Windows 8: Remove the Metro UI to Get Back the Old Windows UI

Editor Note: This registry hack no longer works with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Only the Developer Preview. We’re diligently researching and testing the Windows 8 Customer Preview and will give you a new article when we find a solution for the latest Consumer Preview Edition. :-)

Update: 11/02/2012 If you’re looking for a good way to bypass the Windows 8 Start screen and boot directly into the classic desktop, give Start8 from Stardock a try

Update:  06/29/2013: Microsoft was listening, and now with the updated version — Windows 8.1 — you can now easily set it to boot to the desktop. Oh, and the Start Button is back too!

The new Metro-style UI in Windows 8 makes sense on a tablet, sure. But if you’re a PC user who wants that old UI back — I know I do — no problem. It’s easy to tweak the Registry to make Windows 8 boot directly into that familiar UI you know so well. If you’re unfamiliar with the Windows Registry, be cautious. Changing registry settings is dicey if you don’t know what you’re doing.

From the Metro Interface start typing: regedit

It’s a good idea to type this slowly.

Windows 8 Metro Interface

Now the system will display the Search Apps box. Notice the regedit command I typed appears now in the Search Apps field and also as a listing and icon beneath in the Apps Results section at left. Click that icon or hit Enter.

Search Apps

When the User Account Control dialog pops up, click Yes.

User Account Control

Next the Registry Editor opens. Navigate to  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer and double-click RPEnabled.


In the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value data field, change the numeral 1 to a 0. Hit OK. Close the Registry Editor.

Windows 8 Registry

Windows 8 doesn’t require a restart to make these changes. Now, when you click Start, no more Metro. You’ve got your familiar Windows Start Menu back. Is that groovy or what?

Start Menu Windows 8

Later, when you restart your PC, you’ll see the changes stuck. Also notice the Start Orb is back.

Windows 8 Start Orb

If you don’t want to remove your Metro-style UI from Windows 8, be sure to check out our definitive groovyPost Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts.



  1. Mat

    Well isn’t that handy. Once I get around to putting 8 on my sad little HP Tablet, it might actually run better! This will come in handy for sure.

    • Steve Krause

      @Mat – I’ve been running Windows 8 on my tablet and netbook since day 1. Runs nice. This tip will make things even better for sure!

      • Manny Ramirez

        Steve, can you give directions or link on installing Windows 8 on the HP Touchpad?

  2. TechLogon

    Nice tip, makes the developer preview much easier to use.

    Not sure why Metro is default at the moment, I’m guessing Microsoft will provide a much simpler option to switch it off in the final version.

  3. Kevin

    there is an unfortunate side effect of this fix for those running multiple monitors. Windows 8 includes some really nice features for those with multiple monitors (taskbar accross each display) and when using this fix it disables these features. Im sure they will fix it in the final build but it means Ill have to keep metro on my desktop for now

  4. Brian Burgess

    Thanks for the comment Kevin. I haven’t tried it with multiple monitors yet. That is good to know.

    I would imagine it will be fixed in the final version too.

  5. Sohail


    Why not make a CMD or BAT file with options to toggle the thingy?

  6. Brian Burgess

    @Sohail: That would work too. I should write up a quick how to on that. Thanks for the idea!

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