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How To Disable the Charms Bar and Switcher Hot Corners in Windows 8

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Several programs can prevent the app switcher and charms from appearing when you move your mouse to the corners of the screen in Windows 8, but you can do it yourself with this quick registry hack.

You can also hide the charms bar and switcher by installing an application like Classic Shell, which will also add a Start menu and let you log directly into the desktop.

Editing the Registry

First, open the registry editor by pressing the Windows key, typing regedit, and pressing Enter. Click Yes when the User Account Control prompt appears.

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Navigate to the following registry key in the registry editor:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell

Right-click the ImmersiveShell key, point to New, and select Key.

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Name the key EdgeUI and press Enter.

Right-click the EdgeUI key, point to New, and select DWORD Value.

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Name the value DisableTLcorner and press Enter.

Create another DWORD value in the same way and name it DisableCharmsHint.

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Double-click the DisableTLcorner value, type 1, and press Enter. This disables the top-left hot corner, which activates the switcher by default.

Double-click the DisableCharmsHint value, type 1, and press Enter. This disables the top-right and bottom-right hot corners, which reveal the charms bar by default.

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To undo your changes and restore the hot corners in the future, right-click the DisableTLcorner and DisableCharmsHint values you created and delete them.


Note that this will only disable the hot corners themselves. if you move your mouse to one of the corners and then move it along the edge of the screen to the middle of the screen, the switcher or charms bar will appear.

To quickly access these features after disabling the hot corners, press Windows Key+C to open the charms bar or press Windows Key+Tab to open the switcher.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 10/28/12

Comments (22)

  1. Paul

    Can you find out how to disable transparency on the taskbar? Start8 does this but I don’t want to buy a Start menu application when all I want is to disable transparency on the taskbar. XD

  2. Ryan

    I have a related question here, are there ways to switch which corners activate what? Like for example swhich the top left and top right corners so that the start button would be on top left and the running programs would be bottom left?

    This would be a huge help for me since I like to have my taskbar at the top of the screen.

  3. Chris

    Why on earth would you want to disable the Charms and Switcher Hot Corners….they are part of the magic of Windows 8!

    Sounds like some people want to go backwards and stay with Windows 7.

  4. Ole Doug

    Folks that can’t handle new stuff (like Win 8) are the future residents of retirement communities like where I live. They will continue to make their communities backward looking as they did when they were younger.

  5. Kevin

    Classic Shell does it right. It disables the Metro hot corners only on the desktop but keeps them working in Metro apps.

  6. Rod Torfelson

    I have to agree with the other commenters. If you don’t want these features, why are you upgrading to Windows 8 in the first place?

  7. john3347

    All of us are not “downgrading” to Windows 8. Some of us are attempting to remain with the most stable and the most adult oriented OS ever, Windows 2000. A large group of computer users use their computers as a tool and not as a Fisher-Price level toy. Those of us who use computers as tools do not need childish games and childish capabilities on them.

  8. Fuuny Man

    @Rod Torfelson: Because, now all new pc’s sold will automatically come with Win8. We don’t really have a choice if we need new pc’s.

  9. Fuuny Man

    @previous comment: Okay, not every new computer, as of now, are sold with Win8 on it, but eventually they all will.

  10. Kevalin

    “@Rod Torfelson: Because, now all new pc’s sold will automatically come with Win8. We don’t really have a choice if we need new pc’s…

    @previous comment: Okay, not every new computer, as of now, are sold with Win8 on it, but eventually they all will…”

    That’s why I just took the time out and built my own desktop. Just don’t want to deal with relearning Windows when all my work tools and desktop are oriented toward and set up the way I prefer in Windows 7.

  11. StarsLikeDust

    @Paul: One way to get rid of the transparency is to enable the AeroLite theme. Instructions here: http://www.askvg.com/how-to-enable-hidden-aero-lite-theme-in-windows-8-rtm/

  12. Keith

    @Ole Doug: And you’ll be doing the very same thing– pining and whining for the good ol’ days of Win8, when a charm was a charm, and a tile was a tile, and “this new breathe technology is NOT touch-friendly”

    What, did you think you weren’t going to get old??

