Windows 8.1: Boot to Desktop

Windows 8.1 finally gives you the option to boot directly to the desktop (without the need for a 3rd party program). You can enable this option by opening the preferences for the taskbar and go to the tab for “Navigation”.

win8.1-boottodesktop

Advanced Users can use the Registry to Boot to desktop by setting following key:

Posted by happyneal

  • George Deluca

    I’ve just migrated to 8.1 and on my system THERE IS NO NAVIGATION TAB in the Taskbar Properties. The titlebar in the dialogue just says Taskbar Properties.

    ??

    Where has the Navigation Tab page been moved to?

    George

    • happyneal

      Simply rightclick anywhere on the taskbar and select “Properties”

      • George Deluca

        Sorry, you didn’t understand me. I do as you say, the Taskbar Properties opens, and THERE IS NO NAVIGATION TAB!!!!! I can’t make that any clearer. The tab doesn’t exist, and the title bar for the Properties box doesn’t mention it either.

        Showing me screen shots of what it looks like etc. doesn’t help at all, I know what to look for; I know what to do with it IF IT WAS THERE, but it ISN’t THERE!

        George

        • happyneal

          Well I am presuming you are running it on a Desktop or Laptop Computer. On tablets running on the ARM-Chipset (like the Surface) the Desktop Tile was removed, and it is not encouraged to use the Desktop besides for the Office Applications.

          • George Deluca

            Yes, running a normal Desktop system. I’d delayed going to Win8 until MS indicated that 8.1 would allow booting directly to the Desktop. So I finally jumped from 7.0 to 8.1 and the feature that pushed me to upgrade is nowhere to be seen – except in the gazillion Web tips telling me how to go find and alter the setting. I’m tired of seeing everyone else’s screenshot of the Taskbar properties dialog and then be unable to get MY system to display it. I’ve applied all possible Windows Updates, so the system should be right up to snuff on maintenance.

            Doing web searches shows other users asking this same question, and frankly most of them seem to be just like me, getting told over and over how to do it by well meaning people who just don’t seem to fully read the problem description. An awful lot of us simply are NOT getting the tab displayed that everyone is pointing at.

            George

  • happyneal

    George, I really feel your pain, and I do understand your problem, but sadly I cannot help you. I know MS indicated “boot directly to desktop” feature and frankly they hid it in a very stupid location. When looking at the same menu in Win 7 no “Navigation” Tab existed. So maybe if you upgrade an existing system it simply forgets to add it. No clue.

    I am just poking around in Win8.1 on my laptop (because it came bundled with it) and frankly it my system was totally screwed up after the update win 8 to win 8.1. (especially the graphics drivers).

    Frankly I am still running Win 7 as my main system and looking into Ubuntu or (hopefully) SteamOS as an alternative. At its current state I wouldn’t recommend anyone to install Win 8/8.1. (sorry, does not really help you at this point)

    • George Deluca

      OK, thanks for hearing me out. I’d bail on Windows as well, but I do development work and can’t just walk away from windows.
      George

      • happyneal

        Well if you are in development, you can use regedit and set following key:

        [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage]
        “OpenAtLogon”=dword:00000000

        • George Deluca

          Thanks but I went and installed the free Classic Start Menu and it seems to do everything I want. I’ve spent enough time on this wheel spinning search. Thanks heavens I was already a True Launch Bar user or I would have been totally screwed where MS left me.
          George