Windows 8 How to Disable Metro UI on Windows 8

Captain Jack

Fantastic Member
Mar 6, 2010
How to Disable Metro UI on Windows 8

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To disable Metro UI there are two methods:

Method 1:

C:\Windows\System32\shsxs.dll to shsxs.old

Method 2:

Using the registry method go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer and modify RPEnabled to 0 where the default value is 1

Both methods requires to reboot.

Note: Method one is causing some unstable behavior I would recommend Method 2.

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I've installed all 3 versions on VirtualBox, as well as my PC (separate partitions) and have edited the registry and changed the filename both - from what I've experienced, editing the registry does bring back the original start menu, but also leaves the 'metro ui' intact, however, with smaller inactive icons/blocks/tabs/whatever you want to call them. Using the file name change, removes all 'metro ui' aspects, restores the original start menu - it's basically Windows 7 with a few new features - from what I've seen, the filename change doesn't do anything else but disable the metro ui completely... but with the registry entry leaving remnants, I'd suggest letting people know that the registry edit option may cause issues in some cases. I don't know if anyone else has experienced similar issues, but it happened with all three versions on my machine, in VM as well as clean installs on their own partitions. Just a suggestion, of course. :)

An even easier way might be to use one of the utilities Paul Thurrott has posted on his Windows Supersite. The toggle utility is particular easy to use as I suspect the Tweaker utility is as well. I believe an admin has posted this link as well, but putting the link here as well seems very appropriate.

I installed with two users. The principal one is with the Global Administrator, with Metro disabled. The other is my own (davehc) with everything. I have no way of knowing if this is following the normal paths, but it seems to work OK. If I get bored with going through the new routines, then I log off and on - takes about 5 seconds.
Fwiw. I tried both "Methods" in the Admin account. They apparently do the same thing. I also tried the utility on Paul's page. I may have something wrong, but it requested a reboot whenever I wanted to change something - not for me. The extra options in the menu can be done more quickly, manually.

The utilities do not always want a reboot for me. The Toggle one, I believe, does what method 2 shows. The other is more like method 1. These will work for someone not familiar enough to do these.