The Windows 10 Start Menu

I have talked about the Windows 10 Start Menu before in our Windows 10 Tutorials section but I wanted to write something fresh for visitors who may be joining us for the first time.

Windows 10 has a new Start Menu.

For a lot of users, the Start Menu is controversial because it was taken away in Windows 8 and Microsoft has brought it back in to Windows 10.

What is a Start Menu?

A Start Menu is simply a helpful user menu that can be accessed in Windows 10 by two methods.

Pressing the Windows key.

Clicking on the Start Button in the bottom left of the screen.

Start Button

Start Button

Why do we need a Start Menu?

A Start Menu is simply a quick and helpful collection of useful items that Windows 10 users may want to access, all in one place. It’s a lot more efficient than hunting for each of those items on your own.

Let’s take a look at the different sections of the Start Menu.

User Avatar

On the top right, the Start Menu has a user name and avatar picture showing the current user logged in to Windows 10.

User Avatar top left

User Avatar top left

Most Used Items

Right below the User Avatar, we have the most used items.

Most Used items

Most Used items

As the name infers, this section will show the items most frequently used by the current user.

It will change based on the frequency of usage of apps by the user.

Life at a Glance

The next section on the right is a collection of apps called Life at a Glance.

Life at a glance

Life at a glance

This is a collection of applications that are probably core to your Windows 10 experience.

  • Calendar
  • Mail
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Photos
  • Search
  • People
  • News
  • OneNote
  • The Windows Store
  • Weather

A lot of user activity will happen in this one section.

Play and Explore

This section is to the right of Life at a Glance and is composed of more useful but somewhat secondary apps a user might be interested in.

Play and Explore

Play and Explore

This section has the following items in it.

  • Music
  • Video
  • The Xbox App
  • Stocks
  • Sports
  • Get Started (a tutorial)
  • Windows Feedback

Miscellaneous Grouping

There are four other items on the Start Menu that are miscellaneous but will be used a lot as well.

  • File Explorer (UI for looking for files)
  • Settings (Windows Settings)
  • Power (Restart, Shut Down)
  • All Apps (show a list of all apps)
File Explorer, Settings, Power and All Apps

File Explorer, Settings, Power and All Apps

All Apps

When you click on All Apps, it opens up a secondary menu on the left and shows all apps listed in alphabetical order.

All Apps

All Apps

In Windows 10, Microsoft have tried to make the features as user friendly and intuitive as possible.

The Start Menu can be configured in Windows 10.

This happens in the settings menu by clicking on Personalization

Settings - Personalization

Settings – Personalization

Then clicking on “Start” in the left menu.

Personalization

Personalization

You can find an array of options to personalize the Start Menu to work the way you want.

You can even customize items listed on the Start Menu

Customize List

Customize List

Microsoft continues to refine the Start Menu experience in Windows 10 but as you can see, it’s a lot more compact and focused than it was in Windows 8.

Stay tuned for more.

Next, I will be talking about Microsoft Edge – the new browser from Microsoft.