Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2.

Operating system:

Start, find, and close apps on Surface

Whether you’re at the Start menu or on the desktop, your apps are easy to find and open.


Manage your apps, contacts, websites, photo albums, playlists, folders, and more from Start or the desktop. You can pin apps to and unpin apps from the Start menu and the desktop taskbar. You can also group, rearrange, and resize app tiles on the Start menu. For more info, see See what’s on the menu.

Find and open apps from Start

Windows 10 Start menu

Get to Start

There are several ways to open the Start menu if you've been using an app or doing other things on your Surface:

  • Tap the Windows button Windows logo key on your Surface.
  • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key on your keyboard.
  • Select the Start button Windows logo key in the lower-left corner of the screen.

Find an app from Start

To find an app that's installed on your Surface, do one of the following:

  • Search for an app. Select the search box and enter an app name. The search results update as you type. Select the app from the search results to open it.
  • Use the Start menu. Go to Start Windows logo key, and in the search box enter an app name. Or, if you are using a keyboard, just start typing the app name. The search results update as you type. Select the app from the search results to open it.
  • All apps. Go to Start Windows logo key, select All Apps, and choose the app you want to open.

Open apps from Start

Here’s how to start an app from the Start menu:

  • Use touch. Select a tile. If you have lots of tiles, drag your finger across the screen or slide two fingers horizontally across the touchpad to scroll and see more apps.
  • Use a mouse. Select a tile.
  • Use a keyboard. Enter the name of an app, and press Enter.

Find and open apps from the desktop

You can pin apps that you frequently use to the taskbar. Then you can open them from the desktop simply by selecting them.

To find an app that's installed on your Surface, do the following:

  • Taskbar. The taskbar shows all the apps that are open, and any apps that you’ve pinned to the taskbar. Select a button on the taskbar to use the app. For more info, see Using the Desktop.
  • Search. Tap and hold (or right-click) Start Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen, and select Search. In the search box enter the name of the app, and in the search results choose the app.

Install apps

If the app you want isn't already installed, you can search the Windows Store and install it from there. To find out how, see Install and uninstall apps on Surface.

You can also install desktop apps from a USB flash drive or other external drive, from the web, or over a network. For more info, see Install and uninstall apps on Surface.

Which apps are open?

To see which Windows Store apps are open:

  • Use touch to get to an open app.
    Swipe in from the left edge of the screen. You'll see the apps you recently used. Select the app you want to use.
Swipe in from the left
  • Use a mouse to get to an open app.
    Select Task view Task view icon. You’ll see the apps you recently used. Select the app you want to use.
Task view
  • Open an app from the taskbar.
    The desktop taskbar can show all your open apps. To learn how to see Windows Store apps on the taskbar, see Using the Desktop.
Desktop taskbar

How do I close an app?

It’s a good idea to close desktop and Windows Store apps when you're done using them, particularly before shutting down your Surface. Select Close Close button in the upper-right corner of the app.


Whether you’re at the Start screen or on the desktop, your apps are easy to find and open.


Manage your apps, contacts, websites, photo albums, playlists, folders and more from Start or the desktop. You can pin apps to and unpin apps from the Start screen and the desktop taskbar. You can also group, rearrange, and resize app tiles on the Start screen. For more info, see Start screen.

Find and open apps from Start

Windows 8.1 Start screen

Get to Start

There are several ways to get back to the Start screen if you've been using an app or doing other things on Surface:

  • Tap the Windows button Windows logo key on your Surface.
  • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key on your keyboard.
  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Start.
  • If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-left corner and click the Start button Windows logo key.

Find an app from Start

To find an app that's installed on your Surface, do one of the following from the Start screen:

  • Search for an app. Tap or click the Search Search button button, and in the search box enter an app name. Or, if you are using a keyboard, just start typing the app name. The search results update as you type. Tap or click the app from the search results to open it.
  • Apps view. Slide up from the middle of the screen to get to Apps view.
    (If you’re using a mouse, click the down arrow Down arrow in the lower-left corner of the screen.)
    Then tap or click the app.

Open apps from Start

Here’s how to start an app from the Start screen:

  • Use touch. From the Start screen, tap a tile. If you have lots of tiles, drag your finger across the screen or slide two fingers horizontally across the touchpad to scroll and see more apps.
  • Use a mouse. From the Start screen, click a tile, and use the scroll bar at the bottom of your screen to see more apps.
  • Use a keyboard. From the Start screen, enter the name of an app, and press Enter.
Tip
You can start multiple apps and switch between them. For more info, see Switch between open apps.

Find and open apps from the desktop

You can pin any apps that you frequently use to the taskbar. Then you can open them from the desktop with a single tap or click. For more info, see How to use the taskbar.

Get to the desktop

On the Start screen, tap or click Desktop (or press Windows logo key Windows logo key+ D). If you don’t see the Desktop tile on the Start screen, swipe up from the middle of the screen to get to Apps view, and then tap or click Desktop.

Find and open apps from the desktop

To find an app that's installed on your Surface, do the following:

  • Taskbar. The taskbar shows all the apps that are open, and any apps that you’ve pinned to the taskbar. Tap or click a button on the taskbar to use the app. For more info, see Using the Desktop.
  • Search. Tap and hold (or right-click) the Start button Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen, and tap or click Search. In the search box enter the name of the app, and in the search results tap or click the app.

Install apps

If the app you want isn't already installed, you can search the Windows Store and install it from there. To find out how, see Install and uninstall apps on Surface.

