Unlock Hidden Startup Switches for Windows7 and make MCE Start Your Way


Did you know that there are more options to launching Windows Media Center in Windows 7 than just arriving at the start menu? Microsoft has tossed in a bunch of hidden switches (not sure why they’re called switches) that fellow Media Center MVP and MissingRemote contributor Andrew Cherry has discovered and passed along.

The purpose of these is simple–say you absolutely hate the new startup sound and animation that the new Media Center loads with (like myself). Changing the way ehshell launches (ehshell.exe is the program name for Windows Media Center) can allow you to disable it upon startup.

Here’s the full list we were able to find:


– stops the startup sound and Windows Media Center logo
"pebble" going off into the distance

 /noshutdownui  – removes
the "shutdown" item from the tasks menu
 /mediamode   – starts in media only mode (no close/minimize/maximize options in top right
 /widescreen   – start in widescreen mode, even on 4:3 display (windowed only)
 – display windowed mode Media Center but without the window chrome
 /playallmusic  – plays all your music instantly
 /playfavmusic  – plays all your favorite music
 /playfavslideshow  – plays your favorite slideshows only
 /playfavslideshowwithmusic  – plays your favorite slideshow with music
 /playslideshow  – plays all slideshows


 – plays all slideshows with music
  – starts the Media Center screensaver
  – starts Media Center at the "configure screensaver" screen


EDIT 8/12: If you want to start up Media Center in LiveTV, use the following (Thanks to our forum member phenomenae):

%windir%\ehome\ehshell.exe "/mcesuperbar://tv?live=true" 


How to apply?

Applying the switches is simple. You would find the Media Center shortcut under Start > All Programs > Windows Media Center, and right click on it. Select properties. Under "target" you will see "%windir%\ehome\ehshell.exe". Simply add the switches you wish Media Center to start with and hit OK.

For example, if your shortcut looked like the following:

/nostartupanimation /noshutdownui /mediamode

Now Media Center starts up in fullscreen without the
animation, and already in media mode (no close button), and no
“shutdown” icon on the tasks menu.

  • Any way to apply these

    Any way to apply these switches when using the green button on an MCE Remote?