Is there a way to choose to start Chrome web browser either in classic desktop or metro mode in Windows 8.1? I know how to change it while the app is running, also if I exit the app in metro and start it again it stays in metro, that's not a problem. I'm simply looking for a way to start in desktop mode when I open desktop icon and in metro mode when I open metro icon (tile), that is imho reasonable request.


Yes, this is possible with custom Windows shortcuts.

Create two shortcuts for Chrome named Chrome Desktop and Chrome Metro.

Enter the following flags for the shortcuts.

--force-desktop for Chrome Desktop and --force-immersive for Chrome Metro

In case you don't know how to add flags in shortcuts, refer to this image where the --incognito flag is added:

enter image description here

Now just keep the Chrome Desktop shortcut on your desktop and Chrome Metro shortcut in the folder: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\. The shortcut should appear in your Start Menu after a few seconds.

Keep in mind that you cannot have both modes open simultaneously at the same time.

Edit: I double checked this on my friend's system. It seems that after you close Chrome from metro mode, it doesn't exit. Instead, it stays in the background (application is suspended - it is by design of Windows 8.x). Refer to this article to find out how to close applications permanently.

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  • Thanks for the reply. --force-immersive seems to work, I closed the app while in desktop and relaunched it in metro. But --force-desktop doesn't work for me for some reason, it just stays in metro. – SysGen Apr 18 '14 at 13:13
  • Did you close Chrome in Metro mode? You cannot have both instances running at the same time. – Chirag Bhatia - chirag64 Apr 18 '14 at 13:23
  • Yes I closed chrome in metro and relaunched using desktop icon but it launched in metro again. But the weird thing is that it allows me to have both instances, that means if I'm in desktop mode and click the metro icon it opens up in metro also and I can switch between them and use both of them. – SysGen Apr 18 '14 at 13:44
  • That's weird. The desktop shortcut does work at my end. What version / build are you using? – Chirag Bhatia - chirag64 Apr 18 '14 at 13:46
  • I'm running newest version of Chrome, that is 34.0.1847.116, on Windows 8.1 64-bit. – SysGen Apr 18 '14 at 13:53

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