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Native folder support coming to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 Start Screen

With the release of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, due later this year, users will be better able to organize their Start Screen thanks to folders. Much like on Android and iOS, folders are a way to keep your apps organized.

Creating and using folders is fairly straightforward. Just hold and drag one Live Tile on top of another one. Give your folder a name by tapping Name Folder. Add more applications into your new folder by dragging them to the folder, and remove apps by dragging them out. Folders can be moved and resized, just like Tiles.

The feature won't come though until Windows Phone 8.1 Update is released (aka GDR1), which should be completed in July with an over-the-air update due in the weeks/months afterwards. Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to get at least two OS updates in 2013 and heading into 2014.

These instructions had been posted on Microsoft's Windows Phone website (opens in new tab), but they have since been removed. What do you think of the native folder support coming in Windows Phone 8.1? Tell us below in the comments.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab) via: Nokia Power User

333 Comments
  • Yaaah
  • Yeee another crap like Xbox music coming.....
  • It takes someone really special to compare an app to a system feature
  • I'll have to agree with him, just because its now a App, it was a built in app aka part of the OS. So as far as I see it. The OS came with some feature (what WP came with at the feature set) part of the is a music app and games/xbox app, and right now, app or system, they suck and part of the OS. I think the Xbox music is ok, its the game hub / Xbox hub that sucks on 8.1...one of the reasons ingot WP is because of Xbox live...talk about getting screwed by MS on 8.1
  • Thank god you have an option to not create a folder right. :)
    Come on, some people want it, including me. Options are good.
  • You could already use an app called AppFolder (http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/app-folder/7d2e7de3-95e7-414...) which does give you an option (already) to create folders.
  • Appfolder is better then not having but you can not drag and drop apps to the folders which is a real pain in the ass. So its not really the same
  • I was excited when it was released. But after trying it I saw it was crap. It's very slow and not worth using. You are better off swiping left and finding your app on the app list. One of the reasons I wanted a folder was to put stuff like whatsapp, Kik and other messaging apps into it. But since the tile did not show that you had messages then it was useless. Mostly then since there was no action center before.
  • I thought 8.1 was feature locked. How can it have this unless its a stand alone app then in which case its going to be similar to the nokia folders app.
  • It could be another over-the-air update, or some back end update. Perhaps it was already included natively but needs to be utilized, like 3D touch.
  • The wording of the article's title makes it clear; Windows Phone 8.1 "Update 1". So, it's a future update to WP8.1, just like Windows 8.1 Update 1 improved 8.1 with some new mouse-friendly features.
  • They changed the title 
  • I think it's just that what is now called App Folder (formerly Nokia Folder) will be "native" to the system rather than a separate download. ... just a guess.
  • Nokia App Folders is likely a complete and separate folder system unrelated to the system apparently coming to 8.1 GDR1. It will likely still function separately from the native folder functionality that is to come.
  • ...or like GDR1 for WP8
  • Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is not feature locked.
  • Update 1, not 8.1 that's shipping now.
  • 2013 heading into 2014?
  • Time machines... ???
  • Is this going to render the Nokia app folder useless or will be the same one with just added features?
  • The Microsoft Mobile (Nokia) folder thing was okay, but slow, clunky, not integrated with drag-and-drop, and it didn't show tile counters. I hope this new integrated folder feature fixes all of those issues.
  • it needs to illustrate tiles when you go into the folder on the start screen rather than a list that takes its time to populate.   I would hope the folder tile would rotate its image of each tile within and when you open it it pushes all tiles around it out of the way. that would look a lot better!
  • It betta
  • If you read the instructions you'll see that the new feature is integrated into Start, and not just an app.
  • The whole point of the start screen is live tiles, I don't understand why someone would want a folder. Seems a waste, but I won't turn down more features...
  • I agree, what would happen to a live tile in a folder?
  • you'd only see the live tiles if you go in that folder. which is great, because if you group them by subject you really only want to see that when you're there and not scrolling 8000 pixels worth of stuff you don't care about to get to the weather region of your start screen for instance.
