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Innovation

Boot to the 'Classic' desktop in Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Quite involved, and a little rough round the edges, but it works.

Question from today's mailbox:

I'm testing out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (I have to ... it's my job) but I have no use for Metro of the Metro Start Screen. In fact, I hate it with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns and hate being dumped in it when I reboot my system. Is there any to bypass it and go direct to the 'Classic' Windows desktop?

I've been looking for a way to do this too, and I was starting to think that it wasn't possible (at least without some deep hacking of the system), but then a tipster (thanks Mike!) sent me in a way to do it. It's a little rough round the edges (I'll explain in a minute why) but it does allow you to bypass the Metro Start Screen when you log on to the system.

Here's the process ... I warn you now it's a little long-winded.

First, fire up Notepad and paste the following script file code into it.

[Shell] Command=2 IconFile=Explorer.exe,3 [Taskbar] Command=ToggleDesktop

Save the file somewhere where you'll remember. It doesn't matter what you call it but it must have the .scf file extension.

  1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools and then click on Task Scheduler.
  2. Select Task Scheduler Library.
    14-03-2012-10-21-54.jpg
  3. In the task area, right click and select Create New Task...
    14-03-2012-10-23-52.jpg
  4. Give the new task a name.
  5. Click on the Triggers tab and then on New ...
    14-03-2012-10-26-34.jpg
  6. Set the task to begin At log on and then click OK.
    14-03-2012-10-27-39.jpg
  7. Click the Actions tab and then New...
    14-03-2012-10-30-11.jpg
  8. Click the Browse button and navigate to the script you created earlier and then click OK.
    14-03-2012-10-33-52.jpg
  9. Click on the Conditions tab and uncheck Start the task only if the computer is on AC power and then click OK.
    14-03-2012-10-33-521.jpg
  10. Close the Task Scheduler.
  11. Restart the system and see if your script works.

I warned you earlier that while this tweak works, it's a bit rough. The biggest problem with it is that it opens Windows Explorer in the Libraries folder when you log on. There can also be a little delay in loading the desktop at the beginning. But if you're happier booting to the 'Classic' desktop than the Metro Start Screen, then this is a good solution.

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