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How to Run Windows 8 Metro / Modern Apps in a Regular Desktop Window

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It was only a matter of time before somebody figured out how to use Metro / Modern apps in a regular desktop window, and naturally it was Stardock who came up with the solution. It’ll cost you a couple of bucks, but you can use the trial mode for free.

ModernMix isn’t free, but it’s probably the most useful Windows 8 tool that we’ve come across, especially if you use Windows 8 on your regular laptop or desktop. It’s only $4.99, which is roughly the cost of an overpriced latte.

Honestly we can’t understand why Microsoft does not already provide this feature in Windows for people that aren’t using a touchscreen device, and especially for people using a multiple monitor setup, where you can’t even use a Modern app on a separate monitor at the same time as a desktop app on the first monitor. It’s a huge oversight, and they should have included it.

Allowing Modern apps to run in a desktop window finally makes them useful, instead of an afterthought that nobody cares about. Sure, on a touchscreen device, the Modern apps work really well, but if you have the power of the desktop at your disposal, why can’t we combine the two by default?

In any case, ModernMix solves this problem, and it isn’t expensive.

Using ModernMix

Just download, install, and run the ModernMix application from Stardock. It’s as simple as that.  Well… it’s nearly that simple. Once you’ve installed the application, you’ll notice that there’s a new little icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

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Once you’ve hovered over the icon, you can select the icon on the right to switch the Metro app into windowed mode.

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Once you do so, you’ll see the application show up in a window. Most applications will work quite well in windowed mode, others written by people who aren’t very good programmers (like the author of this post) won’t scale down quite as well. You’ll notice that Microsoft’s Solitaire app works perfectly, while Geek Trivia does not.

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Once you have an app in window mode, you can then pin it to the taskbar and launch it from there from now on.

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There’s a lot more options in the settings, but we’ll let you have fun figuring those out on your own.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/6/13

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