  • Tend to agree, I would much prefer a filter structure for the app list instead.
  • Just like Groups Live Tiles can show updates from everyone in that group I would think the Live Tiles for Folders would be able to flip and reveal the latest update or notification from any app contained in the folder. I also think the Update 1 will come OOB with the new flagship that will launch in November with the LiveView that supposedly will allow you to hover over a tile and allow it to expand and expose the contents within.
  • Maybe the tile notifications will surface for the app group, similar to the way people groups behave. But, I see the issue.
  • +920 Totally agree.
  • That's nice. Then don't. Thanks for your input. It was completely useless and i won't be using it at all.
  • Totally agree 100000000%!!!! I wish those who like Android features go buy a damn Android and stop trying to ruin WP bit by bit.
  • I depends on the app. I would not place Facebook in a folder, but I do have folder for the Nokia image apps like Cinemagraph, Creative Studio etc.
  • +820
  • Because not every single tile is "live"? Some are just simply shortcuts from URLs, etc? In this way, it will provide better accessibilities to the users?
  • because all the apologists that made that argument just don't ralize that a list of live tiles that scrolls to china is useless. next on the list is start screen pages like on iOS and Android. Slowly but steadily MSFT is fixing their UX mess and that is only good news for the world.
  • Hmmm.... Did you mean 2014 to 2015? Since Windows phone 8.1 is not really out yet.
  • ^This
  • 2014
  • Yay time travel
  • Windows Phone 8.1 is already out. The official start of support was 24 June, devices where being sold since last month.
  • Am the one...
  • Congrats on your achievement.. :-P
  • Am the two
  • Too bad, you won't get a cookie
  • One potato, two potato.....;)
  • +820..Haha..Nice one!!
  • Copy cat, ok, I don't need this feature.
  • So because you don't need it that means somebody else doesn't. 
  • Simple solution: Don't use it.
  • I need basic name folders in the app list. Otherwise the start screen should be live folders!!!! For the love of god.
  • I find it hilarious that whenever someone like yourself expresses their feelings about not wanting or not caring about certain things.. There needs to be people who come to question, not you, but the wants of everyone else. As if no one understood that only one person doesn't care about one thing for themselves. But eh whatever, people will get mad at whatever they want.
  • And its not copy cat, its something that has always been in windows for PC and was on Windows Mobile.
  • True, I want to rename stuff too because this alphabetical stuff is getting annoying if the best pencil is cool writing tool and not pencil, how am I to find it in a snap?
  • What about material design of google?
  • Then don't use it. Some people want it.
  • Good
  • Coooool! Though I'll probably only use it for the three or four games I have... Haha
  • Same here, plus if these aren't live folders, then the current Nokia folder is fine for me
  • Games and photography apps in my case.
  • Photo and travel apps for me
  • Same here.
  • First company to use folders last to implement in WP. Damn shame Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Not a big deal, I probably won't even use them but we'll see how it's implemented as to whether or not they'll be live. If so then WP will have the best implementation.
  • Exactly. Apart from the "live" feature it should list and open the apps instantly which "App Folder" currently doesn't do well. But I guess it will.
  • It would probably be similar to how the group feature works now but with apps.
  • Live in what way? The only thing I would find a live tile useful in a folder tile is allowing the apps you put into the folder push info onto the folder tile itself. Don't know how difficult that would be or I it is at all possible. I guess that's a feature that MS could allow devs to implement in their own apps.
  • That's exactly what we are thinking.
  • lol I know. such obvious thing. I would have love to have been on the meeting of a bunch of softies trying to rationalize how to remove a pivotal UI concept without offering a better alternative. ah MSFT. so brilliant, yet so uncategorically stupid.
  • Folders come soon I'm excited ;)
  • It make sense now that we have so many apps on our start screen, it will be great to get them organized.
  • Huh Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • But now the link is pulled.
  • I took screenshots of those don't worry..
