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How to log in directly to the classic desktop in Windows 8

If you'd rather be taken to the traditional desktop interface upon booting up Windows 8, not the new Start screen, follow this handy tip.

By default, when you log in to Windows 8, the first thing you'll see is the new Metro-style Start screen with its fancy touch-friendly boxes. If you're on a tablet this is fine, but for those using a traditional PC, it might be impractical.

Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can boot straight to the traditional Windows desktop instead of the Metro environment.

If you do a quick Google search for this, you'll find many posts recommending you write a script and use it to automate the login process. Although you'll only have to do this once, it's quite involved and your computer will always boot to the desktop without giving you a choice. Instead of showing you that, I'm going to tell you a quick method that presents you with the choice each time you boot.

The method

The easiest way to do this is to make use of a shortcut present in Windows 8, which launches the app in the top-left corner of your Metro desktop as you boot.

To boot straight to the desktop, you'll first have to move the Desktop tile to the top-left corner of your screen, as shown in the screenshot below.

How to log in directly to the classic desktop in Windows 8

Now, each time you log in, you can choose between the new Metro Start screen and the traditional desktop. If you want to boot to the classic desktop, press and hold down (this is important) the Enter key until you see it appear. It won't take more than a couple of seconds.

The good thing about this method is you can still boot to the Start screen if you want to. Just log in like you normally would by either clicking on the arrow or hitting Enter and you'll be taken right there.