How to open multiple Windows Start Menu apps in one go

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 5, 2019
Windows, Windows 10

The introduction of the new Taskbar in Windows 7 changed how (many) Windows users loaded applications on their devices.

The ability to pin programs (and other things) directly to the taskbar allowed them to bypass the Start Menu entirely when they wanted to launch these programs. While Windows offered an option to do so pre-Windows 7, by placing shortcuts on the desktop, it was the Start Menu that was used by many for that.

The Start Menu is still useful, even in Windows 10 as it offers access to all installed programs and other features. Some users prefer to install Start Menu replacements, a group of programs that came to prominence shortly after the release of Windows 8. Programs like Classic Shell (no longer in development), Classic Start, or Start10 all re-introduced classic reinterpretations of the Start Menu.

windows 10 start menu

One thing that you may notice when using the Start Menu is that it closes automatically when you select an entry, e.g. load a program that is pinned to it. If you wanted to start two programs from the Start Menu, or a program and the Settings app, you'd have to open the Start Menu twice as Windows closes it automatically after you make a selection

Starting a single application from Start is probably what most users do most of the time when they use the Start Menu. But what if you want to start multiple programs or tools from the Start Menu?

Turns out, there is an option to do just that. All you need to do is hold down the Windows-key on the keyboard when you select programs from the Start Menu. The Start Menu won't close automatically while you are keeping the Windows-key pressed.

Note: Holding down the Windows-key does not work on Windows 7 to keep the Start Menu open while you select applications or tools to start. I did not test this on a Windows 8.1 machine.

So, if you want to start multiple programs or tools from the Start Menu, just remember to hold down the Windows-key to do just that. (via Win Aero)

How to open multiple Windows Start Menu apps in one go
Article Name
How to open multiple Windows Start Menu apps in one go
Find out how to open multiple Windows 10 Start Menu apps or programs without the Start Menu closing automatically on your first selection.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Aretin said on May 15, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    This does not work on the latest 1909 version of Windows 10 x64.

  2. anonymous said on April 5, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    The code base for Classic Shell has been mirrored and the most active fork is

    On the forum in this post the author of Classic Shell acknowledges the github repository which is made by the same person who decided to rebrand it as Open-Shell.

  3. Yuliya said on April 5, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Interesting. What I noticed in Windows 7 is that any program launched with the WinKey pressed is launched in background – not minimised, but its windows is not brought to front. Can be either a shortcut in a folder or from the Start Menu.

  4. Paulus said on April 5, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Another really great tip Martin!
    It really going to look like your going for a total of 25.000 (365 (days) x 3 (articles a day) x 24 (From 2005 – unto 2029) (Only 10 more years too go! :-) ) great tip’s, easy!

  5. John said on April 5, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Classic Shell is still alive, went open source and became Open Shell

  6. #404 said on April 5, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    That would definitely save a few seconds of my life. Thanks a lot, Martin!

  7. Alex said on April 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Btw, there’s no Classic Start. It’s Open Shell now (and remains brilliant):

  8. Jeff said on April 5, 2019 at 11:05 am

    FYI Classic Shell supports Shift+left click/Shift+Enter to launch multiple apps, documents, recent items etc.

    1. Gary said on April 5, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      LOL, thanks Jeff, that is exactly what I needed, but never just knew that before!!!

  9. Major said on April 5, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Duh, cause it was too tough for m$ engineers to implement middle mouse click.

    1. Yuliya said on April 5, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Middle-what? You mean tap and hold? ;)
      Sorry, just kidding. But it seems to me that Windows 10 is aimed more towards the generation who does not know what the use of the mouse’s middle button is throughout the OS.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on April 5, 2019 at 10:16 am

      I tried this first, actually: Middle-click, Ctrl-Click, Shift-Click, Alt-Click, none worked.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.