Updated 19 May, 2013, 5:16 pm IST
How to: Get rid of Windows 8 Metro UI
| by Francis D'sa
Now since the Windows 8 Release Preview is online for you to try it out, most of you will be delighted with the welcoming user interface of the built-in Metro UI. However, the tiled front–end, which is basically built keeping a touchscreen monitor in mind can be very irritating when used with a conventional mouse. Just imagine swiping the initial screen upwards with your mouse and subsequently typing in your password to log in, and later looking at the whole desktop flooded with tiles and apps—though it may look nice for a while, it tends to get frustrating after a bit, because you are so used to the old–styled desktop interface from Windows 95, all the way until Windows 7.
In this workshop, we shall show you how you can disable and re-enable the Metro UI with ease. All it takes is a simple tweaking utility to get it done, and you are back in force using your old mouse on a Windows 7 styled UI. In order to get rid of the Metro UI, you will need a utility, called ‘Windows Eight Metro UI Switcher’, which can be downloaded from SuperUtils.com. The utility is less than a megabyte in size and is in a portable form. This tiny utility allows you to disable the Start Screen of Windows 8 and get back to your old-school Windows 7 styled Start menu. It also helps getting back the classic Task Manager that displays the processor utilization.
Using the tweaking utility also disables the Ribbon interface, which can be turned on whenever needed. All changes are effective only after a system restart or a user log-off. The utility does not need any administrator privileges for tweaking and runs on both x86 and x64 versions of the Windows 8 operating systems. The utility is standalone and needs no runtime libraries or .NET framework for running. And best of all, it is a freeware. Simply start the utility, disable/enable the Metro UI and restart the PC. Your Metro UI is all gone.
For those who do not want to use the utility and do it manually, you can do it using two other methods. The first method is by tweaking a single registry key. Start the registry editor and scroll down to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer’. On the right side, you will find the string ‘RPEnabled’ and change it from the value ‘1’ to ‘0’. Close the registry editor and restart the PC. To enable it again, simply revert back the value to ‘1’.
The other method of doing the same involves renaming a system file in the Windows folder. Start the Windows explorer and hunt down the file named ‘shsxs.dll’ and rename it to something else, for example, ‘shsxs.dll.backup’ Now in order to change the file’s name, you will need to take ownership of the file before you rename it. After renaming it, simply restart the PC, and you will be back to the good old Windows 7-styled user interface.
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