StartOnDesktop: Another straight to desktop shooter for Windows 8

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 9, 2012
Software, Windows, Windows 8, Windows software

Is an increasing number of programs that fix, tweak or reverse features or functionality of an operating system a sign that something is not right with the system? I think I have never seen that many programs released before and after the launch of a Microsoft Windows system that try to fix or improve various aspects of a system.

The majority of applications concentrate on bringing back the start menu that Microsoft removed in Windows 8, and providing users of the system with options to load the traditional desktop right on start instead of the new start screen that is displayed by default. While those make up the majority, they are not the the only one. There are programs to personalize the Windows 8 start screen, to pin anything to the start screen, to change the icons on the start screen and dozens of other apps that tweak, modify or remove features.

StartOnDesktop is a tiny program in comparison to other software that tries to fix various Windows 8 issues. The 36 Kilobyte program is without doubt one of the easiest solutions to configure your Windows 8 PC to boot straight to the desktop. Note that you may run into Windows SmartScreen when you try to execute the program on your system. If you do, click on More Info and then on Run Anyway to start the program. Note that SmartScreen does that for program it does not have yet in its database, the program itself returns no traces of malicious software on Virustotal where it has been scanned with 39 different antivirus engines. An UAC prompt will appear as well before you finally see the program interface.

Here it is just the matter of clicking on the enable button to make a modification to the computer so that it starts on the desktop on logon. The help text explains that this is done via a single Registry change, and that no files on the computer are modified in any way.

I'd recommend to keep the program around so that you can revert the changes at a later point in time. If you want to be on the safe side, create a system restore point before you run it.


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  1. Martin said on March 12, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    An even quicker way to open Task Manager is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

  2. archie bald said on March 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Win+Pause used to be the goto shortcut for me since… W95… Ms recently hijacked it and you now get Sysinfo. Device manager is still accessible this way: the second to last link at the bottom.

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