How to Switch Between Start Screen and Start Menu in Windows 10

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Windows 10's new-and-improved Start Menu is making headlines, but contrary to popular belief, the operating system also has the Modern UI Start Screen available for those that need or want it. If you install Windows 10 Preview on certain touch-centric devices -- the Surface Pro 6, for example -- the operating system automatically gives you the Start Screen instead of the Start Menu every time you hit the Start Button or Windows key.

Start Menu vs Start Screen

Showing the larger, tile-based list of shortcuts makes sense on a tablet, where users need large icons and buttons to tap, but what if you want the new Start Menu instead? Conversely, what if you install Windows 10 on a laptop and decide you want to use the Start Screen. Fortunately, by tweaking one simple setting you can manually switch between the Windows 10 Start Menu and the finger-friendly Start Screen. Here's how.

1. Right click on the taskbar and select Properties.

Select properties

2. Select the Start Menu tab.

Select Start Menu

MORE: How to Make Windows 8 or 8.1 Look and Feel Like Windows 7

3. Toggle "Use the Start menu instead of the Start screen" to on or off. If it's unchecked, you get the Start screen. If it's checked, you get the Start menu. Click OK.

toggle start menu

4. Click "Sign out and change settings." You will have to sign back in to get the new menu.

Click sign out and change settings

For further customization, this guide will show you how to pin websites using the tiles no matter which interface you use.

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch,
The current editor-in-chief of our sister site, Tom's Hardware, Avram served as editorial director of Laptop from 2007 to 2018. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of our real-world benchmarks, including the Laptop Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, on