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I use Windows 8 in desktop mode, but sometimes it wants to open pictures or media player in what I think of as tablet mode - the full-screen WinRT version of the app.

I'm a developer, and that's still so jarring and confusing to me that I just want to disable it globally. Is there a way to do that?

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    You can uninstall the application – Ramhound Feb 17 '14 at 19:17
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    Change the associated program to be a desktop app. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 17 '14 at 19:21
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In a file's context menu, there's an Open with submenu. From there, select Choose default program.... A metro-style dialog will pop up in the center of your screen. For pictures, the desktop program is "Windows Photo Viewer". Unfortunately, you'll have to repeat this procedure for the various picture file types (BMP, JPEG, PNG, ...).

For videos, you can use Windows Media Player or any other player of your choice, e.g. VLC Player. Same goes for music, the classic option is Windows Media Player. And yet again you'll have to repeat the procedure for all video and audio file types.

Update: Oh yeah, I almost forgot: In the Control Panel, there's the "Set Default Programs" mechanism. Using this (and a compatible program) the process is a little less time-consuming. Simply select the Windows Photo Viewer and press "Set this program as default". Repeat this process for all associations you want to change.

  • Best answer so far, although I was hoping for something more universal. – Brian MacKay Feb 17 '14 at 21:12
  • As far as I'm aware, there's no universal solution. This is simply Windows' normal file association mechanism at work. The other way around, using the "Set Default Programs" control panel, it's a little less time-consuming. – Daniel B Feb 17 '14 at 21:27

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