Chapter 3. Hacking the Desktop

Ah, the Desktop. Remember it? That’s where, in previous versions of Windows, you were immediately sent when you logged into Windows.

With Windows 8, those days are gone. Instead, you head straight to the Start screen. It’s as if Microsoft has become embarrassed by the Desktop and wishes you’d stay away. And in some ways, the Windows 8 Desktop isn’t the same as in previous versions of Windows, notably because the Start button has been removed.

However, the truth is, if you use a traditional PC rather than a tablet, you’ll be spending plenty of time on the Desktop and using Desktop apps, possibly even more time than you do on the Start screen. (After all, the Start screen and Windows 8 native apps are geared toward tablet users.)

That’s where this chapter comes in. In it, I’ll show you how to hack the Desktop and its apps to make the Desktop a true power user’s tool again. Want to boot directly to the Desktop rather than the Start screen? I’ll show you how to do that. Want to get back some of the features of the old Start screen? That’s here as well. So are command-line hacks, getting back the Quick Launch toolbar, hacking File Explorer (previously called Windows Explorer) and more. As the saying goes, everything old is new again.

Hack #18. Bring Back the Windows Start Menu to Windows 8

Are you a fan of the Start Menu that Microsoft banished from Windows 8? Fear not—there’s a simple way to bring it back in all its glory.

Of the many decisions Microsoft made ...

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