Grouping and Naming App Tiles on Windows 8

Users have been giving negative comments on Windows 8’s Start Screen and want the old Start Menu back but there are also some who already saw how good this feature is and I am one of those. Windows 8’s Start Screen allows almost any content to be pinned to it. Everything includes Control Panel items, Folders, Libraries, App and desktop applications, network locations and the list goes on and on. By, allowing this to happen, Windows 8 becomes easier to manage and searching for any content becomes quicker since it is possible to access them in one place. However, as you pin more and more items, it can become a bit cluttered in the long run and its purpose of providing quick and easy access can be defeated if this happens.

Fortunately, Microsoft has made a solution to this problem by allowing users to group tiles and label them accordingly to make browsing and searching for them a lot easier. If you’ve been complaining about Windows 8 because of the Start Screen or you’re planning to upgrade to Windows 8 but want to know more about this feature first before finally deciding to install it on your machine then you need to read this tutorial so you can get a good glimpse at how good the Start Screen works.

Accessing the Start Screen

Windows provides users with several ways of accessing any feature that it has and this has never changed on Windows 8 and the Start Screen feature. I have discovered four ways of accessing the Start Screen section on Windows 8 and I’ll be showing them one-by-one below so prepare your Windows 8 machine now and follow the steps below. Afterwards, you can choose which one best fits your taste.

1. Simply press the Windows Key- The first one is very simple and it involves one of the keys on your computer’s keyboard which is called the “Windows Key”. This key is located at the left side of the “Space Bar” and is usually sitting beside one of the “Alt Keys” on most laptops and desktop keyboards. Just look for it and once you find it, press the key and you’ll see the Start Screen.


2. Access the Charms- Charms are new features introduced on Windows 8’s user interface. It can be accessed simply by pointing your mouse or putting your finger on the top or bottom-right corner of the screen then move towards the bottom (if you pointed on top) or towards the top (if you chose to point the bottom portion of the screen) and you’ll see a black strip containing the Charms. From here, simply click the “Start Charm” and you’ll be taken to the Start Screen right away.


3. Click the Start Tile- Windows 8 does not have the “Start Button” which most users have complained about but there’s a substitute to it which is just hidden on the same location of the “Start Button” and is called the “Start Tile”. This tile appears when you point your mouse or put your finger to the bottom-left corner of the screen and you’ll see the “Start Tile” appear. Once it shows up, simply click on it and the Start Screen will appear.


4. Use the Switcher- Another brand new feature on Windows 8 is called the Switcher”. This works as a jump list for all the apps you previously opened. To access the “Switcher”, just do the same thing that you did to access the charms but this time, you need to apply it on the left side of the screen. The “Switcher” is also a black strip containing thumbnails of the apps you’ve previously used and the bottom item on it is the Start Tile. Simply click on it and you’ll be taken right away to the Start Screen.

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How to Group Tiles

After learning how to access the Start Screen, we’ll now learn how to move tiles so they can compose a new group which will later be labeled as we move on. Grouping related apps and tiles together helps browsing and searching for apps and programs a lot easier. On this tutorial, I’ll be grouping Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Publisher together and label the group as Office Tools. Before I grouped these stuff, they belonged to another group labeled “Microsoft Office” as you can see on the screenshot below.


To group the tiles for Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Publisher together. Simply click and hold or press and hold down (if you are using a touch enabled device) and drag each one to the right until you see a vertical bar that seems like a separator for the newly grouped tiles. Once you see this vertical bar, you can release the tile and you’ll see that it is now on a separate group. Repeat this process for all the other tiles that you want to group.


After grouping the tiles, the Start Screen should now appear like the screenshot below containing a new group of tiles composing the ones that you transferred.


How to Name the Group

Now that you already have separated the tiles from where it used to be and formed a new group with them, you can easily search for them by simply opening the Start Screen and browsing  through the apps until you find them. However, you can make things simpler by naming the group. Just grouping all related tiles into one will still be a bit confusing especially if there are already a lot of them on the Start Screen so naming each group accordingly will solve the issue. To name a group of apps on the Start Screen, simply follow the steps below.

The first thing that needs to be one is make the tiles look small. To do this, simply press the “CTRL Key” and use the scroll wheel of your mouse. Scrolling backwards will make everything look smaller while scrolling forward would make everything back to normal. If you are not using a mouse, just click on the “-“ sign found at the extreme right corner of the screen.


After clicking on it, the Start Screen tiles should now look like the screenshot below. From here, just right-click on the group you’ve created earlier and you’ll see that a bar would appear at the bottom. From this bar, you need to click on the “Name group” option located at the left.


After clicking this option, an input box will appear. From here, simply enter the name that you want to assign to the newly grouped tiles. As an example, I will assign the name “Office Tools” to the tiles I have separated earlier. After inputting the name, just click the “Name” button.


Afterwards, you can check the Start Screen and you’ll see that the apps now bears the name you entered.


The steps I illustrated above just shows one of the great things that you can do with Windows 8 and the Start Screen feature. I’ll be showing more about Windows 8 and all the other hidden features that it has on future tutorials. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the topic covered above please don’t hesitate to post them as comments below.