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Disabling Chrome Metro version in Win8

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#1 Denis W.

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 00:18

Thought it was just the dev builds that had the Metro version of Chrome, but all builds - stable, beta, dev - will install the Metro version.

The presence of the Metro version isn't annoying, but the inability to make the desktop version of Chrome open links in Windows 8 is. Choose Chrome in Default Programs and it always opens links in the Metro browser - which, conveniently, has its settings separate from the desktop version.

Is there a hidden flag I can turn on to disable this behaviour, or a sneaky workaround?


#2 +Ryster

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 00:23

You must've done something wrong because any link I click on, in an email, on the desktop, etc, open in the desktop version of Chrome. Only links in Metro apps (email, other apps, etc) open the Metro version of Chrome... as they should.

#3 OP Denis W.

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 00:25

You must've done something wrong because any link I click on, in an email, on the desktop, etc, open in the desktop version of Chrome. Only links in Metro apps (email, other apps, etc) open the Metro version of Chrome... as they should.


Ah... so it is.

I was entering URLs in the Start screen, expecting them to pop up in the desktop browser.

#4 Roberto Guedes

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 00:26

Here are the details: https://www.youtube....h?v=yLLVK6yEQ1c

EDIT: And if you want to open links on the desktop version, delete the "Metro" folder at Chrome's folder too.

#5 +Ryster

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 00:30

Ah... so it is.

I was entering URLs in the Start screen, expecting them to pop up in the desktop browser.


I guess they assume (correctly I think) that if you're in Metro that you'd like to stay in Metro after you click a link. Otherwise why would you be in Metro in the first place?

#6 OP Denis W.

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 00:47

EDIT: And if you want to open links on the desktop version, delete the "Metro" folder at Chrome's folder too.


Doesn't seem to work, unfortunately.

I guess they assume (correctly I think) that if you're in Metro that you'd like to stay in Metro after you click a link. Otherwise why would you be in Metro in the first place?


To open URLs like the Start menu pre-Windows 8? For people who don't plan on touching Metro apps other than going through the Start screen, this will be an annoyance. Even Microsoft lets you pick which version to use for handling links with Internet Explorer. Surely Google can do something similar?

#7 @Leo

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:16

Denis, if you have no intention of touching Metro, I have a hack for you. Disable UAC completely through the registry (Google around). This disabled UAC and retardedly so, Metro apps stop working. A side effect of this will be Chrome will always open in its proper desktop mode.

#8 revanmj

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 19:07

Ok, I have done a little research on how desktop browser tells Windows that it has Metro version too. First, it creates a Start shortcut with some special data in it, then adds some special registry keys and finally puts the VisualElementsManifest.xml file with some additional information in application's folder. So I replaced the Start shortcut with my own and set it as read only, deleted xml file and registry keys (ChromeURL.[SomeRandomCharacters] and ChromeHTML.[SomeRandomCharacters], both in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT). Desktop version of Chrome started picking up links from third party apps after the last step, so removing just those keys may be enough.

#9 OP Denis W.

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 18:31

Ok, I have done a little research on how desktop browser tells Windows that it has Metro version too. First, it creates a Start shortcut with some special data in it, then adds some special registry keys and finally puts the VisualElementsManifest.xml file with some additional information in application's folder. So I replaced the Start shortcut with my own and set it as read only, deleted xml file and registry keys (ChromeURL.[SomeRandomCharacters] and ChromeHTML.[SomeRandomCharacters], both in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT). Desktop version of Chrome started picking up links from third party apps after the last step, so removing just those keys may be enough.


Interesting observation. Will try later tonight :)

Denis, if you have no intention of touching Metro, I have a hack for you. Disable UAC completely through the registry (Google around). This disabled UAC and retardedly so, Metro apps stop working. A side effect of this will be Chrome will always open in its proper desktop mode.


That seems kinda extreme, heh. But I don't plan on avoiding Metro entirely - I may opt to stick with the stock Mail app even if it's quite gimped on features, and of course the Start screen itself.

#10 OP Denis W.

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:29

That above suggestion didn't work, but a weird observation:

For the latest dev build of Chrome, the behaviour is thus if Chrome is the default browser:
- Desktop browser is running and you type in a URL in Start: the URL opens in the desktop browser
- Neither desktop nor Metro browsers are running and you type in a URL: URL opens in the Metro browser

... and apparently in this build, you can't have both the desktop and the Metro versions running simultaneously.

#11 revanmj

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:41

Ok, now I have better advice - don't remove entire keys, delete just DelegateExecute value which is in ChromeHTML.[SomeRandomCharacters]\shell\open\command\ and ChromeURL.[SomeRandomCharacters]\shell\open\command\. This will make Windows open all links and HTML files in desktop Chrome. To "fix" Start Screen tile you have to overwrite shortcut in Start menu folder with your own.

#12 +Ryster

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:56

That above suggestion didn't work, but a weird observation:

For the latest dev build of Chrome, the behaviour is thus if Chrome is the default browser:
- Desktop browser is running and you type in a URL in Start: the URL opens in the desktop browser
- Neither desktop nor Metro browsers are running and you type in a URL: URL opens in the Metro browser

... and apparently in this build, you can't have both the desktop and the Metro versions running simultaneously.


Silly question, but why on earth would you want to type a URL into the start screens search box? Just use the run box instead. I don't know anybody who uses the windows search box for URLs. Win+R. If you are in Metro (i.e. what the start screen in in), it is not unexpected or wrong for Metro to assume you want to open URLs in a Metro app.

#13 OP Denis W.

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 20:01

Silly question, but why on earth would you want to type a URL into the start screens search box?


Because it's possible? Because I'm typing it as I would in the Windows 7 Start Menu? Because hitting WIN is one less keypress than WIN+R?

Not asking for anything extraordinary here, just hoping that Chrome is like IE in that it allows you to pick which browser you prefer.

#14 revanmj

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:02

Not asking for anything extraordinary here, just hoping that Chrome is like IE in that it allows you to pick which browser you prefer.

There is an issue on Google code created for that so there are chances they'll add it. But it seems that Google thinks no one is going to use Windows 8 before October (they add evidently unfinished Metro version to stable channel) so we may have to wait 1,5 month until we get finished version :(

#15 Laymain

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:09

"UnMetro" Google Chrome : http://laymain.com/f...oogleChrome.reg