Tablet mode has been available since the launch of Windows 10 in 2015, but has taken on added significance with the rise of convertibles and 2-in-1s.
You’ll often be prompted to enter tablet mode upon rotating or detaching the screen, but what if you just have a touchscreen device?
The vast majority of PCs and laptops now support touch input, and luckily there’s an easy way to activate the mode in the settings menu.
How to turn on tablet mode
In many cases, the option to enter tablet mode will be presented to you, but there’s also a way to enable it manually:
- Click (or tap) the notification icon, located in the far bottom right of your screen
- Here, the left of the four options at the bottom should say ‘Tablet mode’. Click or tap this and tablet mode should be enabled
- If you’ve accidentally activated tablet mode, or missed the pop-up when returning to a desktop setup, just click the same icon to turn it off
For more options, head to Settings > System and select ‘Tablet mode’ from the left pane. Here, there are options to set the default mode upon sign-in, whether switching between modes should be automatic and whether part or all of the taskbar should be hidden in tablet mode.
What is tablet mode?
Tablet mode is an area of Windows that’s specifically designed for touchscreen or convertible devices. While the standard Windows experience is optimised for keyboard and mouse input, tablet mode makes it more suitable for touch input.
Modifications include the native running of apps in full screen, a large Start screen (as opposed to Start Menu) and on-screen keyboard.
By default, the taskbar is also streamlined, displaying only back, search or virtual desktop buttons. It’s also probably worth pinning your favourite apps here for quick access.
Despite offering additional functionality, tablet mode in Windows 10 has its limitations. But
can Windows 10 ever be optimised for tablets? Only time will tell.
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