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Background: I have been intrigued by the idea of by-passing Windows 8's Metro UI by adjusting the Registry's Shell setting.

Location: HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon Shell Explorer (Default)

I have experimented with appending /root /e and /Select. Upon booting many of my test options swerve the Metro UI, but none provide the usual Windows 8 desktop complete with Taskbar.

What I get is an explorer which I can 'Root' and 'Select', but there is no sign of the Taskbar.

Question: Is my objective possible using the shell setting and explorer switches?
Note: I don't want a 3rd party product.

For perfection I would like to be able to press WinKey and get out of the traditional desktop into the Metro UI.

share|improve this question
You can try to use Scheduled Tasks: create a task that starts a desktop application when you logon. Notepad or Calculator can be used for testing. You can configure the task to stop the running task after a minute or so. (If it's successful, a simple desktop app can be written which starts, shows no windows, and then exits by itself.) – Alexey Ivanov Nov 27 '12 at 6:42
The article 3 Way To Boot Straight to Desktop in Windows 8 might be of interest to you. – Karan Nov 28 '12 at 1:47
@AlexeyIvanov I tried the Task Scheduler. Notepad launched, but it did not cause a switch from the Metro UI to the Desktop. As soon as switched manually, there was notepad, but it would not change to desktop automatically. What am I missing? – Guy Thomas Nov 28 '12 at 13:08
@Karan That is a good answer, it works. – Guy Thomas Dec 3 '12 at 20:18
Good to know! So did you end up using the Show Desktop icon or the executable? – Karan Dec 3 '12 at 22:52

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