How to Configure the Start Screen of Windows 8 - dummies

How to Configure the Start Screen of Windows 8

If you’re new to Windows 8, the Start screen will look quite different than what you’re used to. But you can customize it to work for you by adding and removing tiles, or by moving and grouping tiles.

Move an app tile on a Windows 8 tablet

If your tablet came loaded with some apps in places that aren’t natural for you, you can move them to a place on the Start screen that works better for you. On the Windows 8 Start screen

  1. Tap and hold the app tile that you want to move.

    Windows 8 reduces the other tile sizes slightly and adds extra space between the tiles, to make placing it somewhere else a little easier. See A in the following step.

  2. Drag the tile to the position that you prefer.


  3. Release the tile.


Windows 8 moves the tile to the new position (B).

Change a tile size on a Windows 8 tablet

You’ll notice that some app tiles on your Windows 8 tablet are twice the size other others. You can control which tiles are large the others. You can use large tiles for apps that contain graphics, or even for the apps that you use the most frequently to make them easier to find.

  1. Swipe down on the app tile that you want to resize.


    Windows 8 displays the application bar (C).

  2. Tap Smaller.


    Windows 8 resizes the tile (D).

If the tile is small and you want to enlarge it, tap Larger in the previous step, instead.

You can combine similar apps into a single group of tiles. For example, you might want to break out all the game-related apps into their own group. To create a group, drag the first app tile all the way to left edge of the screen until you see a vertical bar and then release the tile. Windows 8 creates a new group for the app tile. To add other tiles to the new group, drag and drop the tiles within the group.

You can also change the name of any app group. This is a good idea because it makes the Start screen even easier to use and navigate. To name a group, pinch the screen to zoom out of the Start screen. Swipe down on any tile in the group, tap Name group, type the group name, and then tap Name. Tap the screen to zoom back in to the Start screen.


Pin an app to the Start screen on a Windows 8 tablet

You can customize the Start screen to give yourself quick access to the programs that you use most often. Follow these steps to pin an app icon permanently to the main Start screen.

  1. Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen.


    The application bar appears (A).

  2. Tap All apps.

    The Apps screen appears.

  3. Locate the app that you want to pin to the Start screen.


    In this example, Paint is the chosen app.

  4. Swipe down on the app tile.

    The application bar appears (B in the following figure).

  5. Tap Pin to Start.


  6. Swipe left from the right edge of the screen.

  7. Tap Start.

    Windows 8 returns to the Start screen.

  8. Scroll to the right.


    A tile for the pinned app appears on the Start screen (C).

After you have pinned an app to your Start screen, you can launch it by scrolling right and tapping the app.

You can remove any app tile from the Start screen, even the default apps that come with Windows 8. To do so, swipe down on the app tile to open the application bar and then tap Unpin from Start.

If you want to pin an app but you don’t see it in the Apps screen, switch to the Start screen and begin typing the name of the app that you want to pin. Windows 8 switches to the Apps Search screen and begins displaying a list of apps with names that match your search text. Keep typing until you see the app. Tap and hold the app, drag it down slightly until it is selected, release it, and then tap Pin to Start.