In Windows 8, whenever you launch a second instance (new window) of an already running desktop app, the Start screen does not launch a new instance of that app. It merely switches to the already running desktop app's window. This can be highly annoying.
To open another window of the same program, you have to either Shift+click on the Desktop app's tile or right click and choose "Open new window". The behavior in earlier Windows versions which had the Start Menu was different. The Start menu always always launched a new instance of an app.
Luckily, there exists a way to allow us to control this behavior. Let's see how.
1. Open Registry editor and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell.
2. Right click "ImmersiveShell", and create a new key called "Launcher".
3. At HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\Launcher, right click in the right pane and create a new DWORD value called DesktopAppsAlwaysLaunchNewInstance.
4. Double click it and set its value to 1.
5. Log off and log in back or just restart Explorer as we showed in this previous post.
That's it. Now try launching a Desktop app from the Start screen. It will always start a new instance.
See the following video:
You can download ready-to-use registry tweaks below:
Tell us in the comments if this tip was helpful to you. Of course, this tip will only work for programs that support multiple instances.