Customize the Windows 8 Start Screen: Group, Arrange & Name Tiles

Just as with previous versions of Windows, Microsoft has given the user the ability to customize the look and arrangement of the different items on the desktop. With the new release of Windows 8 CP, the user interface paradigm has shifted quite a bit from what users are normally used to. Instead of a desktop with icons, we are now greeted with a Start screen with tiles, and just like with icons, we can decided which tiles to show and which to hide; where to place them and whether to group them together. There is quite a bit of choice with the new Start screen in Windows 8 and I hope to cover most of the customization options in a few short posts.

In this first post I’ll cover how to group, arrange and name live tiles on the Windows 8 Start screen.

In Windows 8, you can pin tiles for websites and this will probably be expanded more when the final release ships later this year. Whenever an app is installed or website is pinned, it will appear on the right hand column on your Start screen. To move the tile around, simply click and hold on the tile and move it to where you would like it to stay and then release the mouse button. This also works with touch-enabled devices. To unpin a tile, right-click on the tile and select the “unpin” action from the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

Note: Some tiles are live tiles, meaning they can animate with pertinant information, like new email or a calendar event. This option can be seen in the tile toolbar menu as well, if available.

Now you have a screen full of tiles, but want to group them into different categories and name them each category. To do this, you will click on the magnifying glass button on the bottom-right corner of the screen or pinch to zoom if you are using touch.


This will give you a zoomed-out view of your Start screen, which allows the user to drag each group into different arrangements just like you would do with a single tile.

To name a specifice group, highlight the group and then right-click on an open area of the screen while in this view and click on the name option on the toolbar at the bottom (This option is handy if you would like to keep pinned websites and apps separately).

Part II: Customize the Windows 8 Start Screen: Background Theme Color

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One Response to Customize the Windows 8 Start Screen: Group, Arrange & Name Tiles

  1. JayAre December 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    My screen does not show the magnifying glass!

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