Disable Chrome's Windows 8 mode

Don't like Chrome opening as a Metro-style Windows 8 app? Fret not, it's easy to make the browser instead open as just another window on your desktop.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read

"Chrome for Windows 8, we need to talk. Listen, I like you. I think you're a great browser. In fact, you're my default browser. The thing is, I want to be able to see other windows."

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

I've been meaning to have that conversation with Chrome for Windows 8 for weeks now. Chrome's default setting in Windows 8 is to open as a Metro-style app if you have it set as your default browser, which takes you away from the desktop and into a Chrome-only environment. While the animation that moves you in and out of this environment is slick, it makes multitasking difficult. When I'm using Chrome, it's rarely the only application I have running. I'd prefer it to open as just another window on the desktop, which would allow me to switch between my open applications more quickly and easily.

If you have Chrome set as your default browser and would like to run Chrome as just another window on the desktop instead of opening in its very own Metro environment, the fix is but two clicks away.

Click Chrome's hamburger button at the top right edge to open Chrome's menu panel. Next, click the fifth item from the top, Relaunch Chrome on the desktop. Chrome remembers your preference here and will open all subsequent Chrome sessions on the desktop. To return to the default setting, open Chrome's menu and click Relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 mode.

"In closing, Chrome for Windows 8, I hope you understand why I made this change, and I want us to stay friends."

In other Chrome news this week, learn how to reduce data usage with Chrome for iOS and how to manipulate multiple tabs in Chrome (and Firefox).