How to Boot Straight to Windows 8 Desktop

Microsoft has incorporated the new tile based Metro user interface in Windows 8. When you boot into Windows 8, the first thing you see is the Metro start screen where you can click or tap on different tiles to launch apps, switch to Windows Desktop etc. But many users do not like this and want to boot straight into Windows desktop. We had earlier posted a method to do this, but it flashes the Metro start screen for a second before switching to the desktop. A new better method has now surfaced which involves a simple registry edit after which you would boot directly into Windows desktop completely bypassing the Metro start screen. Here is how you can do this:

WARNING: The following method involves editing the Windows Registry values. Be very careful in typing the value of the Shell value in the Windows Registry. Any typing mistake may prevent Windows from booting at all.
  1. Switch to Windows Desktop using the hotkey Windows key + D.
  2. Press the key combination Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog.
  3. In the Run dialog, type regedit and press Enter to open the Windows Registry Editor.

    How to Boot Straight to Windows 8 Desktop

  4. In the Registry Editor navigate to the following key :
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  5. In the right-hand side pane, find a value named Shell, double-click on it and change its value to explorer.exe, explorer.exe as shown in the picture below.

    How to Boot Straight to Windows 8 Desktop

    You can also change this value to explorer.exe /select,explorer.exe instead of explorer.exe, explorer.exe. Both of them are effective similarly.

  6. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect and boot straight into the Windows desktop.

If later you want to make Windows 8 boot to Metro start screen and revert the changes, you can change back the value of Shell to explorer.exe in the step 5 above. You have to restart the computer again.

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