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.

Metro Start wallpaper The next choice on the Navigation Properties list says Show my desktop background on Start. If you check that box, a darkened and faded version of your old-fashioned desktop’s wallpaper appears as the background (sometimes called a “tattoo”) on your Metro Start screen

Microsoft says that’s supposed to make the transition between desktop and Metro less jarring. Personally, I don’t like it. I turn my Metro wallpaper into a solid, drab gray -- just to warn me quickly and visually if I’ve strayed to the Dark Side.

In general, you can’t use any old image as your Metro Start screen wallpaper: You’re stuck with the built-in options, plus a copy of your desktop wallpaper.

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