When Microsoft released Windows 8, most of all top software vendors started to implement Windows 8 support into their software. This included support for running the applications smoothly over windows 8 and to match with the OS’s overall interface. Some applications got – so called – Windows 8’s Metro UI (now it’s known as Modern UI) implementation. This UI system had direct link to Windows 8’s touch screen friendly interface. Google’s in-house web browser, Chrome was not an exception to that. Google didn’t make delay to introduce Windows 8 support to Chrome. Beside internal changes, they also added Windows 8 mode to Chrome. Windows 8 mode lets users launch Chrome in the style of Windows 8’s modern UI – say it touch friendly user interface. This interface is slightly different than Chrome’s original desktop mode.

Google Chrome running in Windows 8 Metro mode

The Problem

When you click on the Chrome icon in Windows 8 star menu, it will launch in Metro mode by default (recent versions of Chrome won’t do it unless you choose to have it from Chrome’s control panel). In Windows 8 or Metro mode, Chrome will take up your whole screen presenting chrome apps in its own task-bar. Though this interface is interesting for touch screen and tablet users, it added a big pain for normal desktop users. You will have to stuck in a Chrome only screen and your multitasking capability will die in-front. Indeed I found, Chrome in Windows 8 mode doesn’t bring much value to desktop users who have to switch between apps and do various tasks simultaneously and contentiously.

On Windows 8, the only way to get out of this screen is to either hover your mouse over the top right edge of the window or go to Windows start menu. Though Microsoft later introduced minimize button for modern UI apps with the release of Windows 8.1 Update 1, still this thing is disgusting.


Recent versions of Chrome doesn’t run in Windows 8’s modern mode when you click on Chrome icon from Windows 8’s start menu. But once you switch to Windows 8 mode, it will keep running in Windows 8 mode every time you run it. This happens because Chrome remembers last session mode. No matter which thing preventing you from running Chrome in normal desktop mode, I have got you covered with two method. I bet both or either of the methods will work for you. To have the guides relevant to your Chrome, make sure you have the latest version of Chrome.

Method 1: Using Chrome Control Menu

Click on the Chrome’s Control panel button on top right right corner that looks like three horizontal bar. Form the menu, click Relaunch Chrome on the desktop.

Launch Chrome in Desktop mode

As soon as you choose to relaunch it on the desktop, Chrome will launch in normal desktop mode. Once you done it, Chrome will always run in desktop mode on every future session. This way you can disable Chrome Windows 8 mode. Yes, you can revert back to Windows 8 mode using same procedure.

Method 2: Editing Registry Setting

If the above method isn’t working for you, or you can’t find such option, you can use the registry method that is sure way to make it work. You can either simply download our registry editor file to easily fix this or do it manually.

  • Automatically: To make it easier for you, I have made a *.reg file that will automatically update your Windows registry settings to reflect Chrome’s desktop mode. You can simply download the REG file at Enable-Chrome-Desktop-Mode.zip (less than 1 byte in size). After downloading the zip file, extract the registry updater file Enable-Chrome-Desktop-Mode.reg and double-click on it. Click Yes when asked. You are done! This way, you don’t have to dig around into Windows registry editor and get stressed.
  • Manually (alternative): If you rather want to do it manually, you need to access to Windows Registry Editor.Open the regedit.exe file which is located at C:\Windows folder. Or use stat menu to search for the program. Once you open the registry editor, navigate to the location HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\Metro (see the screenshot below). There, you should get an entry named launch_mode. Double click on it and enter the value “0” (zero). “1” for Windows 8 mode and “0” for desktop mode.
    Registry setting for Chrome launch modeHope you got it.

Closing Words

It’s not that, Chrome in Windows 8 mode sucks, but rather it’s not much useful for regular Chrome for desktop users. Hope you could fix this silly problem.


Jaber is a Programmer and Tech Enthusiast Geek from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the founder and Chief-Editor of TechGainer. While he is away from his keyboard, either he's fishing or messing with wildlife. In case, you can contact him at rijans[at]techgainer[dot]com.