How to Start an App in Windows 10 - dummies

How to Start an App in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

Windows 10 returns the Start button and menu to their age-old spot in the desktop’s bottom-left corner. A click of the Start button brings you the new Start menu, complete with its new band of apps clinging to its right side.

On the Start menu, click the tile for the program you want to open.
On the Start menu, click the tile for the program you want to open.

The Windows 10 Start menu looks little like the Start menu of yesteryear, but it still lets you launch programs or apps by following these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu.

    Summon the Start menu by clicking or tapping the Start button in the screen’s bottom-left corner. If your hands are already on the keyboard, just press the Windows key.

    The Start menu appears, bringing a list of your apps and programs. In fact, the Start menu automatically updates itself to keep the names of your most recently used programs or apps visible.

  2. If you spot the tile for your program or app, choose it with a mouse click or, on a touchscreen, a tap of a finger.

    Don’t see a tile for your sought-after program on the Start menu’s list? Move to the next step.

  3. Scroll down the screen’s right side to see more tiles.

    Hidden along the Start menu’s far right edge is a scroll bar, similar to scroll bars you see in stocked folders. Sometimes you can’t see the scroll bar until your mouse pointer rests directly over it. When you see the scroll bar, drag its scroll box down the screen; then you can see any Start menu tiles that were hiding from view. No scroll bar? Then you’re already seeing all that the Start menu has to offer.

    If you’re a touchscreen owner, you can view the hidden tiles by sliding your finger up the Start menu.

    Still don’t see your program or app listed? Head for Step 4.

  4. View all your apps.

    To keep its list of apps and programs manageable, the Start menu doesn’t list every program or app on your computer.

    To reveal them all, click the words All Apps in the Start menu’s bottom-left corner. All your apps appear listed by alphabetically name.

    To see all your apps on a touchscreen, slide your finger upward on the screen; the All Apps view slides up into view.

If you still can’t find your program on the admittedly crowded Start menu, follow these tips for other ways to open an app or a program:

  • While you view the Start menu, begin typing the missing program’s name. As you type the first letter, the Search pane quickly appears, presenting a list of names beginning with that letter. Type a second or third letter, and the list of matches shrinks accordingly. When you spot the app or program you want, open it with a double-click (or a touch on a touchscreen).


  • Open File Explorer from the taskbar, the strip along the bottom of the desktop. When File Explorer appears, choose Documents from the Navigation Pane along the window’s left edge, and double-click the file you want to open. The correct program automatically opens with that file in tow.

  • Double-click a shortcut to the program. Shortcuts, which often sit on your desktop, are handy, disposable buttons for launching files and folders.

  • While you’re on the desktop, you may spot the program’s icon on the taskbar — a handy strip of icons lazily lounging along your desktop’s bottom edge. If so, click the taskbar icon, and the program leaps into action.

  • Right-click on the Windows desktop, choose New, and select the type of document you want to create. Windows loads the right program for the job. (On a tablet, this trick works only when you turn off Tablet mode.)

Windows offers other ways to open a program, but the preceding methods usually get the job done.