  • I love the way mine is laid out, see no need for it other than games, music & vids apps
  • Someone posted the link of this in one of the previous article's comments section..
  • That's me.
  • I remember too ;)
  • Wow, so excited to see that Tom Warren of' The verge' has credited my tweet@ebin_5 in his article on WP 8.1 update. Was just tweeting while watching my fav Holland beating Mexico.
  • Wow!!Just take a screenshot and upload it on Facebook,,WhatsApp,,Instagram and also on 9gag!!
  • Sadly the credit goes to Joseph Keller..But am happy that they do read our comments..Kudos to both!!
  • No problem,tom warren of 'the verge' has credited me in his article.http://mobile.theverge.com/2014/6/29/5854858/windows-phone-8-1-update-fo...
  • You posted that on Twitter??
  • How will tile repositioning work if you just end up making a folder? the gesture they say is similar for repositioning...
  • To reposition you hold a tile in the gap between two other tiles. To group you hold a tile directly over another tile for an extended period of time.
  • Sounds potentially finicky...
  • Should be fine if the tonight is graded well and it's easy to cancel the motion. Eg, hovering over another tile may have some kind of indicator that it will create a folder, but you have to let go while that indicator is showing for it to happen.
  • Yea I saw that too
  • Awaited one for me ☺
  • Its good.
  • Can still achieve the same function with the Nokia app folder which is now just folder, well it will be good if it was tied into the OS
  • No, if it's apped, it can only folder certain types. Nokia's only does apps and settings, even then only some are can be foldered not all. Samsung's goes further allowing bookmarks to be foldered but still not everything. Build into the OS and anything pinnable to the start screen should allowed to be foldered. What I want is live tiles within folders.
  • This ^^^
  • Hope it's not just an app that uses the whole screen to show its content, but a context menu-like thing. It'd be way faster in my opinion. Also waiting for it in Windows 8.1 Update X.
  • If you read the instructions you'll see that it's not an app. You can drag items from a folder back to Start.
  • Make these folders live.
  • After that I will be spending some more minutes to organize things... :D
  • Same here :D
  • With this will the App folder app be of any use?
  • No but you can use it if you want :P
  • MS is taking alot of time to implement such simple things which were implemented by other platforms long ago.
  • It was part of their OWN Windows Mobile before "other paltforms" even existed.
  • Why on the start screen? I'd rather have folders in the app list
  • Interesting point!
  • Exactly what I wanted aswell I find having to jump from one letter to the next time consuming
  • So, the Start Menu for Windows Phone?
  • Don't see any reason why they could not have your folder appear on the app list too. However, given that it sounds like you will open the folder on the startscreen, it would have to take you back to the homescreen when tapped, or open in a diffeent type of view. Would not look very elegant.
  • Nice to have the option.
  • This is huge to me. I hope these work well... I need to see this in action... I need to see things like how will I see notifications for items inside folders. Will expanding a folder actually expand it... shifting things lower or will it sit on top of the rest of my screen? If this is real... I need to see it!
  • Nice
  • Are you sure its coming in wp 8.1 or update 2 or maybe "threshold"?
    coz Dan was saying wp8.1 is feature locked and no new feature will be added during official release.
  • It may come in GDR1 which should be out later this Summer.
  • No think late fall to winter for 8.1 rtm & below handsets
  • *also my theory*
  • I was wondering too
  • Tom Warren of 'the verge' has pointed out that MS may have readied the next update called Windows phone 8.1 update.http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/29/5854858/windows-phone-8-1-update-folde...
  • He did say Windows Phone 8.1 Update. That makes it more likely to come like a GDR1 update to WP 8.1
  • Looks like you'll need the final to get it working. If you try it now, it just moves the icon out of the way.
  • Nope. GDR1 in July
  • I need it
  • Honestly, I like the groups in Windows 8 better. Its more elegant looking. If the folders aren't live tiles you're loosing information.
