I'm not exactly sure how to best describe this issue, so please bear with me.

On one laptop (A), I did a manual installation of 8.1 Pro with an ISO I purchased directly from Microsoft. On a different laptop (B) I purchased from Dell, which included a license for 8.1 Pro, I upgraded from 7 to 8.1 using the system restore disk provided by Dell. I'm noticing small but significant differences between the interfaces of the two machines, and I need help determining how to get the latter the behave more like the former. Here are some examples of the differences.

  • On A, when I log in, I am delivered directly to the desktop, whereas on B, the first thing I see after logging in is the start screen.
  • On A, when I move the cursor to the top of the screen of a Metro app, I see a title bar which includes minimize and close buttons, but on B, I do not. Instead, when I move the cursor to the top of the screen, the cursor changes to an icon that looks like a hand, and I can drag the app to either split the screen, or close by dragging all the way to the bottom of the screen.
  • On A, the top-right section of the start screen includes username button, a power button, and a search button. On B, only the username button is visible. The only way I have been able to find to power down the computer through Windows is by logging the user off, and clicking the power button on the login screen.

Both systems are updated, use track-pads (not touchscreens), and I have confirmed that they are both running 8.1 Pro. Can anyone help me identify how these settings are being managed, and tell me how to change them?


The differences described here are differences between 8.1 and 8.1 Update 1.


In Windows 8.1, you can bypass the Start screen (and Modern UI altogether) by delving into the taskbar settings and configuring this option. Windows 8.1 Update 1 does this automatically on devices without touchscreens


Windows 8 Update 1 provides a more cogent -- and conventional -- solution. Modern UI apps now have a title bar that appears when you move the cursor to the top of the screen. The bar has Close and Minimize buttons, as well as split left/right options to snap the app to one side of the screen


The top-right corner of the Windows 8 Update 1 Start screen sports two new buttons: Search and Power Options.

For information from MS on how to determine if the Update is installed, and how to install it, are available here: Install the latest Windows 8.1 Update

To check if the update is already installed, go to the Start screen. If you see a Search button near your account name at the top of the Start screen, you already have the update.

  • 1
    I forgot about Update 1. It came out so quick I don't even recall 8.1 without it. – Ramhound Nov 6 '14 at 18:08
  • This answer appears to be on the right track, but I suggest editing the answer to remove the mention of Windows 8 (as opposed to 8.1) because the question clearly states that both installations are 8.1. Mentioning 8 could confuse future visitors to this question. – brainbolt Nov 6 '14 at 18:12
  • @Barinbolt, It made more sense when the now-missing comment was still there. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 6 '14 at 18:14

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