Windows 7 and Windows 10 Side-by-Side

This guide will highlight the key differences between Windows 7 and Windows 10 in a side-by-side comparison. For more information on some of the new features of Windows 10, please refer to the Windows 10 Quick Reference Card and the Windows 10 guide.

Start Menu

Windows 7

The start menu is located in the lower-left corner of the screen. From here you can click the Start Menu icon to access your programs, settings, user account, and power options.

Windows 10

The start menu is located in the same place (lower-left corner of the screen), but the icon has changed. Clicking the Start Menu icon will display the new menu where you can access your apps, live tiles, settings, user account, and power options.



Sleep, Shutting Down, and Restarting the Computer

Windows 7

The Sleep/Shut down/Restart options can be accessed from the Start Menu by clicking the arrow to the right of Log off button.

Windows 10

The Sleep/Shut Down/Restart options can be accessed from the Start Menu by clicking the Power options icon.


Locking the computer

Windows 7

The Lock option can be accessed from the Start Menu by clicking the arrow to the right of Log off button.

Windows 10

The Lock option can be accessed from the Start Menu by clicking the User Account icon.


Adding Shortcuts to your Desktop from Start Menu Programs

Windows 7

To create a shortcut to a Start Menu program:
1. Right-click the program on the Start Menu.
2. Click Send to.
3. Click Desktop (create shortcut).

Windows 10

To create a shortcut to a Start Menu app, drag and drop the menu item to the desktop with your mouse.


Accessing System Settings (Control Panel)

Windows 7

Clicking Control Panel from within the Start Menu will open the Control Panel and display additional options for customizing your Windows 7 settings.

From the Control Panel, click a category to access additional options.

Windows 10

Clicking the Settings icon from within the Start Menu will open the Windows Settings and display a streamlined list of options for customizing your Windows 10 experience.

From the Windows Settings page, click a category to expand additional options.


Logging Out

Windows 7

The Log off option is located within the Start Menu.

Windows 10

The log off option has been renamed Sign out. From the Start Menu, click the User Account icon to access.


Search Bar

Windows 7

The search bar is located within the Start Menu and can be used to search for files and programs on your computer.

Windows 10

The search bar (which is now “Cortana”) is located outside the Start Menu and is now available directly in the Taskbar beside the Start Menu button. When you click in the search bar, Cortana will pop up to help you to perform a search.







The search bar will open and you can enter your search in the provided field. In Windows 10, Cortana search results will return files, apps, folders, pictures, and settings, in addition to giving you options to filter your search further.