There’s been a lot of friction about the Start screen in Windows 8. The default setup in Windows 10 is to show the Start menu instead of the Start screen. However, you can easily choose to use the Start screen instead of the Start menu.

By default, the Start button brings up the Start menu with application tiles added, as shown below.

To show the Start screen instead of the Start menu, right-click the Taskbar and select “Properties” from the popup menu.

On the “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” dialog box, click the “Start Menu” tab. The “Use the Start menu instead of the Start screen” option is selected by default. To turn off this option, and enable the Start screen, select the check box for the option so there’s no check mark in the box. Click “OK” to accept the change and close the dialog box.

The “Change Start settings” dialog box displays, telling you to make sure you save your work because you must log out and then back in to change the setting. If you are ready, click “Sign out and change settings.”

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If you still need to save some work, click “Cancel,” do what you need to do, and then log out and log back in.

Now, the Start screen displays when you click the Start button.

When you enable the Start screen, additional Navigation options become available in the “Start screen” section of the “Navigation” tab. By default, the desktop still displays when you log in. To have the Start screen display when you log in, de-select the “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start” check box (so there’s no check mark in the box). Click “OK” to save the setting and close the dialog box.

There are various other options available to customize the Start screen on the “Navigation” tab.

To go back to having the Start menu display by default, simply turn the “Use the Start menu instead of the Start screen” option back on (there should be a check mark in the box).

Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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