Microsoft’s reveal of the Windows 10 operating system its readying for desktops, laptops, phones, tablets and even the Xbox One came at a pretty interesting time for the company. It has one foot in the past with Windows 10. Windows runs on millions of devices and many of them don’t have touch. This new Windows 10 operating system has to make those users feel at home in a way Windows 8 just didn’t. On the other hand, Microsoft has to make sure that it’s giving its hardware teams the operating system and ecosystem pushes they need for their devices to be successful. That’s why the new Start Menu and Start Screen options in Windows 10 are so important. With it, Microsoft is giving its users the option to make the user interface that best works for them, and delivering different interfaces based on the tools users have at their disposal.
Read: What is Windows 10
Here’s how to get the Start Menu back in Windows 10.
Before we begin, you’re going to need the basics. Microsoft hasn’t yet made the Windows 10 operating system available to end users. Instead, the company is only publicly testing Windows 10’s features with users who download it through the Windows Insider Program.
In order to turn off the Start Menu in this way, you’ll need to have downloaded the Windows Technical Preview from Microsoft’s website and installed it on your device. You’ll also need a flash drive if you plan on doing a fresh installation and a backup of all your data in case you lose any of it. Second, and this is absolutely crucial: you should absolutely never download a Technical Preview on any operating system or a device that’s mission critical. GottaBeMobile broke down how to get the Windows 10 Technical Preview in a recent article. Again, approach it with caution. Features inside the operating system could break and things could change without a moment’s notice.
When you first log in to your notebook, desktop or tablet running Windows 10, you might notice that the Windows Start Screen from Windows 8 is the first thing you see. Don’t be alarmed. Windows 10 is smart enough to present you with a different interface based on what input options you have available to you. Unfortunately, the Windows 10 Technical Preview doesn’t change your interface much if you chose to simply upgrade and keep all of your settings.
Go to the Desktop by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard or the Windows button underneath your display.
Welcome back to the Desktop. Look for the Taskbar at the bottom of your screen. If you have a mouse, right-click on the Task Bar. If you have touch, place your finger on the Taskbar and hold it there until you see a circle appear. The Taskbar is the long see-through strip that typically sits at the bottom of your display and shows you what apps you have open and what the time is. You can right-click on it anywhere.
Click on Properties.
Welcome to the Taskbar properties. Here we’ll change the way the Start Screen looks and behaves so that it operates more like the Start Menu of Windows operating systems past. You could make the Start Screen act more like the Start Menu with Windows 8.1, but it involved way too much configuring. Click the Start Menu option at the top of the Properties area.
At the top of there screen there’s an option to Use the Start menu instead of the Start Screen. Click or tap on this item and then hit Apply.
By the time Windows 10 becomes widely available it’s possible that toggling between these two options won’t require rebooting your machine. Today though, you will have to restart your machine after activating the Start Menu to replace the Start Screen. Be careful to save your work immediately. If you have a Word document open save, if you’re in Internet Explorer make sure you bookmark the websites you’re visiting.
Click or tap on Sign out and change settings. And you you’ll be booted back to your login screen. Your machine shouldn’t take long to restart at all.
Now sign in with the username and password that your notebook, desktop or tablet has assigned to it.
That’s it. You’ve successfully turned on the Start Menu in Windows 10. Absolutely, do not upgrade to Windows 10 just to get the Start Menu back. Windows 10 isn’t ready for regular use by anybody who doesn’t have a back up PC. If you’re running Windows 8.1, the latest Windows operating system that’s ready for public consumption, there are other ways to recreate the Start Menu there. Windows 10 will be available to everyone sometime next year in final form. In addition to having the new Start Menu, options for open Windows Store apps in the Desktop will also be included.