Skip to main content

Two minutes on the Windows 10 Start Menu

The Start Menu is back in Windows 10 and it'd be fair to describe it as a bit of a mix of Windows 8 and Windows 7. We've still got tiles, like Windows 8, but you don't have to go full screen. And, like Windows 7, we've got an actual list of apps and folders.

There are some things you can do to customize your experience, like resizing, getting rid of the tiles, changing up your folders and more. For a quick run down on the new Windows 10 Start Menu, check out the video up top.

If you want to see more on this, or Windows 10 as a whole, why not read our extensive review or drop by our dedicated Windows 10 page here

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • Windows 10 is not nearly as good as 8.1 on tablets. Not that good at all.
  • Why so?
  • Because MS hate touch devices and now that Bulmer's gone they are trashing the joint?
  • even with tablet mode ? i like it 
  • Works fine on my Surface Pro 3 i7.
  • Do you actually use tablet mode? Windows 8x start screen is gone from Windows 10 and replaced with Windows Phone layered on top of Windows 7. It's unresponsive, buggy and broken just like desktop for past 15+ years. I don't mind the change in verticle scrolling but what made sense in windows 8x just doesn't translate well in Windows 10. The replacement of the charms bar with the task bar becomes a 2 handed interface instead of thumb accessible. I'm constantly recalibrating my Surface 3 touch screen every time I enter an app using the pen and that's if I'm able to use the touch screen at all. One Drive and Onenote is now crippled being downgraded into the desktop version and the desktop version of office is now so unstable that I need to be mindful about the possiblity of losing my data. Windows 10 tablet mode forces user to basically just use desktop mode exclusively on your tablet. 
  • I kind of agree. I miss things like the easy snap view as well as the switching between apps and the navigation of Windows 8.
  • I loved Windows 8.1's gestures, particularly swipe in from the left to quickly cycle between apps, swipe down to close apps, and swipe in from the right to go to Charms, which is badly missed in Windows 10.
  • I now prefer the swipe from the left giving Task View as it saves swiping through apps to get to the one you want. Also, the ability to swipe down on an open app to pin right/ left and close is a better option. I too loved 8.1 and considered it the best tablet OS ever.....but, I now prefer the notifications/action centre from right swipe to the charms bar. The only thing missing for me is the time and battery level, which I think should be added to the left swipe in notifications/action centre. With the addition of Cortana in Windows 10 I will now stay W10.
  • Swipe down to close apps is still there. Swipe right for charms is redundant when Cortana is sitting at the bottom of the screen. Swipe right still lets you access all the settings from swipe right in Windows 10. Swipe left opens all your apps so that you can see all and pick the one you need quickly. Stop whining over nothing and think for one second in your life.
  • People is so blind and complainers, no matter how Windows 10 has better features than Windows 8, they will still say WIndows 8 is better just for the sake of complaining. Like you said, most stuff is there or even better implremented on Windows 10. only because they want it one way, it doesn't mean the other is automatically bad. the snap works, closing apps works, and switching apps is better becuase you don't have to make a weird gesture to display all your apps and you don't have to keep swiping just because you missed the app.  
  • Yes, sadly a lot of people are afraid of change and still want to cling to the obsolete way of doing things in W8.
  • I read your sarcasm there and like it
  • In windows 8x multiple apps can be accessed by half swiping from the left which listed all the apps that are open instead of just swiping left multiple times. In windows 10, the trigger area is now a hamburger menu that allows access to the start menu in full screen mode wich utterly useless unless you want to launch more apps with your thumb. Swiping left in Windows 10 is now a two handed experience. I'm constantly now waiting for the running apps list to show up when I half swiping so that my left thumb can select which app I want. Instead I now have to use my right hand to select the app I want up front. Half swiping from top allows me app context settings in windows 8x. Now half swiping from top does nothing in Windows 10 and I now have to drill down random hamburger menus to do some common tasks that use to be big touchable interfaces. This does not sound like an improvement from Windows 8x. 
  • " Swipe right for charms is redundant when Cortana is sitting at the bottom of the screen" Windows is a universal operating system, and most countries do not have access to Cortana. Every feature that is tied to her, is removed from the OS, and she is replaced by a simple search funktion that can't even be used to get results from the internett. For uss (ie most people in the world), the charms were a LOT better.
  • Did you mean to write ussr?!
  • The charms bar has been replaced by the always showing taskbar. All the app context functions are now hidden in randomly placed hamburger menus that may or may not be easily touchable unlike the charms bar. Right swiping is basically useless now unless you want to see notifications or toggle settings that has nothing to do with the app you're using. It's all a part of the desktop community's need to complcate the tablet experience and made worse by holding back archaic desktop UI instead of gestures.
  • Agree!
  • You can still easily snap in tablet mode, though I agree it's not as fluid as in 8.1. We should be able to drag windows from the multitasking view straight to any side or corner, for example. Probably later
