Article ID : 00125689 / Last Modified : 07/29/2015

What is the Start button context menu and how is it used?

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A context menu (also know as a contextual menu, shortcut menu or pop-up menu) is the menu that appears when you right-click and offers a set of choices that are available for, or in context of, whatever it was you clicked. The available choices are usually actions specifically related to the selected object.

The context menu discussed in this article is accessed using the Start button, and provides quick access to operating system functions and applications which, in some cases, are not as easily accessible otherwise.

To view the Start button context menu, right-click the Start button or press the Windows Logo + X key combination on the keyboard.

Context Menu

The Start button context menu will be displayed and provide access to the following:

  • Programs and Features: This will open the Programs and Features window (from Control Panel). Use this to uninstall or change a program.
  • Mobility Center: Use this tool to adjust your display brightness and volume, check your battery status, change your power settings, and turn your wireless on and off.<

    NOTE: There will be different options available with Mobility Center depending on the computer model and the hardware installed.

  • Power Options: This will open the Power Options window (from Control Panel) and allow you to choose or customize a power plan.
  • Event Viewer: This will open the Event Viewer , which provides access to the record of all alerts and notifications that occur on the computer.
  • System: This will open the System window (from Control Panel) and allows you to view all the basic information about your computer.
  • Device Manager: This will open the Device Manager window, which provides a central and organized view of all the Microsoft® Windows® recognized hardware installed in the computer.
  • Network Connections: This will open the Network Connections window. Each connection in this folder contains a set of connection features that are currently established, or that you can use to create a link between your computer and another computer or network.
  • Disk Management: This will open the Disk Management window, which is a system utility for managing hard disks and the volumes or partitions that they contain.
  • Computer Management: This will open the Computer Management window, which is a collection of administrative tools that you can use to manage a single local or remote computer.
  • Command Prompt: This will open the Command Prompt window, which provides a means of communication between a user and a computer that is based solely on textual input and output.
  • Command Prompt (Admin): This will open the Command Prompt (Admin): window, which is nearly identical to the Command Prompt window except that it will execute commands with administrative privileges.
  • Task Manager: This will open the Task Manager, which allows you to view each of the tasks and processes currently running on the computer, and the overall performance of the computer.
  • Control Panel: This will open the Control Panel, which is allows you to modify a variety of system settings and controls.
  • File Explorer: This will open the This PC  window, giving you access to the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders (the default locations for saving those types of files) and allowing you to access and navigate locations on the hard drive (Local Disc (C:)) or on a Network.
  • Search: This will open the Search the web and Windows feature (also accessible on the taskbar) and give you access to Cortana.
  • Run: This will open the This PC window, which will allow you to type the name of and quickly access a program, file, folder, document or Internet resource. Although all of these things can be opened in a variety of ways, the Run feature often provides the quickest method.
  • Shut down or sign out: This is the only item on this context menu that has a sub-menu, which gives you the following option: Sign out, Sleep, Shut down, or Restart.

    NOTE: There can be different options available in the sub-menu, depending on the computer model.

  • Desktop: This allows you to quickly minimize all open windows and get to the desktop.