Make Windows 8.1 boot to the Start screen

Open Taskbar and Navigation

If you’re running Windows 8.1 on a computer with a mouse and keyboard, it will automatically boot to the desktop and not the Start screen by default. This is designed to make it easier for traditional desktop or laptop users to get straight to their programs and files. However, if you prefer the Start screen with its layout of Live tiles and would rather have Windows boot to this screen as it did before the update, there is a way to change it back.

In fact, whatever device you use, you can choose to see either the Start screen, the desktop or a screen that shows all your Apps, when you first sign into your Windows 8.1 computer. Here’s how:

Choose the screen you see when you sign in

Step 1  On the desktop, right-click the taskbar and click Properties from the pop-up menu. From the Start screen, move your mouse cursor to the top right corner of the screen and click Search. Enter taskbar in the search box and then click Taskbar and Navigation in the search results.

Set Windows 8.1 boot optionsStep 2  The Taskbar and Navigation properties dialog box will open. Click the Navigation tab and then do one of the following:

  • to boot to the Start screen – clear the checkbox next to When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start. Click OK. When you next sign into your PC, you’ll see the Start screen instead of the desktop.
  • to boot to the desktop – click the check box next to When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start and click OK. When you next sign into your PC, you’ll see the desktop.
  • to boot to the Apps view - clear the check box next to When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start. Then, click the check box next to Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start. Click OK. When you next sign into your PC, you’ll see the Apps view.

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