Among the many improvements we see in recent builds of Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 are refinements to the Tablet Mode feature, which makes the experience of moving between usage modes more seamless on tablets and 2-in-1 PCs. Here’s how you can configure Tablet Mode to work the way you prefer.
I’ve written a few pieces about Tablet Mode before, but you should refer to Windows 10 Technical Preview 2: Continuum and Tablet Mode for a good backgrounder on this feature. Long story short, Tablet Mode modifies the Windows 10 user experience so that all apps run full screen, the Start menu is replaced by a full screen Start experience, and the taskbar and multitasking are optimized for touch. The broad strokes haven’t changed at all: That’s exactly how Tablet Mode still works. But the ways in which you can configure this feature have improved pretty dramatically.
The manual toggle for Tablet Mode remains the same: Click the Tablet Mode quick action tile in Action Center to move in and out of Tablet Mode.
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If you navigate to Tablet Mode settings (Settings, System, Tablet Mode), however, you will see a number of new settings. And these settings can really change how this feature works.
Here’s what’s available.
Optimize the system for tablet and touch by enabling Tablet Mode. This works exactly like the Tablet Mode quick action tile in Action Center: it’s a manual toggle that can be On or Off. (The default varies by system. On tablets, it will be set to On.)
When I sign in. This option determines how Tablet Mode is configured when you sign in to the PC. The available choices are Immediately enter Tablet Mode (which makes sense for tablets), Take me to the desktop, and Keep the mode I was in previously.
When my devices wants to switch modes. This option is how you configure Continuum, which is the Windows 10 feature that determines whether to toggle Tablet Mode automatically on 2-in-1 systems, such as when you attach or detach a keyboard. The available choices are Never prompt me and always stay in my current mode, Always prompt me to confirm, and Never prompt me and always switch modes. Since I want to test Continuum and feel this is the best option for Surface Pro 3, I changed this option to the third choice.
Hide app icons on the taskbar when in Tablet Mode. New to build 10061, Windows 10 will hide the taskbar icons when you enter Tablet Mode. If you prefer to be able to access those icons, change this to Off. Here is how it looks by default:
And with the icons on: