I never gave it much thought but there is a difference between the Start Screen and the Start Menu. On Windows 8 we were given a Start Screen. To get to the desktop we had to take another step. Navigating the Start Screen was a challenge for us users that came up the path of Windows versions. It was a new concept and I for one did not care for it.
If you have a touch screen, it is much easier to use the start screen since all you have to do is touch the tile or icon to start any of your applications. With a mouse, just point and click once.
The Start Menu
With Windows 10 we can have either the Start Menu or the Start Screen as default. Out of the box, we get the Start Menu. It looks much like Windows 7 with a Taskbar and a Desktop with icons. It only took me a few times using it to feel comfortable.
However, the Windows 8 Start Screen made it so much easier to use, especially with a touch screen. All you had to do was look at the screen and tap the item you wanted to activate. Many users today have a computer to surf the internet or get on social media and this approach is much simpler for non-computer people to take advantage of the internet.
Turning Tablet mode on will get you to the Start Screen.
In the lower-right corner of the screen, click the notification icon.
Then click “Tablet mode” to activate it. Now, when the Start button is pressed, the Start Screen displays. To return to the normal Desktop and the Start Menu, open the notification screen and click “Tablet mode” to turn it off. When you restart your computer, Tablet mode will not be on and the Start Menu will appear, but the default can be changed.
Recently, I was working with an elderly person and used Tablet mode to have the Start Screen instead of the Start Menu appear when their computer turns on. I used NETPLWIZ to bypass their need to enter a password and the first screen they now see is the Start Screen with icons to open their favorite items.
Start Button Defaults
You can also set the default for pressing the Start button in the Personalization window.
Win+I to open Settings and type “Start”
Click “Use Start full screen”
Click the option On so every time you click the Start button, the Start Screen appears. Click it Off so you get the Start Menu. (When you see a switch like this, just click it to change from On to Off. You do not have to try to slide it.)
Turn Tablet mode on and the computer will switch to the Tablet mode showing a full screen instead of a menu. Use “Start full screen” to change the function of the Start button to either show the Start Menu or the Start Screen when clicked. To have the computer start in Tablet mode by default, turn on the “Start full screen” switch. You will still be able to switch back by turning Tablet mode off in the notification screen.