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When I close an app (a metro style fullscreen app), it automatically return to to the start menu. Is there a way to return to the desktop (desktop app) instead?

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You have the option explained here : thewindowsclub.com/return-desktop-closing-windows-8-1-apps –  user306510 Mar 10 at 10:02

5 Answers 5

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Note: This is related to Windows Store (Metro) apps. Desktop apps don't follow this paradigm.

The mindset that Microsoft is trying to implement through Windows 8, is for the user to not be concerned about closing applications all the time. Memory, CPU and other resource usage is handled dynamically by the OS (similar to Mobile OS's). This is handled through an application lifecycle:

Win 8 Store Lifecycle

With that in mind, closing the app shouldn't be done unless absolutely necessary.

To go straight to the desktop from a Metro App use the Win + D keyboard shortcut.

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So even if I'm running 20 apps in the background on my laptop, my battery won't drain faster? –  Chin Oct 23 '12 at 18:59
    
It's the same argument that task-killers on Android shouldn't be required. If it's suspended, it's not using resources(unless it has background tasks), it's just sitting in free RAM. And if later you need the RAM it's occupying, it kills the suspended app. Basically a suspended app is a "cached" app in a way –  Earlz Oct 23 '12 at 19:02
    
@Chin the idea is similar to Android's and Apple's life cycle. If it notices that resources are being used up at an incredible rate, it'll kill the app automatically. Sure, closing all apps may save a few mins of battery time, but not a significant amount IMO. –  KronoS Oct 23 '12 at 19:02
    
but how do I know if an app is using resource or not? How do I know if it has background tasks or not? –  Chin Oct 23 '12 at 19:04
    
@Chin that's the point... you shouldn't have to worry about it. Win 8 will take care of it. If you notice that your battery is running low, then you can close all your open application/background processes (both desktop and Windows Store). It's the same mindset as your phone, if the battery is going down, close everything you can but the bare minimum. –  KronoS Oct 23 '12 at 19:08

The argument against "don't close your apps" is when you have 20 apps open, and you try to Alt+Tab or use the App bar (swiping in from left), it's very cluttered if you have 6+ apps open.

I have found a solution to this problem (return to desktop after closing an app), but it uses a program that costs money (only $4.99, free trial available). It's called Stardock "Start8". It's main use is to give a Windows 7 start menu on Windows 8, but you can return to desktop after closing an app without doing that.

When you install it, change all of the settings however you like, and on the "Desktop" tab, click the "Advanced" button. Check the box that says "Return to desktop after closing a Modern UI Application". Done!

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StartIsback 2.0 (currently RC3) add a way to configure that you can return to the Desktop:

enter image description here

Check the Option "When I close modern app"

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I don't believe it's possible in all cases, but at least sometimes, if you hover in the top-left corner you can go through recent "applications" including the desktop.

So, what I do is in a store app when I need to return to desktop, I'll click in the top left corner and it'll cycle between the desktop and other recent store apps. You may have to click a few times, but I think it's easier than using the start menu

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In a Win 8 style UI app, go to the top left and select the desktop

Thats all you need to do

You DO NOT need to close the app,etc. The OS does it all for you

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