How To: Boot Directly to the Desktop with Windows 8.1

Yesterday at Build, Microsoft’s developer conference, they released a public preview of Windows 8.1. With this update to Windows 8, you can now choose to boot Windows directly to the desktop, just like you did with Windows 7. While there’s a whole lot of other goodies in this release, this feature, along with the return of the Start button on the desktop, are ones the consumer and media complained about the most.


If you’re looking to enable this feature, here’s all that you need to do: From the Start screen, tap or click on Desktop. When the desktop appears, right click on the task bar and select Properties from the list. Be careful to right click on a clear part of the taskbar and not on an existing application icon. You should now be looking at the “Taskbar and Navigation properties” window. From here, select the Navigation tab. On the bottom half of this window, you will see a section that relates to the Start screen. Click the box next to “Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in”. Be sure to click on OK or Apply to save your changes, and the next time you log in, you will go directly to the desktop.

There’s a few other cool settings in that list, and they’re worth checking out. Personally, I really like the “Show my desktop background on Start” and “Always show Start on my main display when I press the Windows logo key”. I also don’t care for the boot to desktop, so I’ve kept my devices booting to the Start screen. :-)


About Mike Temporale

Mike Temporale has written 614 posts on Mobile Jaw..

Mike Temporale grew up fascinated by computers since an early age. His first hands on with a computer came when he was 7 years old and a travelling lab of Commodore PET computers made a stop at his school. Hooked on the new world these devices offered, he took any chance possible to get in front of a computer. When Compaq launched the iPaq 3600, he was hooked again. This time on a whole new world of mobile computing. Today, Mike spends his day helping clients deploy and manage their mobile device around the world. From installing custom software, to locking and securing data, and everything in between. He is also the Editor in Chief at Mobile Jaw - a site focused on today's mobile world.