  13. Peter J

    I am trying to find the place to ask a question of the panel.
    Has anyone worked out how to delete/uninstall the “pro” parts from windows 8.
    I have done the upgrade from trial version to the released Windows 8 Pro.
    I only selected Pro because the basic versions do not seem to be available.
    Thanks in anticipation.

  14. Tim S

    “Some of us are attempting to remain with the most stable and the most adult oriented OS ever, Windows 2000″

    Thanks, I almost died laughing reading that one! You should tour! :)

  15. Jay

    Awesome. How did you figure this out? I was wondering if you also knew how to adjust the gesture are size for those of us with legacy touchscreens. My touch monitor has a bezel which makes it almost impossible to do edge gestures. Is there a registry setting which might make these areas a wider number of pixels? Top, bottom, left, and right? Thanks!

  16. Mike Kingsbury

    I’ve been using Windows 8 for a year.
    I started out using the Metro UI, but eventually I switched to Classic Shell.

    It just works better for me. I keep all the programs that I often switch to when I’m working on the task bar where they are always visible.
    All the other commonly used programs go on my rocket dock bar.

    I boot directly to the desktop and seldom see the Metro UI.

    I have over 100 software programs installed, it’s just easier then finding things in a mass of giant icons spread over several screens.

    Mike

  17. Björn

    Thank you so much! Nice and clear instructions. And they work too. Finally with Classic Shell start button installed my Win8 is more like my Win7, but with faster startup and shutdown. I’m happy!

  18. Bassman

    As much as I’m loving Windows 8, I’m glad I can do this. I don’t get why people are saying “Why would you upgrade to Windows 8 if you disable hot corners?”.

    The answer is simple. There’s much more to Windows 8 than hot corners. I like Windows 8 a lot, but that doesn’t mean I like ALL of it. I like the improved performance, the built in ISO mounting capability, the revamped File Transfer dialogue, the improved Task Manager, the tighter security…

    In short, there are a lot of new great features, but they’re not all great for me. Besides, that’s the beauty of Windows (and Linux), you have the option to customize it to your liking.

  19. Marvan

    Win 8 is a pain in the a** I don’t need. ALL COMPUTERS now come with Win 8. I needed to buy new computer and had no choice. How do I get the “classic shell”. I desperately need help.

  20. delboy944s2

    Will give your method a try , nicely written for non pc minds , I have a 64 bit laptop, is the process the same or different ?

    thanks delboy944s2

  21. Drake Jones

    README. HERE IS THE REAL ISSUE:

    Windows 8 is being forced on people like me who are buying new PC’s Laptops, and Netbooks. Windows 8 core, the standard OEM release, can be downgraded to Windows 7 – IF you first UPGRADE to Windows 8 Pro for a fee! Then you can DOWNGRADE to Windows 7 Ultimate. Unfortunately, Lenovo, HP, and others WILL NOT SUPPORT Windows 7 on machines sold with OEM Windows 8 installed.

    Windows 8 is not ready for Prime Time. The choice of using the Win 7 interface – complete with Start Menu – should be a single mouse click. Windows developers have ZERO respect for users – the proof is Win 8. If you look at what it actually does differently from Windows 7, Windows 8 is simply a front-end for “Apps” that gather and share your personal information. And, there isn’t even enough room to display all the junk on Win 8 on the average desktop! You have to scroll horizontally to access important features. That is a step backwards from all modern Operating Systems – including Windows 7.

  22. tommyvercetti

    I have a question. I hate the fact that when you hover over the charms bar, whatever window you have open becomes invisible to the point where you can only see the outline of it. Is there anyway to get rid of that? please I really hate that I wish the window would remain normal if you hover over the charms bar. In fact if possible I would like to completely remove the charms bar from desktop. What you show us here makes it so it is not in the corner anymore, but it is still always there and furthermore if you hover in the corner, even without the charms bar the windows are transparent

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