Many people have upgraded to Windows 8.1 for the sole purpose of being able to boot to desktop. Although it is very easy to change the settings to do this, Microsoft has placed these settings controls in the most non-intuitive place possible for users to find. The place that would have made sense would have been found in the [Control Panel][Administration Tools][System Configuration], [Boot] tab, instead it was buried under the Navigation and Taskbar properties on Desktop.
Follow these 3 simple steps to boot to desktop in Windows 8.1:
1) If on the home screen, click the Desktop tile.
2) In Desktop, right-click the Navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. (This is the bar that holds the clock tray). Select Properties in the context menu window.
3) Click the Navigation tab, and then tick the top two checkboxes in the Start screen section – most critical is the Show desktop background on start option.
Congratulations, you are now able to boot directly to Desktop.