Windows 8 has a radically redesigned Start menu that uses the new Modern UI/Metro style. It is now called Start screen. List of applications and programs now consists of pinned tiles that have different sizes and colors. You can also pin folders to the new Start screen.
Because the new Start screen is much simpler than Start menu was in previous Windows versions, there are no recently used programs and documents or Jump Lists available. This also means less configuration options and therefore less confusion.
To pin an item to Start screen, find it using the new Search pane (keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Q) or locate it using Windows Explorer (keyboard shortcut Windows Key+E). Right-click the program, application or folder and click Pin to Start. Touch screen owners should flick the item instead - touch and then drag down a little.
The new item is now the last tile on Start menu.
In case you do not want an item to be pinned, right-click on its tile and select Unpin from Start.
You can select and de-select multiple items on Start menu just by right-clicking/flicking. The list of available commands changes according to the types of selected items.
Because tiles on Windows 8 Start screen are not (and cannot be) sorted by name, you must rearrange them manually. Just click and hold (or touch and hold) on a tile and then drag it to the position you like. You can move only one tile at a time.
If you want to create a new group or section of tiles, drag a tile to a free space on Start screen until a wide vertical bar appears. Then release mouse button or lift your finger.
To remove a tile group, either move all items to another group or unpin all items in the group.
Some Modern UI-style applications, such as People, Messaging or Photos, have live previews of content and can be larger and smaller. These are called Live Tiles. Desktop programs do not come with content previews and their tiles are always in smaller size.
To resize a Live Tile, right-click/flick it and then click either Smaller or Larger.
Some of the Live Tiles might disable content previews while their size is reduced.
In Windows 8, you can select a different color and background for Start screen. Use keyboard shortcut Windows Key+I to open Settings charm. Alternatively, move mouse pointer to the lower right edge of screen (or swipe in from the right edge of touch screen) and click Settings.
Then click Change PC settings in the bottom of the bar.
PC settings app opens in Personalize tab. First, click to open the Start screen tab on the right. Then choose the background and color you like.
If your user account is a Microsoft/Windows Live account, the changes will now replicate to other PC-s and devices trusted by your account.
Power users might want to display Administrative Tools (Computer Management, Event Viewer, etc) on Windows 8 Start screen. To do that, make sure Start screen is open and then use keyboard shortcut Windows Key+I to open Settings charm. Alternatively, move mouse pointer to the lower right edge of screen (or swipe in from the right edge of your touch screen) and click Settings.
Now click Tiles.
Click the Show administrative tools slider so that it displays "Yes". Click outside the Charms bar to exit settings.
All administrative tools are now listed in the end of Start screen.
Because Live Tiles on Start screen can display private or secret content, it might be necessary to disable their active previews.
To do that, right-click or flick (touch and drag down a little) the required app and click Turn live tile off in App bar.
As usual, you can always re-enable active content by right-clicking the app and using the Turn live tile on command.
To clear all personal data from all tiles at once (and remove all content previews), open Settings Charm using keyboard shortcut Windows Key+I. Alternatively, move mouse pointer to the lower right edge of screen to reveal Charms bar and click Settings.
Now click Tiles.
Click the Clear button in Clear personal info from my tiles section. No confirmation is displayed, and the process is complete after "Done!" appears.
If you have not turned off Live Tiles, the previews will appear again after you re-open an app with Live Tile. Always disable active content first if you want to keep your privacy.