If you have a Surface Pro or Surface 3, you can also install desktop apps from a USB flash drive (or other external drive), from the web, or over a network. For more info, see Install and uninstall apps on Surface.

Which apps are open?

To see which Windows Store apps are open:

  • Use touch to get to an open app.
    Swipe in from the left edge without lifting your finger, and push back toward the left edge. You'll see the apps you recently used. Tap the app you want to use.
Use touch to see which apps are open
  • Use a mouse to get to an open app.
    Move the pointer into the upper-left corner, and move the pointer straight down. You’ll see the apps you recently used. Click the app you want to use.
Use a mouse to see which apps are open
  • Open an app from the taskbar.
    The desktop taskbar can show all your open apps. To learn how to see Windows Store apps on the taskbar, see How to use the taskbar.
Desktop taskbar

How do I close an app?

Close a Windows Store app

Apps that you install from the Windows Store don’t slow down your Surface when you’re using them. When you stop using an app, Windows leaves it running in the background and after a while closes it for you. But, if you want to close an app, here’s how:

  • Use touch. From the Start screen or from another app, swipe in from the left edge of the screen, and push back toward the left edge. Tap and hold the app you want to close, slide your finger all the way down the screen, and hold it there until the app flips over.
  • Use a mouse or touchpad. Move your mouse pointer to the top of the app and click the Close Close button button in the title bar.

Close a desktop app

It’s still a good idea to close desktop apps when you're done using them, particularly before shutting down your Surface. Tap or click the Close Close button button in the upper right corner of the app.


Whether you’re at the Start screen or on the desktop, your apps are easy to find and open.


Manage your apps, contacts, websites, photo albums, playlists, folders and more from Start or the desktop. You can pin apps to and unpin apps from the Start screen and the desktop taskbar. You can also group, rearrange, and resize app tiles on the Start screen. For more info, see Start screen.

Find and open apps from Start

Windows 8.1 Start screen

Get to Start

There are several ways to get back to the Start screen if you've been using an app or doing other things on Surface:

  • Tap the Windows button Windows logo key on your Surface.
  • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key on your keyboard.
  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Start.
  • If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-left corner and click the Start button Windows logo key.

Find an app from Start

To find an app that's installed on your Surface, do one of the following from the Start screen:

  • Search for an app. Tap or click the Search Search button button, and in the search box enter an app name. Or, if you are using a keyboard, just start typing the app name. The search results update as you type. Tap or click the app from the search results to open it.
  • Apps view. Slide up from the middle of the screen to get to Apps view.
    (If you’re using a mouse, click the down arrow Down arrow in the lower-left corner of the screen.)
    Then tap or click the app.

Open apps from Start

Here’s how to start an app from the Start screen:

  • Use touch. From the Start screen, tap a tile. If you have lots of tiles, drag your finger across the screen or slide two fingers horizontally across the touchpad to scroll and see more apps.
  • Use a mouse. From the Start screen, click a tile, and use the scroll bar at the bottom of your screen to see more apps.
  • Use a keyboard. From the Start screen, enter the name of an app, and press Enter.
Tip
You can start multiple apps and switch between them. For more info, see Switch between open apps.

Find and open apps from the desktop

You can pin any apps that you frequently use to the taskbar. Then you can open them from the desktop with a single tap or click. For more info, see How to use the taskbar.

Get to the desktop

On the Start screen, tap or click Desktop (or press Windows logo key Windows logo key+ D). If you don’t see the Desktop tile on the Start screen, swipe up from the middle of the screen to get to Apps view, and then tap or click Desktop.

Find and open apps from the desktop

To find an app that's installed on your Surface, do the following:

  • Taskbar. The taskbar shows all the apps that are open, and any apps that you’ve pinned to the taskbar. Tap or click a button on the taskbar to use the app. For more info, see Using the Desktop.
  • Search. Tap and hold (or right-click) the Start button Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen, and tap or click Search. In the search box enter the name of the app, and in the search results tap or click the app.

Install apps

If the app you want isn't already installed, you can search the Windows Store and install it from there. To find out how, see Install and uninstall apps on Surface.

If you have a Surface Pro or Surface 3, you can also install desktop apps from a USB flash drive (or other external drive), from the web, or over a network. For more info, see Install and uninstall apps on Surface.

Which apps are open?

To see which Windows Store apps are open:

  • Use touch to get to an open app.
    Swipe in from the left edge without lifting your finger, and push back toward the left edge. You'll see the apps you recently used. Tap the app you want to use.
Use touch to see which apps are open
  • Use a mouse to get to an open app.
    Move the pointer into the upper-left corner, and move the pointer straight down. You’ll see the apps you recently used. Click the app you want to use.
Use a mouse to see which apps are open
  • Open an app from the taskbar.
    The desktop taskbar can show all your open apps. To learn how to see Windows Store apps on the taskbar, see How to use the taskbar.
Desktop taskbar

How do I close an app?

Close a Windows Store app

Apps that you install from the Windows Store don’t slow down your Surface when you’re using them. When you stop using an app, Windows leaves it running in the background and after a while closes it for you. But, if you want to close an app, here’s how:

  • Use touch. From the Start screen or from another app, swipe in from the left edge of the screen, and push back toward the left edge. Tap and hold the app you want to close, slide your finger all the way down the screen, and hold it there until the app flips over.
  • Use a mouse or touchpad. Move your mouse pointer to the top of the app and click the Close Close button button in the title bar.

Close a desktop app

It’s still a good idea to close desktop apps when you're done using them, particularly before shutting down your Surface. Tap or click the Close Close button button in the upper right corner of the app.