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Internet Explorer is both a Modern UI app and a desktop app in Windows 8, but so far I can only find mail as a Modern UI app.

Is there some way to access it in desktop mode? It might be nice to have an old-fashioned mail window open on part of the screen while other desktop apps are open.

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Since MS in its infinite wisdom removed the real start menu, you will have to dig through the program folders to find the email program and drag a link to your desktop, thanks MS. Or install windows Live mail. – Moab Aug 18 '12 at 14:53
@Moab: . . . or just not upgrade. – surfasb Aug 18 '12 at 20:08
No need to dig through folders. Start typing the program name on the start screen and Windows 8 will search for matching apps (try "mail"). – uSlackr Aug 18 '12 at 21:21
@uSlackr question specifically asks how to access from the dektop – Moab Aug 19 '12 at 17:37
@surfasb +5 lol – Moab Aug 19 '12 at 17:38

I don't know what the terms are, but it's possible to recompose the desktop alongside Metro/WinRT apps. You can click-grab the top of a Metro app and snap it to a side of your screen. Then you can move another Metro app in the free space, or put your desktop there.

Here's an example of the Mail app running next to the desktop:

Windows Runtime app & Desktop apps side-by-side

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This feature is called Snap. You can use Windows + . to snap an app to the right of the screen or Windows + Shift + . – to the left. – Alexey Ivanov Nov 19 '12 at 18:13

I believe you can still install Windows Essentials (was windows live essentials) onto Windows 8. They include a desktop mail app

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But does that save two copies of every email to your C drive? – John Hoge Aug 21 '12 at 22:00
Not if you don't ask it to. – surfasb Jan 24 '13 at 7:08

To be honest the easiest thing to do in my opinion would be to pin whatever mail program you want to use to the Taskbar. Then you will always have an icon on your taskbar for launching your mail program. What type of mail are you talking about? Are you talking about Outlook? Here are instructions on how do do so:

Pin an app to the taskbar

You can pin an app directly to the taskbar for quick and easy access.

Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.) In the search box, enter the name of the app you want to pin. Then, on the search results page, tap or click the app to open it on the desktop.

On the desktop, press and hold or right-click the app's button on the taskbar to open the app’s Jump List (a list of shortcuts to recently opened files, folders, and websites), and then tap or click Pin this program to taskbar.

Pin an app to the taskbar for easy access.

Here are some other detailed insctructions:

Find and start Office applications in Windows 8 or Windows RT

Office applications like Excel or Word have tiles pinned to the Start screen by default. To start the application, tap or click the tile. If you can’t see it, swipe from right to left to see more tiles.

Here are some other ways you can start an Office application in Windows 8 or Windows RT:

From All apps With touch, swipe up from the bottom edge or down from the top edge and then tap All apps. To start the Office application, find and tap its tile.

With a mouse, right-click an empty area of the Start screen and click All apps. To start the Office application, find and click its tile.

From the Search charm With touch, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Type the Office application name and tap it in the results on the left.

With a mouse, move your pointer to the upper-right or lower-right corner, and then click Search. Type the Office application name and click it in the results on the left.

From the taskbar on the Desktop If you don’t want to switch between the Start screen and the Desktop to start Office applications, you can pin shortcuts to your taskbar. To do this:

With touch, find the Office application tile on the Start screen and swipe down the tile to select it. Tap Pin to taskbar.

With a mouse, right-click the Office application tile, and then click Pin to taskbar.

An icon for the application should now appear in the taskbar on the Desktop.


Also if you want to get rid of the Windows 8 look/fell entirely and go back to a Windows 7 UI follow these directions:

Use Classic Shell. You can choose between Classic (Windows 2000), XP, or Windows 7 themes. This will change the Start Menu, Explorer, and Internet Explorer 9. To disable the Metro lock screen, hit Windows key + R and enter gpedit.msc. Go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Control Panel -> Personalization and double-click on "Do not display the lock screen" in the right pane. Select "Enabled," then click "Apply" and reboot. Now type Task Scheduler into the start menu. Click "Create Task" in the Actions pane. Type a name and select "Windows 8" in the "Configure for" drop-down menu. Click the "Triggers" tab and select "New." In the dialog, select "On a schedule" from the "Begin the task" drop-down. Click "OK" and select the "Actions" tab. Once again, select "New." In Program/script, type C:\Windows\explorer.exe. Click "OK." Now if you are on a laptop, click the "Conditions" tab and deselect "Start the task only if the computer is on AC power" item. Click "OK" and the task will be created. Now reboot and you will see your complete new Windows 7 UI!

source: Get Windows 8 to Look Like Windows 7

Or here is another related post:

In Windows 8 (from the Consumer Preview up to the final release), there is no known way built-in to disable the new "Modern" UI.

If you feel comfortable using third-party programs and hacks to get rid of (or minimize the use of) Modern UI, you can try:

Start8, which will give you a start menu (you can choose between a Windows 7-style start menu or a Modern start menu) and allow you to bypass the Modern UI Start Screen altogether, but it won't altogether disable Modern UI, since you'll still be able to access the charms bar and the Modern UI task switcher.

You can use this Classic Shell skin to get a close-enough replica of the Windows 7 Start Menu. This will not disable any part of Modern UI, nor will it boot you directly into the Desktop, but it will give you a Windows 7-style start button and menu.

If you would like to do away completely with Modern UI, you can use this trick, which allows you to use the Windows 7 shell (explorer.exe) in place of the Windows 8 shell. This option will send you right back to the Windows 7 experience, but remember to read the "please read" section of that post to know just what you're getting yourself into.

You can use the Group Policy editor to disable the new lock screen. This won't let you use the Windows 7 or XP login screens, but it will allow you to skip the lock ("drag up to unlock") screen, and be sent straight to the screen where you enter your password.

source: How do I turn off Modern UI and get the old Start Menu back in Windows 8?

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Yes, you can easily access Windows 8 Mail from desktop mode.

I discovered it by accident just a minute ago because I didn't want to do anythigng suggested above in this thread, but it appears it's a built in feature to access any desired Metro apps, and only those apps, from the desktop.

Here's how:

  • Go to the Metro app page and open Mail.
  • Then, get back to the desktop using Ctrl-Esc (there may be other ways to get back but I'm new to Windows 8 and haven't found out about easier ways yet).
  • Then, on the desktop, drag the mouse pointer to the upper left hand corner and a small window will open
  • In this window a mini-picture of all open Metro apps appears.
  • Clicking on that picture will open the Metro app shown in the picture. If several Metro apps are open, clicking will cycle through the open Metro apps and only the open Metro apps, none of the not-open Metro apps.
  • One of the apps in the cycle will be the desktop, so the left hand corner is the way to cycle from desktop to open (and only open) Metro apps and back to the desktop. If only the mail is open as a desktop app, the cycle will be from desktop-mail-desktop-mail etc.

You might be wondering how to "close" a destop app so it dissapears from this cycle. In the right-hand corner picture, when the app you want to close appears, right click on it and select "close", and that desktop app and only that one will close and dissapear from the cycle.

In this procedure, cycling from the desktop to the other Metro apps does not erase anything on the desktop (for example, my typing right now in the desktop version of Explorer), but whether or not it stops ongoing data execution, such as processing of many files duiring an hours-long backup using a desktop program, I don't know yet – it's easy to find out but I'm afraid to try it right now and possibly lose the typing I've done so far.

Incidentally, this upper left hand corner window is also how you snap a Metro app to appear simultaneously alongside the desktop – snapping is also a right-click option on this upper-left-corner picture.

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