Tablet mode has been around in Windows 11 since its launch, but many people are still unaware of it or how to use it. With the latest update to Windows 11, released as the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has made some changes to tablet mode that you should know about. Here’s everything you need to know about tablet mode in Windows 11 and how to use it if you want to give your laptop a more touch-friendly feel.
How do I enable tablet mode?
To get started, open your Start menu by clicking on its icon in your taskbar or pressing Windows+X on your keyboard. Then click on Tablet mode at the bottom of your screen. You should see a message saying that Tablet mode is now enabled. Your desktop will shrink down into an app, which makes everything feel more streamlined and touch-friendly!Tablet mode in Windows 11
Swipe from the right
Swiping from right to left on your trackpad enables Tablet Mode on your PC, as well as letting you access a series of apps that aren’t available in desktop mode. For example, you can use a stylus pen or other input device such as a touchpad to write and draw with included apps. (You can also do basic tasks like pinch-to-zoom and select text.) Some apps like Mail and Maps are available only when you’re using tablet mode.
Swipe from the left
The most obvious change for tablet users is that you can now swipe from left to right on your screen to access a sidebar, which changes from a three-tab layout (PC settings, Power, and All apps) to just two (all apps and power). This also means that clicking All apps doesn’t bring up another full start menu — it simply pulls up an alphabetical list of all of your installed apps.
Type from anywhere on your screen
In tablet mode, you can now take advantage of an optional feature that allows you to type and paste directly from any screen. Simply select text or place your cursor where you want to add text. Then, click inside a text box (such as on a Word document) or press and hold Alt and start typing—right from where your cursor is! If your selected text is outside of any existing text boxes, then pressing Shift+Alt+N will insert a new line between each line of selected text.
Move what you’re working on up to tablet mode
The Start screen will automatically shift into tablet mode after you detach your keyboard, allowing you to interact with it using touch input. To move what you’re working on into tablet mode when it isn’t already, drag it down from the top of your display with a finger or a stylus (if you have one). Alternatively, press Windows+Enter while on a Metro-style app or desktop application. Both gestures produce nearly and identical results.
Bring back your Start menu with a swipe
To bring back your Start menu with a swipe, you first need to make sure that you have tablet mode enabled. You can check by searching for Settings on your computer and clicking on it when it pops up in your search results. In Settings, click on System > Tablet mode and ensure that it’s set to On (full-screen). Once that’s done, go back into your settings and find Accounts > Sign-in options.
Instantly close all windows with a button press
If you’re using a Surface tablet, or are working with a laptop running Windows 10, you can instantly close all open windows on your desktop with a button press. It might sound like an odd shortcut, but it’s super useful for cleaning up your open windows when things get too clutter and you need some visual space. Here’s how it works: Press Ctrl+Alt+Down.
Screengrab without a print screen (Windows Key + Shift + S)
This is a way to take a screengrab of an entire window and application. Depending on your operating system and browser, you may see a different Take Screengrab or Capture Screen option. You can also press PrtScn on your keyboard if that option appears when using programs like Photoshop or Chrome. Note: Your program must be active for it to work!
Tablets have changed a lot over time, but they’re still useful for digital note-taking and reading eBooks. Windows 11 was designed with tablets in mind, though—you can even use it like a touch-based laptop, as long as you plug in a keyboard and mouse occasionally.
Tablet mode is one of many productivity-boosting features in Windows 11. When enabled, tablet mode allows users with touchscreen devices (such as laptops and 2-in-1s) to gain access to new touch-friendly tools, such as easier navigation and resizing of windows, plus a dedicated tablet taskbar with quick access to virtual pens, erasers, and more. To disable tablet mode, open up your taskbar menu on your device. Select System > Tablet Mode from within Settings.
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