How to Customize the Windows 8 Start Screen

Posted on January 13, 2013 by Gabbie

The Windows 8 Start Screen has evoked many a mixed reaction since its release. Microsoft has replaces the taskbar and Start menu with a Start screen and opinions are divided on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Love it or hate it , you cannot ignore it. The tiles aren’t just icons, they carry important information like system announcements, weather details, pending unread emails etc. The new operating system has a lot going for it, so just make it your own and enjoy it to the maximum. Here are a few ways you can make the Start Screen work for you.


Windows 8 Tiles

The app tiles aren’t uniform in size and that might be annoying to some. If you like parity, hold your finger on the tile, drag it up and down on a touch screen, right click on a tile to see the tile options.  You’ll see a ‘Larger’ button for a small tile and vice versa. Choose accordingly and see similarity in your tiles. Apart from this, you can uninstall an app, choose to turn off live updates and unpin tiles from the start menu.


windows 8 logon screen

Considering you’re always going to see it on the login screen, take a good picture, won’t you? Go to the Settings/Personalize page, access the Account picture tab and choose a picture from your file or use your web-cam to take a lovely picture. Alternately, you can lock the screen picture by choosing the Lock option from PC settings.

Notification messages

The new Windows 8 screen sends you notifications when an app has been installed or when your system has a message for you. They show up on the top-right of your system and you can choose how they show up. Go to the Settings Charm-Change PC settings-Notifications. Once here, you can go to each app and turn notifications on or off. You can also switch off the notification sound altogether.


The taskbar does look different, but you’ll be happy to see- when you right click it- that a lot of it, stays the same. You can change its position, uncombined windows, auto-hide the taskbar and change the task bar to small buttons. If you’d like, you can add toolbars to the taskbar and access links, touch keyboard, addresses or the Desktop. Needless to say, having Desktop here means having the Control Panel, Libraries and My Computer, within reach.


The screen has a Metro theme with a tattoo or background pattern you’ll see only on the Start screen and a color scheme that combines a background color, a block of color and the foreground. You can personalize the theme from PC Settings. With 25 color schemes and 10 backgrounds to choose from, you won’t be disappointed.

Add or eliminate tiles

You can choose what tiles you want to retain or remove on the Start screen. Once you’ve decided, select the tile you want to remove, right click it if using the mouse, use a downward action if using touch, to bring up the app bar. Now choose the Unpin from Start option to remove the app from the screen. You haven’t uninstalled it, just removed it from the Screen.  In the same way, you can pin apps too.

There’s a lot more you can do to customize Windows 8 Start screen. Go ahead and make it your own.

About Gabbie

Gabbie has been writing technology related contents such as blogging, social media, gadget reviews and tutorials and making money online for more than four years now. She is currently working as a writer for Massbeacon where you can get details on

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