Use the old Windows Boot Manager on a Windows 8 dual boot system

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 22, 2012
Updated • Aug 22, 2012
Tutorials, Windows, Windows 8, Windows tips

Microsoft has changed the look and feel of the boot manager of the Windows 8 operating system. Part of the change comes from the fact that Windows 8 boots faster than previous versions of Windows, part from Microsoft's desire to use the Modern UI interface everywhere.If you are using a touch interface, you may prefer the new boot menu with its big buttons and all, but if you do not, you do not really benefit from it that much.

While the new boot menu is prettier and all, it can on the other hand slow down the start of the second, or third, operating system as part of Windows 8 is loaded in the background before the boot manager is displayed on the screen.

If you have to switch regularly between Windows 8 and another installed operating systems, you may prefer to use the old boot manager instead as it is displayed right after the start of the system and before any of the operating systems are loaded.

windows 8 boot manager

Vishal from AskVG discovered a way to get back the legacy boot manager with its gray on black interface. To change the boot manager from the Windows 8 default manager to the legacy manager known from previous versions of Windows, you need to perform the following steps in Windows 8:

  • Press Windows to go to the start screen and type cmd in there. Right-click on Command Prompt and select run as administrator from the bottom command bar.
  • Run the following command here and press enter afterwards: bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
  • Restart your operating system afterwards. You should now see the legacy boot manager and not the Windows 8 Boot menu.
  • You can use the following command on the command line to restore the Windows 8 boot menu: bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard
  • You should get a "The operation completed successfully" confirmation after running one of the commands on the command line.

I suggest you give it a try if you are dual booting Windows 8 with another operating system to see if changing to the legacy boot manager speeds things up for you on system start.


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  1. rishin said on December 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    friend. i tried that command to turn back into legacy mode. but it only works once, When i restart from windows again, its shows the new windows 8 boot manager again. its frustrating beacuase i use ubuntu so often

  2. Anonymous said on March 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I have a slightly different problem. I cloned my Windows 7 (from an intel 250GB SSD) to a new Samsung 840 SSD 500GB, creating 22 partitions of equal size. Then installed Windows 8 Pro on the second partition. It takes a full 60 seconds to the dual boot screen. When I select Windows 8 it loads immediately. Any idea why it takes 60 seconds to load?
    My P8Z68-V PRO does not support safe boot. I disconnected everything the except keyboard and mouse. Refreshed the Windows 8 install. No change.

  3. me said on January 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Fixed my problem!! i couldnt use the BOOT TO USB option from Windows 8 boot manager (it didnt show up) and I did this, and now i got it working again!

  4. Rolivhiwa_SA said on November 5, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Is it possible to remove windows vista, 7 or 8 from that new boot menu?

    See the thing is I first istalled windows 8 enterprise, dual booting beside windows 7. Then reinstalled windows 8 Pro updating my windows 7 ultimate to windows 8 Pro. Now I have two Windows 8 on the boot menu and wondering if there’s a way to delete the windows 8 enterprise boot option and be just left with one?

  5. Bill said on August 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    What do you mean “Press Windows” on the first instruction??

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      The Windows key.

  6. Bob said on August 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    That’s good to know but my preferred choice would be to use Bootit NG. I already use it for my dual booting system and it is chalk full of maintenance tools.

  7. JK said on August 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    By simply making Windows 7 or Vista as default OS you can skip Windows 8’s new boot manager.

    1. eyeman said on October 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      I set win7 as default, but I actually like the win8 boot menu better. Think there’s a way to have the new boot menu while maintaining win7 default?

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