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Definition: Start menu

In Windows, starting with Windows 95 and ending with Windows 7, the Start menu is a launching pad for all the applications and control panels in the computer. Application installation programs place an icon in the Programs or All apps section of the Start menu. Depending on the version of Windows, users can rearrange some parts of the Start menu. Start is also used to turn the machine off. The default location of the Start menu button is the left bottom left side of the taskbar.

From Start Menu to Start Screen
Windows 8 changed the Start menu dramatically, turning it into a tablet-style interface with tiles. The Windows keyboard key opens the Start menu or the Start screen, but in Windows 8, Start can be accessed from the Charms bar (see Win8 Charms bar). See Win Start menu, Win8 Start screen and Win10 Start menu.