===

Registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Replace_Command_Prompt_Powershell_Win_X_Menu.png

Option name: Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the lower-left corner or press Windows key+X

DWORD: DontUsePowerShellOnWinX

To enable option, set DWORD value to 0 and to disable this option, set DWORD value to 1

=== === === === === === === === ===

Registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Accent

Desktop_Wallpaper_on_Start_Screen_Windows_8_1.png

Option name: Show my desktop background on Start

DWORD: MotionAccentId_v1.00

To enable option, set DWORD value to db and to disable this option, set DWORD value to dd

=== === === === === === === === ===

Registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage

Customize_Start_Screen_Options_Windows_8_1.png

Option name: When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start

DWORD: OpenAtLogon

To enable option, set DWORD value to 0 and to disable this option, set DWORD value to 1

=== === === === === === === === ===

Option name: Show Start on the display I'm using when I press the Windows logo key

DWORD: MonitorOverride

To enable option, set DWORD value to 1 and to disable this option, set DWORD value to 0

=== === === === === === === === ===

Option name: Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start

DWORD: MakeAllAppsDefault

To enable option, set DWORD value to 1 and to disable this option, set DWORD value to 0

=== === === === === === === === ===

Option name: Search everywhere instead of just my apps when I search from the Apps view

DWORD: GlobalSearchInApps

To enable option, set DWORD value to 1 and to disable this option, set DWORD value to 0

=== === === === === === === === ===

Option name: List desktop apps first in the Apps view when it's sorted by category

DWORD: DesktopFirst

To enable option, set DWORD value to 1 and to disable this option, set DWORD value to 0

=== === === === === === === === ===

STEP 3: Once you make changes to your desired settings, you can take backup of the Registry key by right-clicking on the key and selecting "Export" option. Now you can save the Registry script to any desired location.

PS: For your convenience, we are providing a ready-made Registry script. You just need to copy following piece of code and paste it in Notepad. After that change the values mentioned in BOLD according to your requirements as mentioned above and then save the file with the name "Settings.REG" (including double-quotes).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\EdgeUi]
"DisableTLCorner"=dword:00000001
"DisableTRCorner"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"DontUsePowerShellOnWinX"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Accent]
"MotionAccentId_v1.00"=dword:000000db

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage]
"GlobalSearchInApps"=dword:00000001
"OpenAtLogon"=dword:00000000
"MonitorOverride"=dword:00000001
"MakeAllAppsDefault"=dword:00000001
"DesktopFirst"=dword:00000001

That's it. Now you can keep this Registry script file in a safe place on your computer and whenever you need to apply these settings, simply double-click on the script file and accept the confirmation. It'll immediately change your desired settings.

Also Check: Best Windows 8 Tips-n-Tricks for Windows 8.1





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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1


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Comments

  • Thanks!

  • Nice Work :)

  • wow... nice work!!!!! you are a codemaster genius!!!!

  • VG

    Thanks guys for your comments. :)

  • Great!! I'm too busy to made a big investigation for all of this. Thanks for your dedication...

    And one more thing: Will are these tips useful on Windows 8.1 Update "1"?

    PS: excuse me for my bad english, because: ¡Yo hablo ESPAÑOL!

    See ya later.

  • VG

    ^^ 100%.

  • Hey VG! i am a regular follower of your blog and find your tips and tricks very useful, thanks for your dedication and hard work.
    VG i use Admin account in win 8.1 enterprise but the only problem in it is that i cannot use the start tiles, is there any way or trick i can use them with Admin account?

    Thanks,

    Regards.

  • This is very helpful sir, thanks for all these. I will try out soon enough.
    But, for now I will use the Default settings and its fine for me.
    ..(^.^)Y"

  • VG

    @Sam
    Windows 8 doesnt allow Administrator account to run metro apps due to security reasons. You can create a new account and you'll be able to run apps.

  • I'm trying to download that software of changing logon background for windows 8,but i can't see the download button please help me

  • I just updated to Windows 8.1, I just want what I had on Windows 8, that is the metro start screen, I only went to desktop when I wanted to use IE, now after I close any app it takes me to the desktop. I asked help and it told me how to get Start when I booted, but it doesn't stay on start. I'm just a novice who has no one to ask. Do I have to reset back to Windows 8??

  • @ Donna,

    Uncheck these:

    1. When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start
    2. Show my desktop background on Start

    (Right click Taskbar and select Properties, then select Navigation tab, make your changes and hit Apply and OK)

  • @ Donna,

    Lol, forget about step #2, that's irrelevant, go to step #1.

  • Thanks for the info. I am looking for a way to disable the right side swipe/charms bar on a touch SCREEN running Win 8.1 I'm using a touchscreen all in one PC in a public area with no keyboard, so I need the touchscreen to function, just not the right side swipe. I've already turned off corners and app switching. I looked into windows kiosk mode, but the application I'm running isn't a modern/metro app. Thanks!

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try following?

    http://www.askvg.com/fix-charms-bar-randomly-appears-on-windows-88-1-touch-enabled-devices/

  • on an ASUS machine go to the ASUS Smart Gesture app where you cane easily untick a box to stop the charms appearing. After a while they reappeared and unticking was effective again.

  • hello, could you please help me with this weird issue i'm facing, i'm trying to change the colors, accents and wallpaper on my start screen, i go to the start screen and open the settings tab from the charm but when i press personalize the lap top freezes for a few seconds and then nothing happens and the charms menu just exist. please help me

  • VG

    ^^ You can try Reset or Refresh PC options:

    http://www.askvg.com/tip-reinstall-or-repair-windows-8-computer-using-reset-pc-and-refresh-pc-options/

  • Hey! Thanks for corrupting my registry. =D>

  • I have Windows 8.1. When I click on an item on the taskbar, if the item is already selected (with it's active window visible), it cycles to another active app window. I don't want it to cycle to another window - if I already have that window open, do nothing.

  • VG

    ^^ You can disable grouping feature by selecting "Never combine taskbar buttons" from Taskbar properties.

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