Prevent Windows 8.1 from Showing the Charms and Running Apps Bars - dummies

Prevent Windows 8.1 from Showing the Charms and Running Apps Bars

By Woody Leonhard

Windows 8.1 finally (finally!) lets you tone down Windows’ incessant flittering of bars and apps. Specifically, you can tell Windows to stop flashing the Running Apps bar and the Charms bar when you hover the mouse in upper-left or upper-right corners of the old-fashioned desktop.

For those who like to flick the mouse to the upper right to close out of a window or go to the upper left to use, for example, the Office Quick Access Toolbar, accidentally bringing up the Running Apps bar or the Charms bar serves as a monumental, time-sucking distraction — and serves up yet one more reminder that you aren’t running good ol’ Windows 7.

If you want to tell Windows 8.1 to shut up — er, to prevent Windows 8.1 from showing the Charms bar and/or the Running Apps bar, here’s how to do it from the desktop side.

  1. Right-click or click and hold any open spot on the Taskbar (at the bottom) and choose Properties.

    The Taskbar and Navigation Properties dialog box appears.

  2. Tap or click the Navigation tab.

    You see the Navigation options shown.


  3. If you don’t want hovering in the upper-right corner to suddenly pave the right side of your screen with a black strip of charms, deselect the first box. If you don’t want hovering in the upper left to bring up your running apps, deselect the second box.

    It’s hard for me to imagine why anybody with a mouse would want either, but de gustibus non est disputandum, eh?

  4. Click OK.

    Your changes take place immediately. Try it, you’ll see. Just remember that Windows key+C brings up the charms, and Alt+Tab cycles among programs as it always has.

(There’s a similar procedure for the same settings on the Metro side: Click or tap on the Settings charm, choose Change PC Settings at the bottom. On the left, choose PCs & Devices. Then choose Corners & Edges.)