How To Boot Directly to Windows 8 Desktop the Easy Way

The Windows 8 Start screen makes sense on touchscreen devices, but not on traditional PCs. Here’s a look at a free utility that lets you boot to the desktop.

The Windows 8 Start screen and metro interface makes total sense on a Microsoft Surface or other tablet running Windows 8 or RT. But on a traditional PC with mouse and keyboard – not so much. Here’s a look at a simple free utility that allows you to bypass the Start screen and boot directly to the desktop.

Note: I’ve shown you a couple of ways to bypass the Windows 8 Start screen. My favorite manual method is to configure Task Scheduler since it doesn’t require installing software. Or, if you want a Start menu replacement program — Classic Shell and Start8 have settings to disable it.

Portable App to Bypass Start Screen

Skip Metro Suite is a free utility that’s dead simple to use. The latest version is a portable app that doesn’t require installation. You can run it from a flash drive and carry it with you. This is handy when using other Windows 8 systems and don’t want to install anything.

When you go to download it, make sure to click the Download button shown here. The button above it is an advertisement.


Unzip the file and you’ll see two folders, one contains the 32-bit version and the other 64-bit. Select the appropriate one for your system and drag the SkipMetroSuiteUI.exe file to your flash drive.

Zip Two Versions

Now launch Skip Metro Suite from your flash drive.


Now all you need to do it check a couple of boxes and then the Save Button. It also has settings to disable hot corners from displaying the Charms Bar and App Switcher. It’s up to you if you want disable those Windows 8 features.


The next time you restart and log in, you’ll go directly to the desktop and not see the Start screen.

Restart Windows 8

I’m of the opinion that new users of Windows 8 should take the time to learn the new interface. It’s the future Windows, and Microsoft isn’t looking back. The metro / modern interface makes little sense on a traditional PC. Tools like this help you get things done easier on the desktop by keeping metro out of the way. And there’s plenty of enhancements to the Windows 8 desktop that make it worth the upgrade.

The cool thing with this utility is you can disable and enable different aspects of metro with a couple of clicks. This allows you to get “used” to the new interface at your own pace.



  1. Mike E. Delta

    January 7, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I feel as though the operative term is ‘less sense’ v. ‘little sense’…as to say there is a variable degree, but not necessarily senseless. I mean, you yourself say that it is worth getting to know and become familiar with, this justifies it’s presence on a familiar form-factor such as the tower PC. The key is hardware, not necessarily is it always down to a touchscreen or tablet, but comparable input and touch peripherals can do just fine. In all honesty the mouse wasn’t very popular at first either and I find that quite difficult to even believe. =p

  2. Ocelotty1

    January 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I uninstalled Classic Shell ( I never really use the start button) and installed this utility yesterday – excellent program. Let’s face it most people’s real bugbear is the inability to boot straight to the desktop

    • Brian Burgess

      January 7, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      I’ve been using Windows 8 exclusively now for the past few months, and I needed to use my Windows 7 box today, and the Start menu seemed dated to me. It was then I realized how unimportant the Start button really is!

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