It’s a very well known fact that Microsoft has dropped Start menu from Windows 8 and introduced Start screen as replacement. The Start screen is elegant, feature-rich, and highly customizable. You can customize almost everything on the Start screen in a jiffy.
We have already shown a number of guides to personalize the Start screen. Following are some ways you can customize your Start screen.
Change Start screen background & color: Windows 8 comes with a number of personalization options. One of them is the ability to change the Start screen background and tile color. In order to change the default background & color, simply open PC settings (Open Charms bar, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings).
Set a custom picture as Start screen background: While Windows 8 lets you set your own picture as lock screen background, it doesn’t allow you use custom picture for Start screen background. Users who aren’t happy with default set of Start screen background pictures available in the PC settings can follow our set custom picture as Start screen background guide to set your own picture as Start screen background.
Move and arrange tiles: One can move the app tiles from once place another on the Start screen. Click and hold a tile and then move it.
Group tiles and name them: This is probably one of the lesser known features of Windows 8. You can group your favorite apps and name the group. For instance, you can place all Microsoft Office apps in a group and then name the group as Office Apps. Check our how to name groups on Start screen guide for detailed instructions.
Pin web pages: The ability to pin web pages to the Start screen is one of the better features of Windows 8. By pinning your favorite web pages to the Start, you can open your favorite web page in your default web browser with a click or tap. Follow our how to pin web pages to Start screen guide to see your web pages on the Start screen.
Pin folders: Just like web pages, you can also pin your favorite drives and folders to the Start screen so that you can quickly open them. Follow our how to pin folders to Start screen guide for step-by-step instructions.
Pin app shortcuts: Whenever you install a new app or desktop program, Windows places a shortcut of the program on the Start screen as well. If the shortcut of a desktop software isn’t appearing on the Start screen, simply right-click on the program shortcut on the desktop and then click Pin to Start button pin the shortcut to the Start screen.
Alternatively, you can search for the software by typing the program name in the Start screen search, right-click on the program in the search result to see the command bar, and finally click Pin to Start.
Change app tile icons: If you aren’t happy with app tile icons that appear on the Start screen, you can simply replace them. Follow the instructions provided in our how to change app tile icons on Start screen guide.
Edit the “Start” text: This is for advanced users and requires system file editing. The Start text that appears on the upper left of the Start screen can be edited with the help of a system file editing tool. Check out our how to edit or rename the “Start” text on the Screen guide to replace the Start text with your name or something else. We recommend you create a system restore point before editing the file.
Turn on/off live tiles: By default, apps that support live tiles display latest information from your email, calendar, Facebook, and other accounts. If you don’t want to see real time information on your Start screen or want to improve the battery life, you can simply turn off live tile of apps. Right-click on a tile to see the command bar and then click Turn live tile off or Turn live tile on.
Don’t forget to check out our how to customize lock screen in Windows 8 guide.