WIn8.1 shortcut to desktop from start screen does not appear to work

Hello,
I just installed my new Win8.1 computer and am gradually acclimating to it. That said, I've encountered a (minor) issue.

When I click on the windows icon on the lower-left of my screen it brings up the Start Screen (with the tiles -- I think that's what you call them) representing the various programs. One of the tiles clearly indicates that it's for my desktop -- I can even see the wallpaper I installed; however, when I click on it, it takes me back to what appears to be the application I am currently using.

How then, can i most easily access the actual desktop (from both the Start screen) and elsewhere.

Thanks,
Steve
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAsked:
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you had a program open while you were in the "Desktop", and then you go to the tiled "Start" screen, and from there click on your "Desktop" tile, you'll be back on the Desktop. But since you had a program open, there before you hit the Start button, you'll see it the same way as before, with that program open. If you resize or minimize that program, you'll see the desktop showing up. You can also click on the very right of the taskbar, after the clock, and that will hide the open programs and just show the desktop, the same way it used to be in Windows 7.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I use the Desktop exclusively because that is where all the main and important applications are. You can add a Programs (Pseudo Start) menu on the right hand taskbar.

Add a Start Menu to Windows 8

Right Click on the Taskbar
Select Toolbar, New Toolbar
Add the following content in the space provided:
%ProgramData%Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
Save the toolbar. It should call itself Programs.

Everything you need is now in Programs on the taskbar.

Read my article on ways to improve Windows 8. I have been using it now for about 2 years.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/A_16620-Ways-to-improve-Windows-8.html
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
John,
I guess I'm still a bit unclear (on MY end) per Win8.1 terminology.

When you say "I use the desktop". to what are you referring?

1. The screen that when you start using your new computer has maybe one or two icons on it and on which you can add icons?

2. The screen that has the tiles or whatever you call them with names such as MAIL, CALENDAR, WEATHER, etc.

3. The screen (that you access via the downarrow from #2) that contains tons of applications grouped by letter of the alphabet and "topic" area?

Thanks again.
Steve
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Metro is nothing more than a Icon based Start Menu. When you click on Word, Excel or whatever, it takes you out of the Start Menu and onto the regular Desktop (just like Windows 7 and Prior).

I start in the Desktop (assuming you have Windows 8.1) by setting Navigation to start on the Desktop. This avoids Metro entirely (but you can still use it)

Right click on the Taskbar, select properties, click on Navigation, and in the lower have, check the first 3 boxes, exit out, restart and now the computer will start on the Desktop. Very Nice (in my opinion).

See how that works for you.
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
@John,
I checked the boxes...

Screenshot of navigation properties.
but when I click on the "icon" with the desktop, it takes me back to an application.

@Rindi: I tried clicking to the right of the clock and that did what I needed to do. Thanks.

Steve
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you restart after checking the boxes above, then upon startup, you should be seeing a standard Windows Desktop (not the Metro screen). Is this true?  Please let us know.

Then, what Icon and shortcut are you talking about?  

Any application shortcut on the Windows Desktop will keep you in the Desktop. Again, this is where your regular applications live.
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
OK maybe I wasn't being clear

This is the screen I mean:

With the DESKTOP icon in the lower-left, the one with the picture of the moon which is my wallpaper.

Thanks
Steve
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
OK the image did not appear. Oops. Trying again...
Screen-with-a-lot-of-icons-on-it.png
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The screen you show here is Metro. It is just Icons, not a "work surface". Most icons here, when clicked, will take you back to Windows Desktop. Some icons are Metro full screen apps. I do not use these.

The Desktop icon (with the moon) IS your Desktop. All it does is take you to the Windows Desktop. It does not do anything more.

Go to the desktop and install the regular applications you want.
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
OK. So when you refer to installing my regular apps on my "desktop" do you mean this:

Thanks.
Desktop-moon.png
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes, that is what I mean.

If you look down on the lower left, third icon from the left (If I counted correctly) is your Windows Explorer icon. Open it, It is your regular file explorer.

You can navigate to an install file you may have or have downloaded and install it just like any Windows system.

If you have a CD drive, you can install from CD.

Make sure any install puts an icon on your desktop and you will soon have a working desktop. You already have some things there.
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Rindi and John,

Thank you both for your help!

Steve
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@stevefromc  - You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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