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

Posted on 2014-12-09
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Last Modified: 2014-12-10
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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Question by:Stephen Kairys
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40490461
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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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40490466
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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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 1000 total points
ID: 40490473
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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Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 1000 total points
ID: 40490962
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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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40491327
@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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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40491344
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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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40491385
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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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40491389
OK the image did not appear. Oops. Trying again...
Screen-with-a-lot-of-icons-on-it.png
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 1000 total points
ID: 40491402
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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Author Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40491447
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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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 1000 total points
ID: 40491465
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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Author Closing Comment

by:Stephen Kairys
ID: 40491567
Rindi and John,

Thank you both for your help!

Steve
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40491576
@stevefromc  - You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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