  • It would be better to allow the taskbar to show only running apps in tablet mode by default instead of manually setting this. Windows 8x had this feature by half swiping from the left but desktop users must have some type of carpal tunnel issue that doesn't allow them to perform these types of gestures.
  • Agree, Win10 needs some time to mature...
    As many things coming soon and existing features need to be polished
  • Windows 10 has got a seriously long way to go to fix Tablet mode
  • Edge seems to be missing the swipe forward and backward navigation
  • That thing drives me nuts to be honest. There's many times I've been scrolling on a page only to accidently go back.
  • What drives me nuts is swiping left or right and see nothing happening. I've never had your back page issue while scrolling a web page when using tmy thumb but it does happen when using my index finger which is wierd.
  • Isn't this the same video that was published for an in-depth review of windows 10?
  • Don't complain them otherwise they will delete your comment too as they did mine
  • Desktop programs do not show up there until you find them first. Kinda annoying.
  • Desktop apps go on the task bar. You know. The thing desktops are supposed to use to launch apps. Or even on the screen.
  • I love the new start menu, but I really wish there was a way to scale the tiles down without scaling all of the other desktop elements (specifically text).  I would love to see 3 columns of tile groups on my Surface 3, but scaling the UI down to allow this makes text just a bit too small.  Having a "scale tiles only" option would be great.
  • This. I hope its fixed in the next big update. Start menu and start screen is a huge step back. No multi select, etc...
  • Agreed! and I think tablet mode is inherrently broken
  • Searching fucntion for local files/folders sucks! I like windows 7 search from start menu. It was possible to copy/open with/send files/folders directly.
  • I find it easy as 7..
  • No its not easy. Every time you need to click "My stuff" to get local files/folders.
  • Finding files is much faster in 10 than 7. 7 took hours to find one file while 10 instantly finds what I want.
  • Well, in Windows 7 MS office Outlook mail found in search result. Now it's not possible. I've also noticed despite of clicking "My Stuff" search doesn't show .exe files.
  • I like search in windows 8x start screen. All you had to do was type. Clicking on a search dialog box was unnecessary and you can still find local files as long as you know the filename.
  • Intel HD 4000 is not installing in windows 10! Wtd?
  • Search is now better as it works same as Spotlight on a Mac, searches locally and web, not like the old search. Functionality is still the same, the new layout on tablet mode is good too.. I dont see myself going back to Win8.1, but for those complaining here, go back to Windows 8.1 and let us know. ;-)
  • I could have sworn I'd used the 8.1 search for internet and local.
  • Yes you did. All you had to do to start a search was type when you're in the start menu. It would not only list everything it found but also gave you a big preview.
  • I miss being able to type in something you're interested in and download photos without having to go onto the web. Or watch vids in that same manner. That's greatly missed!! It was so convenient!! I hope they don't take that away with Windows 10 for phones.
  • I'd like to have it fullscreen but with the hamburger menu always open... ;)
  • I like the new start menu, its just like my Windows Phone. Now if i could just sync them.
  • When I unpin tiles, they don't go away like in this video. I need to log off and log back in to see the changes. I did a clean I stall. Any help would be appreciated!
  • This is a bug with lower end hardware. I have the same issue with my hp stream 7.
  • 4 days after upgrade and I still miss the freshness of my personal and familliar 8.1
  • Where do I get that wallpaper?
  • Its not really a Start Menu, as users cannot pin or configure which Apps appear in the left side menu. Recent and most used lists are not so useful.
    Most users want to configure their Start Menus as they have done in Windows 95, XP, 2000, W7 etc. Most users hate the Live Tiles, which are not effective on the desktops.
    We all have to wait another year before Microsoft start to really listen to all the negative feedback.
    And as a Tablet, its poor compared to W8.1 Touch.
    Still a bad compromise between Touch and Desktop users.
  • Where's the desktop button!?!
  • Swipe from right and disable Tablet mode. It's better this way because it's more complcated which is the way desktop user like to do things. If it takes less than 2 things to do something simple then it's dumb and confusing for Windows 7 users.
  • If this is the last version of Windows, then perhaps it is time for IBM to pull OS/2 out of storage.  OS/2 17 comming summer of 2017!
  • The thing that annoys the hell out of me is how the tiles on the Start screen separated into groups instead of one large group of tiles, and how there is no uniformity. Why the hell doesn't Microsoft just center the tiles on the Start screen, and if people fill it up, simply left them add them to another screen. I'm tired of tiles going off the edge of the screen. You don't need that crap. Center the tiles. It would look a lot better. iOS users don't need a visual cue once their entire screen is filled with icons. Windows 10 users don't need that either. Get rid of the tiles going of the edge of the screen and center them.
  • I don't really agree on filling the screen up untill it's full but having the ability to have virtual desktops in Tablet mode is a better idea than groups.
  • can I pin a desktop app? like Photoshop?
  • yes
  • Meh, I use the start menu as often as I used to use the start screen, which is almost never. The only difference is I now have to go there to shut down, if that was elsewhere I doubt I would ever use the thing. Having stuff on the desktop is just so much quicker.
  • Windows 8.1 had the power button on the right bottom corner in the charms bar.