There are many ways to customize the Windows 8.1 Start Screen so it works more for you than against you. With many users opting to bypass the Start Screen all together and boot to desktop, there are ways to change how the Start Button works, too. This is just another trick to make Windows 8.1 work better for users.

We’ll show you how to use the Windows 8.1 start button to take you to the all apps view as opposed to the Start Screen. This can come in handy when you need an app on the fly as opposed to using the Start Screen.

Must Read: Windows 8.1 Start Screen Gets Better Customization Options, Group Tile Management

What Can Do With the Windows 8.1 Start Button?

There are many ways to change how the Windows 8.1 Start Button works. You can use third-party programs, such as ClassicShell, to get the Windows 7 Start Menu back entirely. You can even eliminate the Start Button entirely. With these settings, you can change how the Start Button works so you go directly to the all apps view.

Changing the Windows 8.1 Start Button Settings

These steps will only work with Windows 8.1, as the settings added are not available in Windows 8.

Head to the Windows 8.1 desktop.

Right-click anywhere on the taskbar.


Click on “Properties.”


This will open the Taskbar and Navigation properties for Windows 8.1.

This allows you to do a variety of tweaks available in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 you may or may not be familiar with. You can use these properties to tweak how the taskbar works, how jump lists work and how the Start Button works.

Then, click the “Navigation” tab.


In Windows 8 and 8.1, a variety of options has been added to this tab allowing you to control how hot corners work, along with the Start Screen.

Look for “Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start” option and click the checkbox next to it.

Now, click “Apply” and “OK” to save the settings’ changes.


Whenever you click the Start Button now, you’ll be taken to the All Apps view and not the Start Screen.

If you want to change this setting back, simply navigate back to the Taskbar and Navigation properties settings, uncheck the box and save your settings.

You’ll now head back to the Start Screen any time you click the Start Button.

This is an easy fix to a larger problem in Windows 8.1 for consumers. This is one way to bypass the Start Screen and use Windows the way you want as opposed to how Microsoft forces you to use it.

Cool Tip: How to Reset the Windows 8.1 Start Screen Back to Its Original State


With tweaks like this, you can continue to take control of Windows 8.1 the way you want. Microsoft has added some leeway for consumers to use the Start Screen the way that works best for them. Learning the ins and outs of the settings for Windows 8.1 personalization will help you customize Windows 8.1 much more to your liking.