If running Windows 8.1 on a normal machine and in Metro/RT mode it is not impossible you will see the “Switch between apps” square on the middle left side and it will be on top of everything and probably disturb you, sure did for me.


Updated 20th November 2013, the solution below as seen by comments doesn’t seem to work for everyone, it sure did work for me, but now recommending the second solution to disable help tips with policies.

Update 25th August 2014, if home user use solution 3, if work/Enterprise solution use GPO/registry solution 2


Solution 1 (move mouse to upper left corner)

The solution/fix to make it disappear (go away!)  was fast once you know it – just move the mouse (or your finger if you got touch) to the upper left corner of your screen and it goes away or do what it says, slide your fingers/mouse pointer to the far right screen in this case.
There are more extreme solutions such as kill the current Metro app with ALT + F4 or log off/shut down but this friendly windows will come back and annoy you.


Solution 2 (use policies/registry)

If you work in an Enterprise environment or want to automate this so it doesn’t show up in first place you can enable policy “Disable help tips” (User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Edge UI)

If setting this by local polices only on your machine you can follow these steps

  1. start MMC.exe (type MMC in search or alike and the system will find it)
  2. A new window starts, go File -> Add/Remove Snap-ins…
  3. SelectGroup Policy Object…” and then click on add
  4. Accept default local computer and click on ‘finish
  5. Then pressOK” button
  6. Browse down to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Edge UI
  7. Check Enabled Disable help tips, press Apply/OK and you are done.


If you cannot see Group Policies… then you should be able to solve this by modify the registry directly, either by using regedit or running this command in an elevated cmd.exe

reg add HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI /v DisableHelpSticker /t reg_dword /d 1 /f


(Screenshot incorrect spelled should be DisableHelpSticker)


Solution 3

This solution comes from one of the comments of this blog post (thanks/Credit: Ugh)

I managed to get rid of the stupid window by taking one of the tile programs (you know those awful things that go full screen with no close button), grabbing it at the top of the screen with the hand shaped icon, and then dragging that application into the top left corner. Then the silly Switch between apps window went away and I have not seen its like since.

Howto: Windows 8.1 make “Switch between apps” disappear
9 votes, 4.89 avg. rating (97% score)

38 Thoughts on “Howto: Windows 8.1 make “Switch between apps” disappear

  1. You don’t say how to get to “disable help tips”.

    This click in the upper lest corner does not function.

    Thanks for nutten

    • John Bryntze on November 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm said:

      Sorry should have had added all the steps… here comes
      start MMC.exe
      A new window starts, go File -> Add/Remove Snapins
      Select “Group Policy Object…” and then click on add
      Accept default local computer and click on ‘finish’
      Then press “OK” button
      then browse down to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Edge UI
      and continue from my article

  2. monsterblues on November 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm said:

    Hi, thanks for the tip on how to close the menu. The top left corner didn’t work, I think because I have a Wacom tablet. But the ALT F4 did.

    I can’t find the Disable Help Tips dialog? Could you explain where to find “User Configuration”. I search control panel and the metro ui, but I can’t find it.

  3. Absolutely NOTHING happens when I put the cursor on the upper left hand side.

  4. Almost very helpful. The curser in the top left hand corner doesn’t work for me and when I open Add/Remove Snapins the Group Policy Object is nowhere to be seen. Effectively this notification which only showed after the upgrade to 8.1 has rendered my tablet unusable. Well done Microsoft.

    • John Bryntze on November 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm said:

      If you doesn’t see the snap-in Group Policy Objects add it with registry… you can start a cmd.exe (elevated) and run
      reg add HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI /v DisableHelpStick /t reg_dword /d 1 /f
      and it will disable this also

  5. i tried to add this to the registry from the command line but it says ERROR: Access is Denied.

    i am using a home pc and i do have administrator access.

  6. Top left corner doesn’t work.
    Group Policy Objects is nowhere to be found.
    Opening a command prompt and typing your recommended reg command results in an ERROR: Access is denied message.
    So far these recommendations are 0-for-3.
    To add the Group Policy Objects with registry is going to need step-by-step instructions. Can you assist, John?
    Some of us are not as computer savvy as you.

    • John Bryntze on December 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm said:

      For the registry command you must run it elevated. Means you right click on the cmd.exe and chose run as administrator that is the case even if you are already administrator, a function called UAC and was introduced in Windows Vista, hope tjat helps.

  7. Hi I have had the same thing as the others, there is no touch screen in device manager, there is no Group Policy object in the list, in the cmd window is says access denied, and other than typing cmd into the search window to open a command window I don’t know how I can open the command window as admin?

  8. jnmrno on January 3, 2014 at 10:08 pm said:

    Ran it on the cmd.exe and problem persists… apparently this is not the solution… thanks anyways.

