Windows 10 Quick Tips – Personalizing Tiles


start-menu-thumbnailStart Menu Tiles

The full screen Start Menu with Tiles began its life in the now infamous Windows 8. Most people hated it but I think that is mainly because it was such a huge change from the original Start Menu we had been using for decades. People resist change and the bigger the change, the more resistance is felt.

To be honest, the first time I saw the Windows 8 Start Screen I didn’t know what to do next. That is not a good thing for any Operating System.

Microsoft is sticking to its guns, though, and the Tiles still live among us. Admittedly, Windows 10 has backed off a bit by allowing its Users to disable the full-screen version we were forced to use previously. And a welcome addition to compliment the Tiles is a scrollable Menu that most people expect to see.

Windows 10 lets you personalize nearly every aspect of its interface and the Start Menu is no exception. You can have wide tiles, small tiles, live tiles and static tiles, and groups of tiles. The customization choices are numerous, and today, we’ll be touching on some of those options.

Personalizing Tiles

Tiles – To Pin, or Not To Pin

pin-to-start-menu

  • You can ‘pin’ anything listed in the scrollable menu on the left into the Start Menu as a Tile. Simply right-click it and choose Pin to Start. You will immediately see a new Tile show up in the Start Menu and you can drag it into any position you want.
  • You can ‘unpin’ any Tile by Right-clicking it and choosing Unpin from Start
  • You can ‘pin’ any Tile to the Taskbar as well. Right-click a Tile, hover your mouse over More, and choose Pin to taskbar
  • You can ‘unpin’ a Taskbar item by Right-clicking it and choosing Unpin from taskbar

How Many Tiles?

Normally, the Start Menu gives room for 12 small tiles across. You can up this number to 16 by toggling a setting.

number-of-tiles

Use the Windows Key + I hotkey to open the Settings window. From there, choose Personalization, then Start. You will see a Toggle on the right labeled, Show more tiles. By switching this back and forth you will see the changes above.


Pay no attention to the girl in the above image. It is one of the background images I have and kept it simply because I thought her outfit was so remarkable. I would absolutely expect to see her on early episodes of Saturday Night Live. Those were the days, my friend… ♫

Tile Sizes

You can change the size of the Tiles by right-clicking one, hovering over the Resize option, and choosing a size from the Menu that flies out.

tile-size-menu

The number of available sizes will vary depending on the Tile you have chosen.

Live Tiles

live-tile-weatherThe image to the left not only shows the Weather Tile “Live” but also shows how lucky I am to live in such a balmy clime. Yes, folks, those temperatures are in Fahrenheit. One degree above freezing is today’s expected high and I’m going to enjoy it while I can. I worked for it, I earned it, and nobody is going to deprive me of it!

Time for beach balls and parasols, everyone!


 

 

live-tile-on-off-menu

Right-click a Tile, hover your mouse over More, then toggle Turn live tile on/off.

Not all tiles offer a “live” version so you will have to experiment.

Tile Groups

tile-group-names

Rename a Group

Above each group of Tiles in the Start Menu, there is a Group Name. This can easily be changed to suit your tastes. Simply click on any Group Name and you will be able to edit the name.

Create a Group

You can create a new Group by dragging a Tile to any spot in the Start Menu that is not part of an existing Group. Windows will create a new Group there, and you can name it in the same way as before.

Remove a Group

You can remove an existing Group by emptying it of all its Tiles. Windows will do that for you, too. Apparently, Windows abhors empty Groups as Nature does a vacuum.

The Bottom Line

By combining all the aforementioned options, you can mix and match to your heart’s content. If you run out of ideas, you can use your favorite search engine and you will find Start Menu images by the thousands. That should get your creative juices flowing.

The Start Menu can be not only functional but aesthetically pleasing, too. A nice combination…

Richard

About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.

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