Organizing Tiles and Shortcuts on the Apps View Screen in Windows 8.1

News about Microsoft has been flooding the headlines these past days after they have announced the free upgrade of the highly anticipated Windows 10 for all devices that run Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. This new Windows version that is set to be released before the end of this year is said to be the answer to all the clamors and complaints that loyal users sounded off after Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 removed some cherished features that existed in old Windows editions but while it has not been released yet, it will be a good move for you to still learn even more secrets about Windows 8.1 just in case you revert back to it after finding Windows 10 to be difficult.

One very important section of the Windows 8.1 platform is called the “Apps View” screen. Unlike Windows 8, this improved version does not automatically pin shortcuts and tiles from the programs and apps that you have installed straight into the Start Screen. Instead, it moves them into a hidden menu that acts like the metro version of the Start Menu which opens in full screen making it quite confusing to use Windows 8.1 for the first time.

You will literally get lost somewhere if you are a first timer or even get confused on your first or second week of using this operating system but it does not to be so. In this tutorial, we will be showing you some tricks in how you can organize tiles and shortcuts that are pinned in the Apps View screen and demonstrate the way in how you can move them to the Start Screen or even the Desktop Screen for easier access so get yourself ready, turn on that Windows 8.1 machine and follow the steps that are shown below.

How to Access the Apps View Screen

In a new operating system where the PC and Tablet environments converge into one, it would be impossible for you to enjoy all the programs and apps that you have just installed into your computer without knowing where the shortcuts and tiles that represent them have gone hiding. Windows 8.1’s shortcut and tile bank is called the “Apps View” screen and if you want to access it, you will need to follow these steps.

1. First, you will need to open the Start Screen which represents the Tablet environment or what is fitly called “Metro” in your Windows 8.1 computer. To do this, you will simply need to click on the Start Button which located at the extreme-left end of the taskbar or press the Windows key on your computer’s keyboard.


2. Once the Start Screen opens, you simply need to make movement with the mouse and a small circular button which bears an arrow down icon in it should appear at the bottom-left portion of the screen. Once you see it, all you need to do is click on it and the Apps View Screen should appear afterwards.


Arranging the Shortcuts and Tiles

Now, when the Apps View screen opens, you will be able to see all the apps and programs that are installed in your computer and they are arranged “by category” in default. However, this arrangement can be very confusing and you might find it really hard to locate certain shortcuts with it so Windows 8.1 allows you to change this arrangement using three other ways.

To choose among all available sorting methods for the app and program shortcuts on the Apps View screen, all you need to do is click on the arrow down icon which is found at the right of the “Apps by category” label that you would see at the upper-left corner of the screen as highlighted on the screenshot below.


After clicking on the arrow-down icon, you will see a drop-down box that contains all available ways in arranging the tiles and shortcuts that are listed in the Apps View screen. From here, simply click on the one that you want to use and all the items will automatically be rearranged without you doing anything else.


If you see that most of the items that are listed first are not really that relevant to you and your work and you only want to see the ones that you often use appearing right away when you get to the Apps View screen then you can select the “by most used” grouping method instead of using the default one which is “by category”. You can also make programs a lot easier to find by arranging them according to the first letter of their name. To do this, you will need to choose “by name” and lastly, if you are good in remembering the dates when you installed an app or program then you can select the “by date installed” option.

Pinning Shortcuts to the Start Screen

Now, getting to the Apps View Screen is quite a lengthy process and can become a hassle especially if you are in a hurry. To make it easier for you to access program and app shortcuts, you can choose to pin them on the Start Screen. Doing this is very simple, all you need to do is access the shortcut from the Apps View screen then once you find it, simply right-click on it then you will see a white menu box that will appear. From here, all you need to do is click on the option that says “Pin to Start” as you can see highlighted on the screenshot below.


Now, if you are planning to pin a program shortcut to the Start Screen, right clicking on it will reveal more options than when you right-clicked an app. The menu that will appear when you right click a program shortcut from the Apps View screen is shown below. Again, from here, all you need to do is click on the “Pin to Start” option in order to pin the shortcut to the Start Screen.


Pinning Shortcuts to the Taskbar

There’s a new feature in Windows 8.1 that was never found back in Windows 8 and it is the pinning of app or program icons from the Apps View screen to the taskbar to make accessing programs and apps a lot faster. The process in doing this is similar to pinning items from the Apps View screen to the Start Screen. Again, all that you need to do is right click on the app or program shortcut that you want to pin to the taskbar and you will see a white menu box that will appear. From this box, you will simply need to click on the “Pin to taskbar” option and presto! You will be able to pin the app or program shortcut on to the taskbar instantly!


Get Easier Access to Apps and Shortcuts With the Apps View Screen

As you can see, Windows 8.1 actually has a better version of the Start Menu if you consider the completeness of its contents displayed in one full screen. The ability to pin shortcuts to the Start Screen and as well as to the taskbar also makes it a lot easier for you to select the programs and apps that you want quicker access to and arrange them as you desire. It all takes a little bit of exploring and you will surely love how Windows 8.1 makes it a lot easier for you to work with apps and shortcuts the way you want it!