  9. None of this works in the home version of windows 8/8.1 as there is no group police or gpedit.msc

    Additionally I tried an installer, but it is for windows 7 which does not have edge detection.

    The only solution I have found is to go into classic shell and re-enable the edge detection from there to remove the notice (by then pointing at the corner).

    There is another way I found on a different website, but I can’t recall the instructions, it was something done from control panel to deactivate edge UI which immediately removed the message.

  10. I managed to get rid of the stupid window by taking one of the tile programs (you know those awful things that go full screen with no close button), grabbing it at the top of the screen with the hand shaped icon, and then dragging that application into the top left corner. Then the silly Switch between apps window went away and I have not seen its ilk since.

  11. skp4142 on January 31, 2014 at 9:28 pm said:

    thanks for the cmd info – none of the other fixes worked for me!

  12. lynda jones on February 26, 2014 at 4:36 am said:

    Touching upper left corner worked. Like you said was driving me totally bonkers and cure so simple. Thanks

  13. Pingback: windows 8.1 on virtualbox – a more permanent solution | Down Home Country Coding With Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky

  14. Sheila Utterback on April 8, 2014 at 12:45 am said:

    Here is a link I used to disable it, just download it to your desktop. It worked great for me, Hope this link helps

  15. Dhruvi on July 7, 2014 at 8:21 pm said:

    Hey guys so none of these worked for me so what I did was:
    1. Go to Control Panel
    2. Go to Appearance and Personalization
    3. Click on Navigation Properties
    4. Go to the navigation tab
    5. uncheck “When I point to the upper-right corner, show the charms” and “When I click the upper-left corner, switch between my recent apps”
    Viola it goes away. I am not sure if it will pop up again but so far it hasn’t for me.

  16. aldo on July 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm said:

    Solution Number 3 worked for me!!! I just stared at the screen somewhat dumbfounded for several long minutes when it vanished, since I had struggled with this problem for so long, searched the web so hard, and tried like fifty or so other suggestions all to no avail. Solutions 1 and 2 certainly NOT work (although it’s worth noting that I did leave the elevated command prompt registry mod in place, so I suppose there’s an outside chance it was a combination of solutions 3 and 2. But probably not since solution 3 worked instantly – magically – and in it’s own way even better than an orgasm. But take note – don’t just grab a stupid metro tile and try to drag it to the upper left hand corner of your screen, like I halfheartedly tried at first, thinking I probably would never solve this problem. Instead open an “app” (I opened the “Alarm” app, which of course immediately spawned the hellish “feature” we’ve all been “enjoying” so *%@&’ng much) and then drag the top edge of this app to the upper left-hand corner of your screen. This solution is so freaking awesome that I copied it verbatim into a wordpad document, added a the picture of the red arrow swipe box for good measure, (as if i could ever forget what it looked like) and saved the file in my “_never_ going_ to_lose_ this_” folder. You know, in case I re-install Windows 8.X at some later date and the nightmare returns.

  17. The correct registry DWORD name is not “DisableHelpStick” but “DisableHelpSticker”.
    So the correct command is “reg add HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI /v DisableHelpSticker /t reg_dword /d 1 /f”

  18. Ganesh on August 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm said:

    Solution 3 – correct one… hats off

  19. JOHN BRYNTZE IS A GOD AMONG MEN. I hated that damn tips box. Reg edit worked.
    1. search fro cmd.
    2. right click on icon to “RUn as Administrator”
    3. copy

    reg add HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI /v DisableHelpSticker /t reg_dword /d 1 /f

    4) right clcik and paste into the cmd box.

  20. Pressing the Windows button + TAB got it away for me.

  21. Mooshie on December 20, 2014 at 2:11 am said:

    I too struggled for ages with this stupid tip screen. After running the command prompt as an admin and changed the reg file it still didn’t resolve this issue. Windows + TAB definitely solved this issue. Just remember once you have removed this annoying feature, ensure to disable these Charms by right clicking on the task bar and select Properties. Open the Navigation tab and untick your preferences. Close this screen when you are done and ensure that you disable any preferences within the pc settings. Quick way to get there is Windows + C. Click on Settings and Change PC Settings. Click on PC and Devices and then Corners and Edges. Change your preferences in there too as it will not duplicate any of your preferences from the task bar on the Desktop. Good Luck!

  22. rightclick taskbar > properties> navigation and uncheck the option for “When I click the upperleft corner, switch between my recent apps”

    this should remove it, bc nothing else worked for me (couldn’t find user configuration on my notebook)

  23. -Go to Windows Start Page (with all App Tiles) on desktop
    -PC Settings
    -PC and Devices
    -Corners and Edges
    -Corner Navigation
    -Make sure both are switched to “OFF”

    This worked for me and seems a lot easier than what some people went thru to disable theirs. Good luck!


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