The Start Menu has been a standard feature in Microsoft Windows ever since Windows 95. It has changed and evolved over the years but the essential idea has remained the same: it is the central place where you can find all of the programs installed on your computer.

Use the buttons below to navigate through the lesson

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Originally the ‘Start’ button actually had the word Start on it, like this:

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Eventually it became more colourful:

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And in modern version of Windows it often doesn’t even have the word ‘Start’ on it!

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However, the basic idea has remained unchanged. This is the standard way to access all of the programs installed on your computer.

You can:

  • Click the Start button, and use your mouse to browse all the programs installed
  • Click Start and begin typing the name of the program you are looking for.
  • You can even press the Windows Key on your keyboard instead of clicking the button

Clicking the Start button shows you a list of all the programs on your computer. For example:
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Each program has an icon and a name. Some programs are organised in groups:
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You can click the name of the group to open it and see what programs are in that group.
Finally when you have found the program you want – either by looking through the list or by typing the name of it – you click on it to open the program.

If you right-click the Start button you can select ‘Properties’, and from here you can customize your Start menu experience by choosing the ‘Start Menu’ tab and pressing ‘Customize’.
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Here are the possible options:
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You can turn off options that you don’t often use to make it less cluttered for you!


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