In pictures: The desktop lover's guide to supercharging Windows 8.1

Don't like the Metro interface? Here's the best way to banish it and boost your productivity.

Load your taskbar Even if you install a Start menu replacement like Start8, the fastest and easiest way to get at your desktop programs in Windows 8.1 is through the taskbar, just like it was in Windows 7.

Pinning programs to the taskbar is easy if you start in the Metro All Apps list. Just right-click on the app you want to put on the taskbar and choose the option at the bottom that says Pin to Taskbar.

When you install new desktop programs, the installer puts a “dead” tile in the All Apps list, even if it doesn’t put an icon on your desktop. Flip over to the All Apps list and pin the programs you need to the taskbar.

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