How to Use the Windows 10 Desktop on a Touchscreen

By Andy Rathbone

Fingers work well for tapping the Windows 10 Start menu’s extra-large tiles. And if you have especially dainty fingertips, your touchscreen’s touch controls will still work on the desktop’s buttons and borders. Here’s how to control the desktop with your fingers:

  • Select: To select something on the desktop, tap it with a fingertip; the pad of your finger may be too large.

  • Double-click: To double-click something, tap it twice. Again, your fingertip works best.

  • Right-click: To right-click an item, press your fingertip gently on it and wait for a small square to appear onscreen. When the square appears, remove your finger, and the pop-up menu stays on the screen. Then you can tap your desired option on the menu.

If your fingertip seems too wide for delicate desktop window maneuvers, buy a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard for your tablet. They turn your tablet into two computers: one that uses lightweight apps for casual computing and the other with a full Windows desktop for doing some real work.

One word of caution: When run in Tablet mode, apps and programs always cover the entire screen; they never run inside desktop windows. If you need to view and right-click the desktop itself, you must first turn off Tablet mode.

Only Windows tablets with screens of 8 inches or larger include the desktop. Smaller tablets (and phones) run Windows 10 Mobile, which doesn’t include the desktop; those devices can only run apps.