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Windows 8: Configure the Start screen tiles

The Start screen in Windows 8 is the most significant and noticeable change to the desktop. It has many features and functions, and getting to know how to use it and configure it is essential. You can master the basic Start screen functions here, but in this section we will look at configuring the tiles.

A basic set of tiles are provided by default and some of these are static, while others display live content. Right click the Store tile and a panel opens at the bottom of the screen and there are options to unpin it from Start, which means remove the tile completely, or to turn the live tile off. Turning it off means that it will not be updated with new information. Right click the tile again to dismiss the bottom panel.

In the case of the Store tile, a number is displayed on it to indicate the number of updates are available for apps. Live information in the Calendar tile might include someone's birthday or an upcoming appointment. You can choose which tiles should be live and which should be static and it is just personal preference.

Windows 8 Start

The Store app is a small tile, but the Calendar app is a large one. Right click it and in addition to turning off the live tile, there is an option to make it smaller. This app can also be uninstalled and there is an Uninstall icon in the panel at the bottom of the screen.

It is possible to right click several tiles and when you do this, a tick is drawn in the top right corner as a visual indication that they have been selected. Only options that are common to all the tiles are displayed in the bottom panel.

The tiles may not be in the best order and you might want the calendar to appear first so you don't miss anything important like a meeting or appointment. Tiles can easily be moved around by clicking and dragging them. As you drag them to a new position, the others slide out of the way and make room for it. Put your favourite tiles first.