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Windows

Windows 10 : How to Customize the Right Side (part 2) - Group your tiles

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Add new tiles

You can add tiles to the right side. They can be apps, folders, or disks (but not individual files). You can use either of two techniques: dragging or right-clicking.

  • The drag method. Drag the icon directly into the open Start menu—from the desktop, an open window, the “All apps” list, or the left side of the Start menu.

  • The right-click method. Right-click an icon wherever fine icons are found: in a window, on the desktop, in the “All apps” list, or on the left side. (Touchscreen: Hold your finger down on the icon for a second.) From the shortcut menu, choose Pin to Start.

Tip

In the Edge browser, you can also add a Web page to the right side. With the page open, click the … button at top right; choose Pin to Start.

In each case, the newly installed tile appears at the bottom of the right side. (You might have to scroll to see it.)

Make a tile stop blinking

Some of your right side tiles are live tiles—tiny dashboards that display real-time incoming information. There, on the Mail tile, you see the subject lines of the last few incoming messages; there, on the Calendar tile, is your next appointment; and so on.

It has to be said, though: Altogether, a Start menu filled with blinky, scrolling icons can look a little like Times Square at midnight.

If you’re feeling quite caffeinated enough already, you might not want live tiles so much as, well, dead ones.

If you’d rather silence the animation of a live tile, right-click it. (Touchscreen: Hold your finger down on it, and then tap .) From the shortcut menu, choose “Turn live tile off.” The tile’s current information disappears, and the live updating stops.

To reverse the procedure, “right-click” an unmoving tile; from the shortcut menu, choose “Turn live tile on” instead.

Remove a tile

Open the Start menu. Right-click the tile you want to eliminate. (Touchscreen: Hold your finger down on it, and then tap the … button.) From the shortcut menu, choose Unpin from Start. (You’re not actually discarding that item—just getting its tile off the Start menu.)

Group your tiles

The right side’s tiles aren’t scattered pell-mell; they present an attractive, orderly mosaic. Not only are they mathematically nestled among one another, but they’re actually grouped. Each cluster of related tiles can bear a name, like “Life at a glance” (Calendar, Mail, Weather…) or “Play and explore” (games, music, TV…).

But you can change those headings, or those groupings, and come up with new ones of your own.

The technique isn’t quite obvious, but you’ll get the hang of it (see Figure 2). It works like this:

  1. Drag a tile to the very bottom of the existing ones. (Touchscreen: Hold your finger still for a second before dragging.)

    When you drag far enough—the right side might scroll, but keep your finger down—a horizontal bar appears, as shown in Figure 2. That’s Windows telling you, “I get it. You want to create a new group right here.”

  2. Drag the tile below the bar and release it.

    Release the tile you’re dragging; it’s now happily setting up the homestead. Go get some other tiles to drag over into the new group to join it, if you like. Build up the group’s population.

  3. Click or tap just above your newly grouped tiles.

    The words “Name group” appear.

  4. Type a name for this group, and then press Enter.

    Your group name is now immortalized.

By the way: Whenever you point to (or tap) the heading of any group, you may notice a little “grip strip” at the right side. If you like, you can drag that strip up or down to move the entire group to a new spot among your existing groups. (Or horizontally, if you have a multicolumn right side.)

Top: To create a new tile group, start by dragging one lonely tile below all other tiles. This is your colonist. A fat horizontal divider bar appears when you’ve gone far enough. Let go.Middle: Point to the starter name (“Name group”) and click.Bottom: Type a name for the group. Use the grip strip to drag the group into a new spot, if you like.

Figure 2. Top: To create a new tile group, start by dragging one lonely tile below all other tiles. This is your colonist. A fat horizontal divider bar appears when you’ve gone far enough. Let go. Middle: Point to the starter name (“Name group”) and click. Bottom: Type a name for the group. Use the grip strip to drag the group into a new spot, if you like.

At any point, you can rename a group (click or tap its name; type). To eliminate a group, just drag all of its tiles into other groups, one at a time. When the group is empty, its name vanishes into wherever withered, obsolete tile groups go.

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