  • Exactly what I thought
  • Exactly. Pinch zoom out (semantic zoom) to see the tile groups would be absolutely great, and completely compatible with phone screen sizes. I honestly don't understand how that's not in there yet.
  • Thumbs up for every reasonable comment in here, sometimes you just wonder why doesn't Microsoft stand to their vision and unify the experience. I always thought that the Windows team was much better than the WP one. I suggested both features (tiles grouping + semantic zoom) for so long and got +10000 votes in the feature user voice site, but then they labeled it complete and removed voting from it. here is the link:
    http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...
  • Pretty infuriating. Whoever is going nuts with the repeated 'not implemented' comments is not really helping though.. :)
  • Absolutely. Better, consistent with design philosphy, more useful, nicer looking. Folders is for Windows 3.1. It's crap, 30 year old idiocy.
  • I wanna see a video
  • App folder app. Just saying.
  • The only advantage I see in making this native is if the folders are also live tiles showing the info of the apps inside each folder. Otherwise I'd rather they kept it as an app.
  • Truth is that folders are mainly used for games and photography apps which most of them doesn't have a live tile.
  • This
  • That doesn't matter. If you're putting something in the core OS you should consider that other people may want to put apps with live tiles in them too. Otherwise, there's no reason to bake this into the OS instead of leaving the App Folders app as it is.
  • +820
    I'm afraid too that it might not show notifications from the apps inside the folder. Still useful to have. I rather they improve the Hubs though.
  • We don't need folders with live tiles because we have action centre
  • Is the WP 8.1 folder app similar to the Nokia App Folder or will it have added features?
  • Cool
  • Much needed. I was looking for the app that does this just yesterday but forgot the name of it.
  • App Folder maybe? Under Nokia apps in the store.
  • Thanks 2tom. That's the one. Just downloaded. I need here drive, four square and a handful of others that will be useful while on vacation.
  • Yes please
  • Don't need that
  • Don't use that
  • Some people... 
  • Right.
  • +1520
  • Awesome! Been wanting this feature natively for some time!
  • The INSTRUCTIONS are STILL LIVE on the Windows Phone website...
    Check it out..
  • Not
  • Take screenshots!
  • Read the comments and get the link!
  • Might be useful!
  • Now can we get live tile for the apps we keep in the folder. I mean if i make folder of messaging apps like whatsapp, etc while i get live tile notifications which we don't get in Nokia's App Folder
  • Will app information still be displayed in the folder, the same was it is with live tiles? If not, then this is one more step towards making WP like iOs and Android.
  • Need it to be live, and open like folders in ios. Little animation and just pop up on screen..
  • Useless. If you have so many on your start screen, why not use the app list. WP is copying Android and IOS more and more. Soon enough, WP will be no more than a bad implementation of those two. WP should keep innovating. Android is getting actionable notifications when WP has only just made a very poor copy of Notification center. Which is taking way to long to release officially.
  • We need interactive live tiles.
    Html5 fb integration back.
  • Looked at a Sony Z2 yesterday in the phone shop and the demo model has 4 tiles that flip on one screen. Wonder where they got that is from?
  • Exactly. Folders are a terrible idea to begin with, only used because it resembled a physical object that people were familiar with. Today, there is zero need to enocurage the use of folders. Keywords and other metadata should be used for organization instead, and the App list would be the proper way to organize by type, frequency of use, etc. The Start screen should have customizable but automated (optional) areas, so with "pin to start" you'd get a music app into an optional "music" area for example. Like in Windows 8.1. Folders destroy the very basis for the WP interface. But they seem happy to try to be a second rate Android instead of something truly innovative.
  • What about categorising the app list. Would have prefered that as opposed to having tiles on the start screen. Never the less this is an nice option to have, also the native support makes the app folder apps redundant now lol.
  • 'App Folder' is a decent app that does this perfectly already
  • Through this will probably work much faster.
  • Not perfectly though.
  • Yeah, it's slow.
  • Not all phones can support that app
  • Tried it and deleted it. Don't see the point, it looks rubbish and what's the use for live tiles....
  • <