Adding a Tile to the Start Screen

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 13, 2017)

The Start screen is what you see when you first log into Windows. It is the place where your tiles are displayed and you can quickly start the apps associated with those tiles. Since the Start screen acts as a sort of "dashboard" for your most commonly performed Windows tasks, it makes sense that at some point you'll want to modify the tiles visible on the screen.

Adding a tile to the Start screen is a natural thing to do. In fact, you should give some thought to which programs you use most often and then add tiles for each of those programs to the Start screen. (That way you can start using those programs quickly and easily.)

To add a tile for a program, begin with the Start screen visible. Start typing the name of the program you want to appear there. For instance, if you want the Calculator app to appear on the Start screen, just start typing "Calculator," without the quote marks. As you start to type, Windows assumes you want to search for the item and immediately complies with your request. You'll see the search results on the screen, meaning you'll see the apps that match what you type.

Once the app is visible on the screen, select it by using one of the following methods:

  • If using a mouse, right-click on the app.
  • If using a touch screen, perform a short, downward swipe on the app.
  • If using a keyboard, use the arrow keys to navigate to the app and then press the spacebar.

With the app successfully selected, you should not that a number of options appear near the bottom-left of the screen.

To have the app appear on your Start screen, choose the Pin to Start option. A tile for the app is immediately added to the Start screen.

If you prefer to do most of your work from the Desktop, you can also add tiles for some of the items that appear there. The easiest way to figure out what you can add a Start screen tile for is to display the icon for the item in the Desktop and then right-click it. (For instance, you might right-click the Recycle Bin or a program shortcut.) You can then choose Pin to Start from the resulting Context menu.

What you cannot add Start screen tiles for is document files. In other words, if you've got a bunch of Excel workbooks or Word documents on the Desktop, right-clicking on those does no good; you cannot create Start screen tiles for them.

 This tip (12852) applies to Windows 8.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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