Make Windows 8 Boot Straight to Desktop with Task Scheduler

If you’re running Windows 8 on a PC without a touchscreen, you might want to get straight to the desktop. Here’s how to set it up without extra software.

If you’re running Windows 8 on a traditional PC without a touchscreen, there’s not much of a reason to see the Start screen when you log on. Most likely you’re using the desktop most of the time and want to boot directly to it and bypass the Start screen.

Set Task Scheduler to Boot Windows 8 Directly to Desktop

From the Start screen type: task scheduler and click the Task Scheduler icon under the search results.

Task Scheduler App Results

Task Scheduler will open on the desktop. In the left panel click Create Basic Task under Actions.

Create Basic Task

Now give the task a name. You can call it anything you want, but I recommend using something that will remind you what the task is for in the future. Here I’m using BootToDesk and entering a description is optional. Click Next.

Name Task

Next set the Trigger to When I Log On. Click Next.

When I Log In

Set the Action to Start a Program – it should be set to that by default. Click Next.


For the Program/Script type: %systemroot%\explorer.exe then click Next.

Start a Program

The next screen should look similar to the one below. Click Finish and close out of Task Scheduler.


Now the next time you restart you system and log in, the Start screen will display for a brief moment, then go directly to the desktop with an open File Explorer window.

Windows 8 Desktop Explorer

Another way to boot directly to the desktop is to install a third-party program like Classic Shell or Stardock’s Start8.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike Rothman

    December 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Nice hack, Brian. Thanks for this use of scheduled tasks. Think I’ll use it.

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