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Windows 8 – Customize the Start screen

Here is a recent post from the Microsoft “Getting to know Windows” Site:

Just like you had a Start menu in Windows 7, you have a Start screen in Windows 8 and Windows RT. It has all of the info you care about in one place. You can just glance at the tiles to get the latest headlines, real-time updates, and info, or you can open apps, websites, contacts, and folders.

Here are the quickest ways to get to Start:

Windows - Swipe in from the right edge and tap Start With touch, swipe in from the right edge of your screen, and then tap Start.
WIndows 8 - Move your pointer to the upper-right, move it down, then click Start With a mouse, move your pointer to the upper-right or lower-right corner, and then move it up or down and click Start. (Or, point to the lower-left corner, and click Start when it appears.)
You can also press the Windows logo key Windows 8 - Windows logo key on a keyboard.

So arrange Start any way you want it, and put your favorite apps, people, and websites front and center. Here are a few options you can try.

Create tiles for your favorite people and places

A tile is an app or content (like a website, contact, or folder) that you can open from the Start screen. So if you have a website that you visit every day or people that you chat with all the time, you might want to create tiles for them on Start so you can get to them quickly.

When you come across a website, contact, or folder that you want to add to Start, here’s how:

  • To pin a website or contact from an app, open the app commands and tap or click Pin to Start.
  • To pin a folder, open it in File Explorer, press and hold or right-click it, and then tap or click Pin to Start.

Pin or unpin apps

Some apps that are installed on your PC might not be pinned to Start. But you can always pin them if you want them there. On the Start screen, open the Search charm, select the app you want to pin to open its commands, and then tap or click Pin to Start.

And if there are apps you don’t use, you can unpin them from Start. On the Start screen, select an app to open its commands, and then tap or click Unpin from Start. If you unpin an app, it’s still installed on your PC, so you can always find it again with the Search charm.

Rearrange and resize tiles

To move a tile, drag it up or down, and then drag it anywhere you want it. (You don’t need to press and hold.) You can arrange the tiles any way you want. Put similar tiles together, group all your favorites, or create a “Work” group for the apps for your job.

Here’s how to name a group of tiles:

  • Touch the Start screen with two or more fingers, and then pinch them toward each other to zoom out. (If you’re using a mouse, click the Zoom button Windows 8 - The Zoom button.)
  • Select the group of tiles you want to name, and then tap or click Name Group.

If a tile isn’t fitting in the spot you want, you can make it larger or smaller. Just select the tile on the Start screen to open the app commands, and then tap or click Larger or Smaller. (Some tiles can’t be resized.)

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