Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to have Windows 8 automatically go back to the Metro Start Screen when I close a program or file as opposed to going back to desktop.

How can this be done?

share|improve this question
This might not be exactly what you want(as even pressing a button isn't an option) but you can drag down desktop after closing the window just like any other metro UI app. – spexy Feb 10 '13 at 11:26
Is it so hard to press "Windows" key after closing any program ?) – Jet Feb 10 '13 at 12:42

You can achieve it using AutoHotKey. Install it, and create following 2 files:


#SingleInstance force

WinGet, id_ini, list,,, Program Manager
prev = %id_ini%

sleep 3000     ; Milliseconds for which the loop waits before another iteration
WinGet, id, list,,, Program Manager
current = %id%
if(current < prev)
  ;somethin closed - press windows key here
  Run, "C:\press_windows.vbs"   
prev = %id%
sleep 500


Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
WshShell.SendKeys "^{ESCAPE}"

After creating both files and adjusting the Path in the switcher.ahk file to the location of vbs you created. You just need to Run the Autohotkey file (i.e. switcher.ahk) and you are done.

This will count all windows (Excluding the Background Services and Processes) And If number of Windows Reduces it sends a Windows key press and switches to Modern-UI.

I'm using a VBS because for some reason Windows-8 doesn't take a Windows Key press from AHK.

Note: This script needs to be refined, sometimes it may behave unexpectedly, because it also counts the Context Menu and Notifications as new window. So when they are closed it sends a keypress.
To avoid such behavior we need to exclude such things, which can be done easily.

share|improve this answer
How does this improve over pressing WinKey? I am looking for an automatic return to the Metro UI – Guy Thomas Feb 17 '13 at 10:03
Using this you don't need to press WinKey. Isn't this an Improvement ? – Ankit Mishra Feb 17 '13 at 14:41

If you create a VBS script file and use it to launch your target application, the following instructions will do as you require:

'// File:  app2metro.vbs
'// Desc:  launch notepad then return to the metro interface

'//create shell object
Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

'// run and wait for it to return
intReturn = WshShell.Run("notepad " & WScript.ScriptFullName, 1, TRUE)

'//switch to metro 
WshShell.SendKeys "^{ESCAPE}"
share|improve this answer
Interesting, but I would have to script each application? – Guy Thomas Feb 12 '13 at 10:27
Yes. Each app that you would want to auto return to metro. I'm unaware of any other approach that would work for arbitrary applications. – KenK Feb 13 '13 at 7:28

While it is not hard at all to press the "Windows" key after closing a program, it would make sense that if you start a program from the Metro Start Screen, you return to it afterwards. Especially if that is what you want to promote.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

protected by bwDraco Mar 28 '15 at 22:26

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .