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

Quite involved, and a little rough round the edges, but it works.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

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.
  3. In the task area, right click and select Create New Task...
  4. Give the new task a name.
  5. Click on the Triggers tab and then on New ...
  6. Set the task to begin At log on and then click OK.
  7. Click the Actions tab and then New...
  8. Click the Browse button and navigate to the script you created earlier and then click OK.
  9. Click on the Conditions tab and uncheck Start the task only if the computer is on AC power and then click OK.
  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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