One of the most controversial aspects of Windows 8 is the touch-friendly Start Screen interface, a drastic departure from the traditional Windows look and feel that has persisted since Windows 95. With the hope of winning back desktop and business users, Microsoft is introducing a new Start Menu in Windows 10 which aims to blend the best aspects of the traditional Windows Start Menu with the live tile functionality of the Windows 8 Start Screen.
Microsoft has stated that the new Start Menu will replace the Start Screen in certain Windows 10 configurations, primarily desktops and non-touch laptops where a user will likely interact with the operating system via a mouse and keyboard. But with Windows 8 now on the market for about two years, some users may have grown accustomed to the “Metro” Start Screen and, dare I say, even prefer it to the Start Menu.
Thankfully, Microsoft has made it simple to switch back to the Windows 8-style Start Screen with just a single checkbox. The following instructions are based upon the first Windows 10 Technical Preview. Although the exact method to switch from Start Menu to Start Screen is subject to change — and we’ll let you know if it does — Microsoft’s public statements make it likely that users can expect the option to persist when Windows 10 makes its official debut in mid-2015.
To switch from the Start Menu to the Start Screen in Windows 10, head to your Windows Desktop, right-click on the Taskbar, and choose Properties. In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window, navigate to the Start Menu tab and find the checkbox titled “Use the Start menu instead of the Start screen.” As you can guess from its description, uncheck this box to restore the Windows 8-style Start Screen interface in Windows 10.
Click OK to accept the change and close the window. Switching from the Start Menu to the Start Screen in Windows 10 requires the user to sign out before the change will take effect. A dialog box will appear to notify you of this. If your work is saved and you’re ready to sign out, click Sign out and change settings to complete the process.
When you log back into Windows 10, click the Start Button or press the Windows key on your keyboard. Now, instead of the new Windows 10 Start Menu, you’ll see the familiar Start Screen appear, with functionality currently identical to that in Windows 8.
To change back to the Start Menu, simply hop back to the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window and check the aforementioned box to “Use the Start menu instead of the Start screen.”
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