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Windows 8 introduced two extremely unpopular changes with Windows 8. First, it forces users to use something called the ‘Modern’ user interface, previously known as Metro UI. Windows 8 boots into this app screen by default and has garnered mixed reviews so far.
The second annoying problem is the lack of a Start button in Windows 8. Today, we’re going to show you how to fix both of these problems to make Windows 8 a more enjoyable experience – especially if you’re accustomed to previous versions of Windows.
Change file associations
By default, Windows 8 forces the OS to associate all files with Modern apps. So if you’re browsing in desktop mode and open a picture or music file, Windows will open that file using the default Modern app.
If you want to distance yourself from the Modern UI, one of the first steps to take is to change file associations. To do that, type Default Programs into the search bar and then choose the Set your default programs option from the list that pops up.
Scan through your list of programs and set all your desktop programs as default programs.
How to shut down Windows 8 without using the Charms bar
When something as simple as shutting down Windows 8 is so complicated, it’s no wonder the operating system has faced mixed reviews.
If you don’t like having to navigate to the Charms bar just to shut down your computer, then there are three easier ways to shut down your system:
-Click your desktop and press Alt+F4
-Create special shut down shortcuts by reading this guide
-Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and then click the Shut Down button
How to bring back the Start button and install a Start menu
Sadly for Microsoft, the most popular Windows 8 apps are ones that reverse many of the changes that Microsoft so adamantly wanted to implement – like strangely deciding to remove the Start bar and Start menu that have been used by Windows users for decades.
These programs are free (mostly) and easy to install. They all introduce classic Windows features into Windows 8:
–Classic Shell (free)
–Start8 (free for 30 days, then $5 to buy forever)
–IOBit Start Menu 8 (free; my personal recommendation because it looks exactly like Windows 7)
All Windows 8 users I personally know (which is only one person), are using a third-party Start button program. 100% of people can’t be wrong, right?
Disable Charms Bar and Hot Corners
Every time you move your cursor to the side of the screen in Windows 8, the OS will try to open the Charms Bar or Hot Corners features. This can be useful if you’re actually using Windows 8 as intended, but for the rest of us, it’s not really necessary.
Unfortunately, Microsoft really wants users to use Windows 8 the way it wants them to use it, so they made it impossible to disable Hot Corners without going into the Windows Registry.
Fortunately, the guys over at HowToGeek.com managed to identify the Registry hack that allows any Windows 8 user to disable Hot Corners. Try it out today by reading this article.
Enable Boot to Desktop
As if Microsoft’s totalitarian approach to Windows 8 users wasn’t evident already, they also force all Windows 8 users to boot into the Modern UI while giving them no opportunity to switch to ‘boot to desktop’ mode.
That’s why you need to install one of the Start menu programs we listed above. Each of those programs features a ‘Boot to desktop’ option because they know you want it.
Hide the lock screen
The final step of removing your affiliation with the Modern Windows 8 UI is to hide the lock screen. Sure, the lock screen looks all right on a tablet. But it’s mostly unnecessary on desktops. Who wants to press one more key every time they need to log in?
To skip the lock screen, you’ll also need to use a Registry hack because Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, wanted people to use this important lock screen at all costs. To learn how to implement that registry hack, click here.
Unfortunately, the Modern UI is basically hardcoded into Windows 8, so you will never be able to totally disable it. But by using all of the steps we’ve listed above, you can limit the amount of time you spend using the unpopular Windows 8 feature and get back to the classic desktop screen we all know and love.