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How To Run Modern (Metro) Apps on Your Windows 8 Desktop

If you’re a Windows 8 user, have you ever wanted to run the new Metro / Modern-style apps on the Desktop in resizable windows? Thanks to Stardock’s ModernMix program you can. I’ve tested ModernMix, and here’s what you can expect.

Windows 8 Metro / Modern Style Apps

Currently the desktop works just as it always has with programs opening in different resizable Windows. But when you launch a modern-style app, it launches in full screen mode by itself, like the Xbox Video app for example.

Xbox Video

By default, media files, PDFs, and MailTo links open from the desktop in full screen metro-style apps in a full page. I’ve shown you how to change file associations to avoid the annoying behavior of desktop files opening in full screen metro / modern mode.


And you can currently use metro-style apps and the desktop side-by-side in Windows 8 already, Stardock is taking it a step further.


What Stardock ModernMix Provides

ModernMix by Stardock, will run Windows 8 apps in individual windows on your desktop. It’s currently available for a free 30 trial as a public beta. After Installing ModernMix, grab the 30 day trial or you can purchase it later for $4.99.

welcome trial or purchase

After that you can configure how you want the metro and desktop apps to behave when you launch them. You’ll have even more options if you already have Stardock’s Start8 menu replacement installed.

ModernMix Configuration

After that, play around and enjoy using your metro / modern style apps in windows on the desktop in Windows 8. Here I have the Xbox Music and Windows Store apps running on my desktop with Word and File Explorer going.

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Running on Desktop

Another groovy thing worth pointing out is that when you have metro apps running on the desktop, their icons appear in the Taskbar.

icons on Taskbar

When the Windows 8 apps are running on your desktop, they have the same familiar window size controls like Minimize, Maximize, and Close. It also gives each window it’s own ModernMix overlay to control windows size.

restore down

ModernMix is still currently in Beta, and you can tell. There are some things I would like to see improved, mainly having the metro-style apps resize better in their respective windows. But overall, from my testing, I have to this something Microsoft should to take a close look at, and consider adding this type of feature in Future Windows 8 updates.

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