How to use Windows 10 without the Charms bar

The Charms bar is persona non grata in Windows 10. So how do you use and navigate the OS without it?

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

With the Charms bar gone, you'll have to find other ways to print, share and access settings in Windows 10. screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Love it or hate it, the Charms bar is history in Windows 10.

In Windows 10, Microsoft killed the Charms bar that first graced the stage in Windows 8. Appearing from the right side of the screen, the Charms bar gave you access to key settings as well as options to share, print and search from your current app. Though some Windows 8 users undoubtedly have grown to rely on the Charms bar, it likely just never caught on.

With the Charms bar gone in Windows 10, how do you perform the same actions and tasks that the bar provided? Here's how:

One "charm" offered by the Charms bar in Windows 8 is for Settings. Clicking the Settings charm gives you access to several of the key settings in Windows as well as the full Settings screen.

To access the full Settings screen in Windows 8, you click the Charms bar and then click the Change PC Settings link. To access that screen in Windows 10, you click the Start button to display the new Start menu and then click the link for Settings to call up the Settings screen, which incidentally sports a new look but offers the equivalent options and more.

And what of all the other options accessible from the Settings bar, such as Network, Volume, Notifications and Power? Most of those you'll find in the System Tray in the lower right corner of the screen. The Power button is now in the Start menu, appearing in the lower part as a circle with a vertical line through it.

The Charms bar also offers access to Devices, Share and Search. Where will you now find those in Windows 10? Those functions are accessible from each individual Windows app, but finding them isn't easy as they vary from app to app.

From the Start menu, click the All apps link and then open a Windows app, such as Mail. Open a specific email. On the top toolbar you'll find an icon that displays three dots horizontally. Click on that icon and a popup menu appears with commands for Print, Move and other options.

That three-dotted icon is the trick to finding the Print and Share commands in many Windows apps. The problem is that the icon itself is located in different places depending on the app. So you may have to hunt around for it before you find it.

So fans of the Charms bar -- whoever you are -- the bar itself is dead and buried in Windows 10. But Microsoft is keeping the bar's functionality intact through other settings and options.