2 of 19Image
The default arrangement of icons on the Start screen in the Windows 8 Customer Preview (top) is messy. It's a great way to encourage you to use the new Metro style preview apps, but it's not conducive to productivity if your daily work involves mostly Windows desktop apps.
The solution is to clear away the clutter and build a cleaner, more personal Start screen, like the one shown at the bottom here.
In this gallery, I explain exactly how to customize the Start screen so it becomes a useful gateway to the Windows desktop. I also introduce a handful of keyboard shortcuts that will make switching between the Start screen and the desktop much easier.
The first step is to ruthlessly eliminate unwanted tiles from the Start screen.
Right-click each tile you want to remove so that it shows a checkmark in the upper right corder, as I've done here. (If you accidentally select a tile that you want to keep, just right-click again to clear the checkmark.)
When you've selected the fill list, click Unpin from Start in the App bar along the bottom. The selected tiles are removed from the Start screen. The programs themselves remain available for use.
This is a good time to choose a different background color and pattern for the Start screen.
From the Start screen, press Windows key + I (that's a capital eye, not a lowercase ell) to open the Settings pane on the right. Click More PC settings at the bottom of the pane, then choose Personalize to display this set of options.
Choose a background color from the slider along the bottom and one of the size background patterns from the boxes above it. You don't need to do anything special to save your changes.
Tap the Start key to return to the Start screen.