Start screen

Windows tutorial: Page 3 of 11

Your apps, friends, and sites in one place

Start is the heart of your PC—it’s where you open apps and desktop programs, see what your friends are doing, and get to your favorite websites and files.

The tiles on Start can show updates from your friends, new email, app notifications, and the next appointment on your calendar at a glance, even without opening an app. And because everyone who uses the PC can sign in with their own Microsoft account, each person can personalize their own tiles, colors, and backgrounds.

Getting to Start

There are a few ways to get back to Start from anywhere on your PC.

Start button
Tap or click the Start button Windows logo key in the lower-left corner of the screen.
Windows logo key on a keyboard
Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key on your keyboard.
Start charm

Open the charms and then tap or click Start. To learn how to open the charms, see Search, share, print, and more.


When you're in the desktop, you can right-click the Start button to get to quick settings like Power Options, Task Manager, Control Panel, and Device Manager.

Seeing all your apps

Apps view
You can find all your apps and programs in the Apps view. To get to the Apps view, slide up from the middle of the Start screen with your finger, or click the arrow Down arrow near the lower-left corner of the Start screen.

If you want, you can also choose to see the Apps view first when you sign in. To learn how, see Personalize your PC.

When you install a new app from the Windows Store, it'll appear in the Apps view. Then, you can pin it to your Start screen or desktop taskbar if you want to get to it quickly.

Pinning apps you use often

You can pin your favorite apps to the Start screen and the desktop taskbar so you can get to them quickly and see updates on their tiles at a glance.

Step 1

Slide up from the middle of screen to get to the Apps view. (If you’re using a mouse, click the arrow Down arrow near the lower-left corner of the screen.)
Down arrow

Step 2

Press and hold or right-click the app you want to pin. You can select more than one app and pin them all at once.

Selected app

Step 3

Tap or click Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar. The apps you pinned will appear at the end of your Start screen or desktop taskbar.

Pin options

To quickly search for an app, just start typing the name from either the Start screen or Apps view.

Unpinning apps from Start

If you decide you don’t want a tile to be on your Start screen any more, you can unpin it from Start. Unpinning an app is different than uninstalling it—if you unpin an app from your Start screen, the app will still appear when you search for it, and it’ll still be in the Apps view if you need to find it again.

To unpin an app from Start

  1. On the Start screen, press and hold or right-click the tile you want to unpin.
    You can select more tiles to unpin them all at once. To clear your selections, on the Start screen or in Apps view, tap or click an open space on the screen, or tap or click Customize.

  2. Tap or click Unpin from Start.
    The apps you selected will be removed from your Start screen, but will still appear in Apps view and when you search for them.

Organize your Start screen

Your Start screen is yours to organize and arrange. You can resize tiles and move them around in whatever way you want. For example, you can make the tiles you use more often bigger, and the ones you use less often smaller. You can size and arrange your tiles in a way that looks best to you. You can also group tiles together to help you keep track of your apps and use them more efficiently. However you choose to organize the tiles, customizing your Start screen makes it easier to get to the apps, folders, sites, and people you interact with the most.

To move a tile on your Start screen

  1. On the Start screen, press and hold the tile you want to move. (If you’re using a mouse, click and hold the tile).

  2. Drag the tile to where you want to place it.

To resize a tile on your Start screen

  1. On the Start screen, press and hold the tile you want to resize. (If you’re using a mouse, right-click the tile.)

  2. Tap or click Resize.

  3. Choose the size you want.

To create a group of tiles

  1. On the Start screen, press and hold or right-click the tiles you want to group together.

  2. Drag them to an open space, and when a gray bar appears behind them, release the tiles. This will create a new group.

  3. If you want to name the group, tap or click where it says Name group above the group, and then enter a new name.

    Once you've created a group, you can move the entire group around on your Start screen.

To move a group of tiles

  1. On the Start screen, pinch to zoom out. (If you’re using a mouse, click the zoom icon zoom icon in the lower-right corner of your screen.)
  2. Press and drag or click and drag the group of tiles you want to move to where you want it to go.

    Once you’re done moving groups, tap or click anywhere on the screen to zoom back in.

Need more help?