Windows 10 IoT Core can be configured for either headed or headless mode.

Headed mode

A UI is provided. A single UI app will be launched at system boot and there can additionally be 0 or more “Background Apps” (StartupTasks).

Headless mode

There is no UI. The UI stack is disabled and UI apps will not launch. This reduces the amount of system resources used. If you attach a monitor to your device, the screen will be black.

Setting the Headed / Headless Mode

Use these with the command line

Display the current state of your device

Enable headless mode

setbootoption.exe headless
shutdown /r /t 0
Enable headed mode

setbootoption.exe headed
shutdown /r /t 0

Finding A Headless Device

An IoT Core device that is in headless mode can be discovered using the Windows 10 IoT Core Dashboard application which listens for pings from any IoT Core devices on the local network and displays device information such as the name, IP address, and more.  Download here.


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