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How to use Windows 8 without Metro getting in the way

Windows 8 is actually a nice upgrade for Windows 7 users, if it wasn`t for the "Metro / Modern UI" that Microsoft is forcing you to use - even if your PC does not have a touch screen. If you follow these simple steps, you can easily make Windows 8 work more like Windows 7 by skipping the Metro screen and adding a Start button. We will also show you how to prevent Windows from switching to full-screen Metro whenever you open images, videos or other media files. Step 1: Install Classic Shell Download Classic Shell Classic Shell is a free software that has been around for years. It specializes in restoring features that were removed or changed in different versions of Windows. Among other things, Classic Shell enables you to restore a Start button that looks identical to your Windows 7 Start button. Classic Shell includes several modules, not all of them are useful for Windows 8. You can choose to only install the "Classic Start Menu" features by setting all other options to the red X. get-rid-of-metro Once, you have installed Classic Shell, you can choose a Start Menu style. get-rid-of-metro The program can also skip the Metro screen and bring you automatically to the traditional desktop. get-rid-of-metro After you applied these settings, your desktop will look like this: get-rid-of-metro You can access the Metro interface at any time by Shift-clicking on the Start button or by using the Windows key. These options can be configured in the Classic Shell settings. Note: There are other programs that offer similar functionality. We used Classic Shell in this example because it is free, has a longstanding reputation and worked well for us. Step 2: Change default programs for images, videos and music By default, Windows 8 opens media files with Metro apps (Video, Music, Pictures) instead of using Windows Media Player or Photo Viewer. I found this very annoying since it switches me to a full screen metro app and forces me to fiddle with the upper left screen corner in order to get back to my desktop. In addition, the app remains open in the background unless I go back to the screen corner, find the app and right-click on the thumbnail to actually close it. What used to be simple click-to-open/click-to-close operation has now become a pain in the butt that interrupts your normal workflow. Fortunately, this can be easily fixed!
Simply right-click on any image, video or music file and select "Open with..." and then "Choose default program..." option from the right-click menu. get-rid-of-metro You should see an option to use Windows Photo Viewer - simply select it and you`re done. get-rid-of-metro The next time you open a file of this type, it will open in Windows Photo Viewer on your desktop. get-rid-of-metro You will need to repeat this for any image format you want to open in Windows Photo Viewer instead of the Photos app. For most people this includes JPG, PNG, GIF etc. Use Windows Media Player for all video and music files (AVI, MP4, MPG etc). get-rid-of-metro Your Windows 8 installation should now feel more familiar. You have your Start button back, the Metro screen is an option instead of a mandate, and basic tasks like opening pictures, music or video files work like they used to.
Next: Add favorite folders to Windows Explorer