Tweak Windows 8 to remove the Metro Interface

We have been saying all along that you can opt out of the tiles interface in Windows 8. Mark Kaelin shows you the registry tweak to make it happen.

The Windows 8 Developer's Preview version is our first good look at the Metro Interface and its tile-based theme. However, many of the initial reactions (overreactions?) have been anti-tile and pro-desktop. And, while there is a desktop view in Windows 8, it lacks one key feature that many users, anxious to keep their desktops, feel is a must-have: the Start Menu.

Well, there is no need to fret about that anymore. Thanks to a heads-up from okorsal, we can show you a simple Registry tweak that will restore the familiar Windows Desktop complete with the Windows 7-style Start Menu. (Thanks also to for publishing the tweak.)

Registry tweak

Note: This is strictly a tip designed for the Windows 8 Developer's Preview build of the operating system. It is likely that this tip will not apply to the retail version of Windows 8.) First, start regedit. In Windows 8, if you are in the Metro Interface, you can just type r e g e d i t and that application will appear in the search, like you see in Figure A.

Figure A

Just start typing in Windows 8, and the OS will assume you want to search for an application.

Inside the registry editor, navigate to this key:

Double-click the key labeled: RPEnabled as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Double-click RPEnabled.
When the Edit DWORD comes up (Figure C), change the Value Data from 1 to zero and click OK.

Figure C

Change the Value data from 1 to zero.
That's it. Now, when you click the Start Menu on the Windows 8 Desktop you will get the old Start Menu you know rather than the tiled screen Microsoft is hoping you will want to know (Figure D).

Figure D

The old Start Menu is back.

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By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.