[Tip] Convert Start Screen into a Full Screen Start Menu (kind of) in Windows 8.1

When Microsoft announced that the company is going to replace old Start Menu with new Start Screen in Windows 8 OS, lots of people didn't like the move and complained about it. Microsoft didn't change its decision and replaced the good old Start Menu with Windows Phone style Start Screen in Windows 8. They also removed the Start button from Windows 8 Taskbar and replaced it with a hidden thumbnail which appears when you move your mouse cursor to bottom-left corner of screen.

Removal of Start Menu and Start button was a bad decision and Windows 8 users started installing 3rd party software to bring back Start Menu and Start button in Windows 8. Some of these software completely disabled Start Screen and replaced it with Windows 7 style Start Menu.

Microsoft realized the mistake and they have added Start button back to the latest Windows 8.1. But Start Screen is still there and users still need to depend upon it to launch their favorite programs, etc.

But Microsoft has added some new options to Windows 8.1 which can help you in converting Start Screen in a usable Start Menu (kind of). You can make Start Screen like a full screen Start Menu showing all installed programs alphabetically organized into groups.

Actually Microsoft has provided a new feature to Windows 8.1 users which allows you to set "All Apps" view as default in Start Screen which means whenever you access Start Screen using any method such as using WIN key, using Start button or any other method, it'll show "All Apps" page by default not the Start Screen homepage.


This way you can use Start Screen like a Start Menu but in full screen mode. Interested Windows 8.1 users can follow these simple steps to convert Windows 8.1 Start Screen into full screen Start Menu:

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 "Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start" option present in "Start screen" section.


4. Apply the changes and now whenever you'll access Start Screen in Windows 8.1, it'll show "All Apps" page by default which will work similar to a Start Menu.

5. You can also enable "List desktop apps first in the Apps view when it's sorted by category" option to show Desktop programs first in "All Apps" page. For this you'll also need to sort apps by category as shown in following image:


6. If you want, you can also set your current Desktop wallpaper as Start Screen background using following tutorial:

How to Set Desktop Wallpaper as Start Screen Background in Windows 8.1?

It'll make you feel like you are still on Desktop and are using Start Screen right from your 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: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Its Seems your highly Working on Windows 8.1 , Thanks VG.

  • Hey VG , is "Mail , Calendar , People , Messaging" included in 8.1 or should we download it frm store??

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. Included.


  • how we can change the metro colors -_-, i don't find the option -_-

  • Actually, I don't think you can.

  • ^ Settings -> Personalize

  • @confused - Open Charms (when on start) , select Settings -> Personalize

  • Hey VG , messaging app gone from 8.1.... Doomed.... Skype also does not have fb integration

  • VG

    ^^ It should come back in RTM version.

  • Photo live tile not working somehow.How to fix it?

  • i.gyazo.com/24d15787b4bdadc01bf30ec6d371b32b.jpg

    that's happening with my start screen. any idea what caused it/what I can do to fix it? only a part of my start screen is showing :(

  • VG

    ^^ Are you using any 3rd party Start Screen/Start Menu tweaking software? It seems some 3rd party software is causing this issue. Check "Control Panel -> Programs and features" and uninstall unnecessary software. Also try to restart your computer.

  • fullscreen application chooser is not a bad move and the design is not bad. it has potencial, but haven't tried it in practice. the screenshot looks interesting ( :

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