Windows 8 was heavily criticized for removing the start button. So loud was the dissension that Microsoft had to yield to it and the start button made a come back in Windows 8.1. Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu though with a very modern look so it seems things will be returning to a new normal with the next version, right? Nope. Once you’re done exploring the new Start Menu in Windows 10 you might start wondering where the Charms bar (introduced in Windows 8 and much loved) is. The very short answer to that question is that it’s gone but not missing. Here’s what has happened to it.
The Charms bar incorporated five major functions; Search, sharing, devices, settings, and switching to the Modern UI start screen. With the return of the Start button and the Start menu, Windows 10 no longer needs Start button. The addition of Cortana and the Search bar negate the need to have a search feature in the Charms bar as well. We’re left with sharing options, connecting to devices, and quickly going to Settings.
All this, and more are now taken over wholly by the new Notification Center in Windows 10. Check out the bottom of the Notification Center panel and you will see most of the toggles previously housed in the Charms bar including Airport mode, Wi-Fi switch, a link to the Settings app, and even one directly to Location settings. Additionally, the Sharing and Devices options have been moved here. Click Expand to view them all.
The Windows 10 Search bar and Cortana have indeed negated the need for a search feature in the Charms bar but that particular search wasn’t just a system-wide search feature. It was also context sensitive search and that’s what’s missing even from the Notification Center. Context search for apps has not disappeared, it’s just moved. Open an app and click the hamburger icon at the top left. Select the Search option to bring up a search panel on the right.
This search is set by default to ‘Everywhere’ but you can open the drop-down menu and instead select only the current app to search in.
Lastly, the Settings charm held one very important function; shutting down your PC. That too has moved to the Start Menu. Alternatively, you can right-click the Start button and select Shut down from the context menu.
There you have it; a Windows version that is devoid of the Charms bar but still offers you every single functionality that was present in it.