Home > Articles > Operating Systems > Microsoft Windows Desktop

Logging In to Windows 10 and Customizing the Start Menu

  • Print
  • + Share This
In this sample chapter from Easy Windows 10, author Mark Soper explains essential functionality of working with Windows 10: how to start and stop the operating system, navigate the Windows desktop, and make the menus work for you.
From the book

This chapter shows you how to log in to Windows 10 and navigate the standard Windows desktop and Start menu with a mouse and keyboard. Whether you use a mouse/keyboard or touchscreen, you find out how to customize the Start menu's contents.

Logging In to Windows 10

To log in to Windows 10, you must know the password (if any) to the account you want to log in to. If you installed Windows 10 yourself, be sure to make note of this information when you are prompted to provide it during the installation process. You also log in to Windows 10 when you are waking up the computer from sleep, unlocking it, or restarting it.

  1. Press the spacebar, click your mouse, or tap your touchpad when the Lock screen appears.
  2. Type your password.
  3. To see your password as you enter it, click or press and hold the eye icon (you must type at least one character to see this icon).
  4. Password characters visible when you click or press the eye icon.
  5. Press Enter or click the arrow. The Windows desktop appears.

Opening and Using the Start Menu

Laptop and desktop computers running Windows 10 typically display the Windows desktop after login. In this exercise, you learn how to open the Start menu. You use the left button on your mouse, the lower-left corner of your device's integrated touchpad, or the Windows key on the keyboard or tablet.

  1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of the desktop, or press the Windows key on the keyboard.
  2. Links to Universal and Modern UI apps appear on the right side of the Start menu.
  3. Shortcuts to frequently used apps are grouped here.
  4. Use the Cortana Search window to find what you're looking for.
  5. Click or tap for additional apps.
  6. Click or tap to change account settings, log out, or lock the system.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 10 offers new keyboard shortcuts. This lesson illustrates a few of the shortcuts that use the Windows key.

  1. Press Windows key+E.
  2. The Quick access view of File Explorer opens on the Windows desktop.
  3. Press Windows key+A.
  4. The Notifications pane (Action Center and Quick actions) is displayed at the right of the Windows desktop.

Resizing Tiles on the Start Menu

You can change the size of app tiles on the Start menu to help make it easier to use, smaller, or larger. In the example shown here, the Weather app is resized, showing how it can display more or less information as its size changes.

  1. Click or tap Start.
  2. Right-click, or press and hold the tile to resize.
  3. Click or tap More (the three-dot button).
  4. Click or tap the size desired (Wide for this example).
  5. The tile is resized to occupy the space of two medium (the default size for most) tiles.

Changing Tile Positions on the Start Menu

Moving a tile to a new location is a simple drag-and-drop process, as this tutorial demonstrates.

  1. Click and hold or press and hold the tile to move it.
  2. Drag it to the new location.
  3. Release the tile when it is in the correct position.
  4. The next time Start is opened, the tile is in its new position.

Removing an App from the Start Menu

You can remove an app from the Most used list on the left side of the Start menu or from the right side of the Start menu. You can still run an app from All Apps, so use these methods for apps you don't use frequently.

  1. Right-click or press and hold the tile you want to remove.
  2. Click or tap Unpin from Start.
  3. The tile is removed from the Start menu.
  4. Right-click or press and hold an app you want to remove from the Most used list.
  5. Click or tap Don't show in this list.
  6. Another most-used app takes the place of the one you removed in step 5.

Locking Your System

You can lock your system by clicking your name/icon at the top of the Start menu (for details, see Chapter 3, "Logging In, Starting Up, and Shutting Down Windows 10 with a Touchscreen"). However, it's easier to use the keyboard, as shown in this lesson.

  1. Press the Windows key+L key on your keyboard.
  2. The Lock screen appears.

Choosing Sleep, Shut Down, or Restart

When it's time to put away the computer, Windows 10 makes it easy. Want to go back to work (or play) right where you left off? Choose Sleep. Want to start from scratch the next time you start up Windows, or need to put away your PC for more than a few hours? Choose Shut Down. Need to restart the computer? Choose Restart. In this lesson, you learn how to perform these tasks using the Start menu's Power button. These same tasks can also be performed from the login screen shown earlier in this chapter.

  1. Click the Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard.
  2. Click or tap the Power button.
  3. Tap Sleep to put the device into low-power mode.
  4. Tap Shut down to shut down the device.
  5. Tap Restart to close Windows and restart it.
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account