How to switch between Tablet and Desktop mode in Windows 10 [Tip]

Everyone knows that the biggest problem with Windows 8 is its confusion between the legacy desktop and the touch “Modern” apps environment. It’s also the thing that has created so much hatred for Windows 8. Finally, with Windows 10, Microsoft seems to find out a way to solve this with a feature called “Continuum.”

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Desktop app and Store app run side by side in Tablet mode.

What is Continuum in Windows 10?

As its name suggests, Continuum creates a seamless experience between the desktop and the touch environment on hybrid devices (like the Microsoft’s Surface Pros). It does that by changing the system behaviors and the UI depending on how the device is being used.

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Pop-up question asks about switching to Tablet Mode when user detaches the keyboard.

Take a Surface Pro for example, with the keyboard attached, you will see Store apps run in framed windows and the Start Menu is just like in Windows 7. However, when you detach the keyboard, you will be asked if you want to enter “Tablet mode.” In this mode, everything runs full-screen, including the Start Menu. You don’t even have a traditional desktop in Tablet mode (at least in the current build 9926), you’ll need to head to the Start Menu to access your things.

How to enter Tablet/Desktop mode manually in Windows 10 build 9926

Continuum just made its very first appearance in Windows 10 TP build 9926. There are many hybrid devices that have not yet supported switching mode automatically. Therefore, you may want to do that manually. In build 9926, you can switch between Tablet and Desktop mode easily by a button in Action Center.

  • To open Action Center, you can swipe from the right on a touchscreen or click the Action Center icon on system tray.
  • As default, the mode switching button is the first one in the row of four buttons at the bottom of Action Center. If you don’t see it, try selecting “Expand” to see all the quick actions. DotTech also has an article on how to change those buttons’ function.

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  • Then just simply click/tap the button to switch to your desired mode.

That’s all.

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  • Sunrise Star

    I am having the opposite problem, for after I disable tablet mode, desktop mode does not come back on.

  • rowan harley

    Same Here!

  • richard king

    I’m loving tablet mode with the November update. I’m using it with the MCE hack and I really feel as though I have finally reached the HTPC panacea I’ve been chasing since year 2000. Only issue I have I that I have to close every app in order to open a new app but all apps open in full screen. Another issue is when closing Media Center it takes me back to the desktop instead of the start screen so then I have to mouse over to the windows button to get back to my Start (apps) screen. Way better than apple tv at this point. Just thought I would share some positive of win10

  • John Smith

    I accidentally entered tablet mode and absolutely could not get out of it until I saw this. Thanks.

    More to the point, what kind of moron designs something like this? Just when I was starting to like this OS, too…

  • Roger

    Slow and cumbersome and is not user friendly at all. Rolled back Win8.

  • fena

    what happened to the interesting articles here? first ashraf gave up the ship to make more money selling stuff now boring articles about items like win 10 that is not available yet except in testing modes so why bother. this was a must-read site but now many of us only stop in once in a while. such a shame