How to Find Apps in the Windows 10 Start Menu

By Andy Rathbone

You can scour the Windows 10 Start menu until your eagle eyes spot the program or tile you need, and then you can pounce on it with a quick mouse click or finger tap. But when the thrill of the hunt wanes, Windows 10 offers several shortcuts for finding apps and programs hidden inside a crowded Start menu.

In particular, look for these Start menu sections:

  • User Name: Atop the Start menu’s upper-left edge, your user account name appears. Click your user account name, and a drop-down menu lets you change your account’s settings, lock your computer, sign out, or let somebody else log in.

  • Most Used: Beneath your user account’s name and photo, the Start menu’s Most Used section automatically updates itself to list your most frequently visited apps and programs. Look here first to find your favorite computing destinations.

  • Recently Added: This area only appears when you’re recently installed a new app or program. Its name appears here for a while, then disappears into the All Apps section.

  • All Apps: Click these words along the left column’s bottom edge, and the Start menu’s left column switches to reveal a list of all of your computer’s installed apps and programs, presented in alphabetical order.

Chances are good that you’ll spot your desired item on the Start menu without much digging. But when an app or programs proves to be particularly elusive, try these tricks:

  • After opening the Start menu, keyboard owners can simply begin typing the name of their desired app or program, like this: facebook. As you type, Windows lists all the apps matching what you’ve typed so far, eventually narrowing down the search to the runaway.

  • Don’t spot your desired app listed as a Start menu tile along the right edge? That right column is scrollable with an upward flick of your finger. Or, point your mouse at the column, and flick the mouse’s scroll wheel that lives between the mouse’s two buttons. No scroll wheel? Then drag down the scroll bar along the left edge of the Start menu’s column of tiles. Either way, more tiles will scroll into view.

  • If the tiles you see don’t reflect the way you work, it’s time to customize the Start menu to meet your needs.