How to Enable Boot to Desktop in Windows 8.1

One of the most highly-touted features of Windows 8.1 is its “boot to desktop” option, which lets you go straight into the classic desktop mode from the moment you power on your PC. Like Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system boots up to the Start Screen by default. However, enabling boot to desktop in Windows 8.1  is as easy as clicking through to a submenu and checking a box. 

Here’s how you do it.

1. Right click on the taskbar and select Properties in desktop mode.

select properties

2. Click on the Navigation tab.

Click navigation tab

3. Check “Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in.”

check go to desktop

4. Check “Show my desktop background on Start” also if you want the Start Screen to have the same wallpaper as the desktop.

MORE: Windows 8.1 Preview Tested

Click navigation tab

5. Click Ok. 

The next time you boot your computer and log in, Windows 8.1 will take you straight to desktop mode. If you checked off “Show my desktop background on Start,” the Start screen will now look more like the desktop because it will have the same background image.

Shared desktop wallpaper

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch on
Facebook Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Bill Hezlep Says:

    Nice, useful article for people like me, not stupid but not all that technical either. Question; when I try to use the Picture Viewer to compress photos for e-mail, it tells me that “There is no e-mail program installed.” Yahoo and Windows Live work fine, I use them everyday. Second question; is there anyway to get the Photo Editor fro Windows 7 to work in Windows 8.1? Maybe you could answer in a future piece?

  2. Alfred Says:

    Interesting, but would be even better if was indicated how to go to this desktop mode where we can right-clic and access properties. Seems to be a prerequisite to this trick. I guess I’ll have t find out by myself once I get my Windows 8.1 machine.

  3. papasmurf Says:

    I wanted to save this page, so I could read it at my leisure, along with some other stuff on winshit 8. However, like that crap (I’m stuck with it) I can’t save the page. Thanks for the help.

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options