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Personalize Your Working Environment in Windows 10

Manage Start screen tiles

The Start screen content (other than the Start menu) is displayed in the form of tiles. Each tile is actually a shortcut to something else—usually an app, but tiles can also link to other things, such as folders in File Explorer or individual songs in your Groove Music library. You can add tiles to the Windows 10 Start screen by pinning shortcuts to it, including shortcuts to apps, files, folders, web links, contact cards, songs, movies, and pictures—almost anything you want to get to quickly.

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A typical Start screen configuration

Tiles are square or rectangular, and can be set to four different sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Wide. All tiles support the Small and Medium sizes. App tiles also support the Wide and Large sizes, which are most appropriate for apps that display information (other than the app name and/or icon) on the tile that you want to see. (Of course, you can also use them if you just want a really big target to click.) When you pin an item to the Start screen, the new app tile defaults to the Medium size and appears at the bottom or far right of the Start screen.

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The four Start screen tile sizes

Tiles for some Windows Store apps that provide access to frequently updated information (such as news, weather, traffic, stock market data, messages, social media network updates, and calendar events) can display and update content directly on the Start screen. These are called live tiles. Some apps even permit you to pin multiple live tiles that display different data to the Start screen.

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Different sizes of live tiles display different amounts of information

The content displayed on a live tile can come from an online source, such as a news service, or from a local source, such your Pictures folder. Only Medium, Large, and Wide tiles display live content; it is turned off for smaller tiles, and if the on-screen movement bothers you, you can turn off the live content for any tile. When live content is off, the tile displays the app icon and its name.

Tiles always align on the Start screen in a grid format. When you place tiles next to each other, they form a group, and a title bar for that group appears. You can also assign a name to the tile group. You can create additional groups of tiles by dropping them a bit further away from an existing group. After you create a group, you can easily move tiles into or out of the group, or move the entire group of tiles to a different location on the Start screen. You can organize tiles on the Start screen in whatever grouping is most logical and convenient to you—by type, by purpose, by project, alphabetically—there is no magic formula that will satisfy everyone. Fortunately, the Start screen content is easy to customize.

Computer manufacturers place tiles on the Start screen to help you find apps and tools that you might want to use (for example, a link to the support department for the computer manufacturer, or to a free app that comes with the computer). You can remove the tiles you don’t use, or just move them to one side and make them small. Removing tiles does not uninstall apps, delete folders, or otherwise affect the item that the tile links to. You can start apps from the All Apps list or locate folders in File Explorer.

The procedures in this topic pertain to the mechanics of the Start screen rather than its content. For information about managing the content of the Start screen, see the “Configure the Start screen and Start menu” topic earlier in this chapter.

To move a Start screen tile

  1. Click and hold the tile you want to move, and then drag it to its new location.

Or

  1. On a touchscreen device, tap and hold the tile to activate the Start screen elements for editing. The screen changes to a shaded color and the tile group title boxes are visible.

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    The Start screen activated for editing on a touchscreen device

  2. Drag the tile to its new location.
  3. Make any additional changes to the Start screen, and then tap an empty area of the Start screen to return it to its normal state.

To resize a Start screen tile

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Right-click the tile, and then click Resize.
    • Tap and hold the tile, and then tap the Options button that appears in its lower-right corner.
  2. Click the tile size you want (Small, Medium, Large, or Wide).

To add a tile to an existing tile group

  1. Drag the tile to slightly overlap with an existing tile in the group you want to add it to, and then release it.

To create a new tile group

  1. Drag a tile to an open space above, below, or to the side of an existing group.
  2. When a shaded bar (a blank tile group title bar) appears, release the tile to create the tile group.
02fig09.jpg

Creating a new tile group by dragging a song tile

To name a tile group

  1. If you create a tile group by tapping and dragging a tile on a touchscreen device, the tile group title bar is active for editing when you release the tile. Tap Name group, and then enter the title you want to assign to the tile group.

    02fig10.jpg

    Creating a tile group on a touchscreen device

Or

  1. Point to the area above the tile in a new group, or above the top row of tiles in an existing group.
  2. When Name group appears, click it to activate it for editing.
  3. Enter the title you want to assign to the tile group.

To rename a tile group

  1. Point to the tile group title, and then click the title bar or the handle that appears at its right end to activate the title bar for editing.

    02fig11.jpg

    A tile group title bar that is active for editing

  2. Edit the existing title, or click the X at the right end of the title box to delete the existing content, and then enter the new title.
  3. Press Enter, or click or tap away from the title box to return the Start screen to its normal state.

To move a tile group

  1. Click and hold (or tap and hold) the tile group title bar, and then drag the group to its new location.

    As you drag, the group tiles collapse into the group title bar, and other groups move to make space for the group you’re dragging.

  2. When the group is in the location you want it, release the title bar.