I might be the only person, but I actually grew to like the Windows 10 start screen and prefer it to the clumsy start menu now in Win10. Can I switch back on my PC?
You’re the one, the only person who actually preferred the Windows 10 Start Screen instead of the Start Menu! Just kidding, turns out that a lot of people grew to love that big, easier to understand launching area. At first Microsoft had a required tweak to get back to their modified Start Menu in Win10, but now that’s just the default. Customize your regions, size your buttons (sorry, ‘start tiles’) to match the apps that you use the most, and it can be quite helpful, and doubly so with a touchscreen.
But Microsoft didn’t just restore the Start Menu, it created a new mode called “tablet mode” and that’s the secret to quickly and easily switching between a Start Menu and a Start Screen. Turns out that if you are running Windows on a tablet and your only input method is touch, that traditional start menu has pretty darn small touch areas for tasks. Hence the value of the bigger tiles. Anyway, let’s have a look…
Here’s a typical view with the Start Menu. Probably what you have on your screen every day:
The tiles on the screen are all good, but if you need to tap on one of those tiny apps in the All Apps column? Yikes.
Instead, tap or click on the Notifications icon (bottom right, the tiny ‘speech balloon’). That opens up the side and shows any recent notifications – helpful! – but it also offers a variety of options at the bottom too:
Can you see the lower left button? It’s “Tablet mode“. Tap on it and suddenly your Desktop with Start Menu becomes:
Open Notifications, tap on Tablet Mode again and you’ll switch back. But this is a kind of hybrid mode too, as shown above, because it’s not just the tiles as was in the original Windows 10 design. So you still have a tiny bar along the bottom with all the key icons. The top left is more interesting, however, because it offers different views of the Start Screen. One of which is “all apps”. Here’s what it produces:
That’s all the apps on this particular Windows computer. Handy but still not quite as useful as those cheery start tiles. In any case, now you know the “Tablet mode” button that makes it so darn easy to bounce between these two views so you can find and utilize your favorite. Even if you’re the only one. 🙂
Pro Tip: I’ve written quite a bit about Windows 10 since it launched, so please do check out my tutorials and Win10 help pages while you’re here!