How to Add New Items / Tiles to Windows 8 Home Screen

Windows 8 Homescreen is the main attraction in the new Microsoft Operating system. Home screen consists of various Apps and their Notifications which gives you a complete and quick overview without entering in. By default there are some items pinned, though you can remove / unpin but adding isn’t easy.

Before telling you How to add new items on Windows 8 Homescreen or Pin new Application, you should know about Windows 8 Apps. These are also called Metro Apps written using Web Technologies like HTML, Javascript, CSS, etc. All those pinned by default belong to this category.

If you want to add a Tile then the application should be written in same language and not the one which you are using in predecessors (Windows 7).

This doesn’t mean Windows 8 doesn’t support them, you can still use the applications written using Win32 API and .NET but they won’t appear as good as those written using new technology.

How to add new Application Item on Windows 8 Home Screen

If you just want to add applications on home screen that are not already present then only this manual method will work. Pinning apps to home screen is an in-built feature provided in Windows 8. So lets see how to add apps to windows 8 home screen without any 3rd party software.

NOTE: You cannot add folders, files and special items using this method. To obtain the same, you need 3rd party software discussed later in this article.

Add Apps to Windows 8 Home Screen Manually

  • To get the list of all apps in Windows 8, press Win + Q. You can also do the same thing from home screen directly. On home screen, right click  on an empty space. From the option bar that pops up at bottom of screen, click on All Apps.

From Home Screen

add new apps windows 8 start screen

Using Win+Q

display all apps in windows 8

  • Now you can find all the apps that you have installed on Windows 8.
  • To Add the new app on home screen right click on that app. Again an option bar will appear at the bottom.

add new item windows 8 start screen

  • Click on Pin to Start. Your app will be added to Windows 8 home screen.

Pinning Any File/Folder to Windows 8 Home Screen ( 3rd Party Software )

To get more items on Windows 8 Home Screen other than just Apps, you will need these software. They are easy to use and will not take much of your time.

Pin to 8

pin Files, folder, library to windows 8 start screen

Pin to 8, formerly known as Start Screen Pinner allows you to pin any thing on Windows 8 Home Screen as well as taskbar. It is a single window app and allows you to pin folder, library, file, special item. With Special Items you can pin handy options like Games, Display, Folder Options, Credential Manager etc. The items you pin to the Start Screen can be found at the end.

Download: Pin to 8

Metro UI Tweaker

This application is all in one tool to tweak Metro Interface. Not just adding new apps but also it expands possibility to play with new Windows 8. Here are the complete feature list of Metro Tweaker for Windows 8:

  1. Disable Metro Start Menu: Disables only Metro Start Menu Screen. This function requires editing a System File. It does not remove the file.
  2. Disable Metro Ribbon: Disables only the Metro Ribbon UI. This function I discovered myself. It requires Taking Ownership of a System File. It does not remove this file.
  3. Disable Metro Start Menu and Ribbon: Disables the Metro Start Menu UI, Ribbon UI, Metro Task Manager UI and the Lock Screen.
  4. Enable Metro Start Menu and Ribbon: Re-enables all available Metro UI options.
  5. Add Power Options to the Metro Start Menu Screen: Logoff, Switch User, Lock, Sleep, Restart and Shutdown
  6. Add any Application/File to the Metro UI Start Menu Screen: Some Applications/Files may not be available to you to add to the Metro Start Menu Screen. This program allows you to add those Applications/Files which would otherwise be unavailable.

Download: Metro Tweaker UI

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About the Author

Rohit Langde is Founder and Editor-in-chief of Blogsolute. Tech Blogger by Passion & Profession | Mechanical Engineer by Qualification | Introverted Geek by Choice

5 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Ryan Cruz says:

    It has a lot of good points! Keep posting

  2. Jason Hunter says:

    I found that going to search Win+Q opens up the Apps search and i could find my app, right click and pin to Metro.

  3. Gary Jackson says:

    Actually, you can add older Windows 7 and previous programs to the Windows start screen. First, go to the Applications screen by clicking the down arrow on the home screen. Next, enter the full path to the executable in the search box. Be patient as it may take a few seconds to resolve and display the icon. Now, right click on this icon and pin it to the start menu and viola!!! no third party app needed and your app is where you want it.

    • Rohit Langde says:

      That was awesome Gary. Tried out in Windows 8 which doesn’t have any “down arrow” symbol. For applications, it works but you cannot pin folder this way (don’t know about 8.1 though).

      Though the method you suggested doesn’t require any third party app but getting the program path isn’t easy for everyone.

      • Gary Jackson says:

        Hello Rohit,

        My apologies about the down arrow confusion. What I was referring to was the arrow enclosed in the circle that appears on the left side of the main screen, which is a way to see nearly all of the application icons that were installed on Windows 8. You are absolutely correct in stating that getting the path to the application is not an easy thing to do for everyone.
        In an effort to help with that I would propose the following. User Googles the name of the program executable. Next, the user opens windows explorer, navigates to the root of the drive like “c:\” and enters the name of the executable in the search text box. Write down the full path to the executable and transfer that to the text box in the application section mentioned in my initial post.

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