Start button

Windows start buttons1. The Start button was first introduced with the release of Microsoft Windows 95 and found with all future releases of Microsoft Windows up to Windows 8. The Start button allows users to access their computer programs or configure Microsoft Windows easily. The picture shows different examples of the Start buttons found in Windows. The first gray Start button was the first Start button found in early versions of Microsoft Windows. In the second picture, this Start button made a brief appearance in Windows XP. Next, Start was removed and the button was made into the Start Orb, which just had the Windows logo in a circle and used with Windows Vista and Windows 7. Finally, Microsoft removed the Start button from Windows 8, but later brought it back with Windows 8.1.

By default, the Windows Start button has always been found in the bottom left-hand part of the screen. This can be changed to the top left or top right-hand of the screen by moving the Windows Taskbar. Clicking the Start button opens the Start Menu, which gives access to all the programs installed on the computer, search, run, access to the Control Panel, and documents.

Note: In the initial release of Windows 8, the Start button has been replaced by the Start Screen. Later versions of Windows 8, more commonly referred to as Windows 8.1 have a Start button (shown to the right) that open the Start Screen.

2. Start is also a command line command that enables a user to start a separate window in Windows from the Windows command line. See the start command page for further information on this command.

3. The term start (startup) can also be used to describe when a computer loads a software program or the computer is first booting.

Also see: Apple menu, Button, Operating system terms, Push-button, Taskbar