Zoom, navigate and organize the Windows 8 Start screen

As most of you know, Microsoft has replaced or transformed the pre-Windows 8 Start button into a Start “screen”.  All apps that install sit on the horizontally scrollable, tiled Windows menu.  Anytime you install a new app, it’s “tile” is thrown to the back of the line (the far right of the Start menu).  Eventually, you have a multi-page, cluttered mess of tiles that are unorganized and hard to navigate.

Here’s a couple quick tips to help you take back control over the tiled mess that is the Windows 8 Start screen.

Zoom and Navigate

The long list of tiles on the Windows 8 Start screen could take all day long to navigate if you have installed app after app from the Microsoft Store.  Here’s how to quickly navigate the long list of tiles.

On a touch-screen device:

With two fingers, “pinch” the Start screen to generate a smaller view of the Start screen.  Then, just tap the area you want to navigate to and the Start screen returns to normal size at the exact spot you tapped.

Mouse and keyboard users:

Hold down the Ctrl button, and use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

Smaller Start screen

Organize Tiles into Groups

To better organize the mess of tiles on the Start screen, drag the tiles into logical groups using a touch screen or your mouse.  After you have them organized, name the groups you’ve created by doing this…

On a touch-screen device:

Use the Zoom method above, then drag down on the group with your finger.  Swipe up from the bottom to reveal the options for the Start screen and choose “Name Group”.  Give the group a meaningful name. From now on you’ll be able to navigate to each group based on the applications’ association.

Mouse and keyboard users:

Use the Zoom method above, then right-click with the mouse on group you want to name and choose “Name Group” to give it a meaningful name.

Rename Tile group


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