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Boot straight to the desktop in Windows 8

Windows 8 is brilliant, but it does have some irritations and one of these, for some people at least, is that it boots up to the Start screen instead of the desktop that everyone is used to. There are various ways of getting Windows 8 to boot straight to the desktop and here is one method. No software is required.

Start Windows 8 and go to the desktop. Right click the desktop and select New, Shortcut. You are prompted to type the location of the item. Just type explorer.exe and click the Next button. Now enter the name, which can be anything, but Explorer is as good as any. Click Finish and you have a new shortcut on the desktop that opens an Explorer window.

Open an Explorer window and click View, then tick Hidden items. This shows files and folders that are normally invisible. Now you can navigate to C:\ProgramData \Microsoft \Windows \Start Menu \Programs \Start-up. Drag the shortcut from the desktop and drop it in the folder.

That's it. Windows will boot straight to the desktop. Here's how it works: Any program or shortcut in the Start-up folder is automatically run when Windows starts. So Explorer is automatically run since we added a shortcut. It is a desktop program, so Windows switches to the desktop to run it. You could put any desktop program in the Start-up folder and the effect would be the same. Explorer is convenient because it opens to show your Documents, Music, Videos and Pictures libraries.

You could go straight to any of these folders. Right click the Documents library icon for example and select Send to, Desktop (create shortcut). Delete the Explorer shortcut in the Start-up folder you created earlier and put the Documents shortcut in there instead. Now Windows boots up to the desktop with your Documents folder open.

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