Microsoft is also introducing “Tablet mode” (Continuum) in Windows 10 that allows users to move seamlessly from a traditional windowed to a full-screen, optimized for touch, environment. The Start menu looks similar to the menu users that were familiar in Windows 7, but the new menu also has a modern part similar to the Start screen. The Start menu in Windows 10 includes two sizes: the default regular size and users can also click the top-right “Expand” button on the top-right corner to make the menu full screen, which Windows 8 users will find familiar to the now gone Start screen. On the other hand, the Tablet mode also offer a full-screen Start menu, which is where some users may find these two features a bit confusing. However, there is a big difference between expanding the Start menu and the touch-optimized mode.

Expanded Start menu

When making the Start menu full screen, users only get a bigger menu where they can fill up the screen with more Live Tiles, which will make the menu more familiar with those who liked the Start screen in Windows 8, but nothing else.

Tablet mode

Tablet mode offers a lot more features that help users on touch-enabled devices to be more productive. When this mode is enabled automatically or manually via the Action Center, users will get a full screen Start menu, just like the “Expanded” version, but now the restore button will not be available to shrink the menu to its regular size. In addition, modern and traditional apps, plus the desktop environment (e.g., File Explorer), will only run full screen mode, very similar to the Metro environment in Windows 8; and users won’t be able to access the desktop, which also means that icons on the desktop will not be available to users. While in Continuum mode, users can swipe from left inwards to switch between open apps — just like in Windows 8 — and swiping from the right inwards will access the Action Center. You might have noticed that you can no longer grab and pull down an app to close it, but if you’re in Tablet mode the functionality is still available. In the end, what you should take away is that if you ever see a Windows 10 PC with the Start menu in full screen, it doesn’t necessary mean that it’s using Tablet mode. And clicking the “Expand” button from the Start menu is not the way to enable Tablet mode either. All content on this site is provided with no warranties, express or implied. Use any information at your own risk. Always backup of your device and files before making any changes. Privacy policy info.