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Windows8: Open the desktop direct, skipping over Start screen

, 7 Dec 2012 CPOL
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Task scheduler put to use on logon


Do you spend most of your time on the desktop?

Do you logon to Windows8 and then click desktop to get your desktop before doing anything else?

If you do, then this might be of interest to you!

This tip is used to skip straight through the Start screen and onto the desktop as soon as you log onto the computer. It makes use of an "On Logon" trigger in the "Task Scheduler" to start up the desktop. Now if you remember (maybe you didn't know!), the desktop is just a different view of Explorer that is presented when it is the first instance on execution. We simply get the task scheduler to fire off that first instance, and that takes us into the desktop.

Setting Up The Task 

Step 1: Access the Task Scheduler  

The first thing we need to do is open up the task scheduler. This can be found in the Administrative tools, accessed by either visiting the control panel, or by pressing Windows-R to open the run dialog and copy and pasting the following;

%windir%\system32\taskschd.msc /s   



Step 2: Create a Basic Task 

Select the  Task Scheduler Library [1], to see a list of currently defined tasks [2], then select "Create Basic Task" [3]


Step 3: Provide Task Name and Description 

As it says, enter a name for the task [1], a brief description [2] and click Next [3]


Step 4: Set the Trigger

Select the "When I log on" [1] trigger and clickNext [2]


Step 5:  Set the Action 

Select the "Start a program" [1] action, and click Next [2] 


Step 6: Set the Program to start

In the Program/script entry [1] enter explorer.exe  and click Next [2] 


Step 7: Commit Task

In the dialog, review the entry and click Finish [1]


Step 8: Check Task Library 

You should now see your new task listed in the  Task Scheduler Library [1] 


That's It! 

Now when you log on to Windows8, the start screen will briefly appear, then you will be automatically taken to your desktop. 


8th December 2012 - First version of tip.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Scotland Scotland
I have been working in the Oil & Gas Industry for over 25 years now.

Core Discipline is Instrumentation and Control Systems.

Completed Bsc Honours Degree (B29 in Computing) with the Open University in 2012.

Currently, Offshore Installation Manager in the Al Shaheen oil field, which is located off the coast of Qatar.

Prior to this, 25 years of North Sea Oil & Gas experience.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
AnkitGoel.com10-Dec-12 19:49
memberAnkitGoel.com10-Dec-12 19:49 
QuestionMy vote of 5 Pin
Frank T. Clark10-Dec-12 11:58
memberFrank T. Clark10-Dec-12 11:58 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Nitesh Maharaj10-Dec-12 2:19
memberNitesh Maharaj10-Dec-12 2:19 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
DaveAuld10-Dec-12 2:47
mentorDaveAuld10-Dec-12 2:47 

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