Customizing Windows 8.1

Before you start

Objectives: Learn how to work with Start Screen in Windows 8.1 and where to find computer settings.

Prerequisites: no prerequisites.

Key terms: Start screen, settings, personalization, Windows 8.1

 Start Screen

Start Screen is something completely new when it comes to Windows. We can customize it to suit our taste. We can change the size of the visible tiles, and their location.

 1 Start Screen

Start Screen

By default, the most often used tiles will be located on the left side of the Start Screen. In our example, we have Mail, People, Skype and Desktop tiles. To rearrange tiles, we can simply click and hold a tile, and then drag it to the appropriate place. We can also change the size of the tiles. To do that, we can right click a tile, select the Resize option, and then select the appropriate size.

 2 Resize Options

Resize Options

If we want to add more tiles to the Start Screen, we can click on the down arrow on the Start Screen (located in the down left corner of the Start Screen). This is the App screen which show us all the apps that are available on our computer, including Windows Accessories.

 3 Apps Screen

Apps Screen

 If we want to add some app to the Start, we can right-click it and select the Pin to Start option. Notice that we can also pin our apps to the taskbar.

 4 Pin to Start

Pin to Start

We can unpin any app from the Start Screen. The Tiles on the Start Screen can show live information on them. We can turn on Live Tiles by right-clicking a tile, and then selecting the “Turn live tile on” option.

Settings Screen

We can always go to our Settings by moving our mouse to the upper or lower right hand corner, and then selecting the Settings option. Also, the keyboard shortcut to open settings is Windows key + i.

 5 Settings

Settings Screen

To access detail settings we can select the Change PC settings option. Be sure to take a look at all those PC settings.

 6 PC Settings

PC Settings

For example, to personalize the look and feel of the system, and also change settings for devices, we can go to the PC and Devices section. To change our account picture, password or to add accounts, we can go to the Accounts section, etc.