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How to create custom Windows 10 Start menu tiles

Microsoft allows app developers, game makers, and website owners to create custom tiles when you pin one of their products to the Start menu. Sadly, the way some of these tiles look is just plain ugly. But what if you could get more control over the appearance?

WinTileR is a cheap app for Windows 10 that allows you to customize the way your tiles look and function on the OS. It costs just $0.99 and comes with a free trial to help you decide whether or not to pick it up. Here's how it works.

See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

WinTileR app and plugin

After grabbing WinTileR from the store, it will prompt you to download an .exe plugin that helps the tiles communicate with programs on your computer. You'll still be able to create tiles without this, but they won't be able to launch programs as expected. Once you have installed the plug-in, select "Done."

How to create a custom tile

To get started creating your own tiles, follow these steps:

  1. In WinTileR, select Programs to set up a new tile.

  1. Select Select File and browse for the app you want to create a tile for.

  1. Next, you'll need to create graphics for the tile. (I searched in Bing for a logo, then simply cropped it into a square shape to fit the tile boxes.)
  2. Click the tile boxes on the right to add the tile images you want.
    • You can customize additional options, such as setting a background color, the name of the tile, and conditions for displaying the name of the tile on the left.

  1. Once you are satisfied and have added images for each tile size, select Pin to Start menu.

You should see your shiny new tile appear on the Start menu, complete with executable functionality from installing the plugin. From WinTileR's main menu, you can also perform the same tile creation for websites, folders, and music. Sadly, WinTileR's Steam integration feature for creating tiles for your PC games seems to be broken as of writing. I've found it quite hard to find custom Windows 8.1 or Windows 10-style tiles on the internet, since many apps that previously worked for creating custom tiles have fell into disrepair with subsequent Windows updates.

See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

Your thoughts?

Do you create custom Windows 10 Start menu tiles? What do you use? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Jez Corden
Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

11 Comments
  • I personally use EdgeTile Creators, as it doesn't require any non-Microsoft Store installs, making it great for the Surface Pro I use as my primary in pseudo-S Mode. Got some tiles for Uplay and Steam games to blend in with my Windows 10 titles, so everything looks lovely.
  • Cheers, will look into that.
  • I love EdgeTile Creators, lets me create edge tiles for my start menu without fuss.
  • Another great option is https://forum.xda-developers.com/windows-10/development/app-tile-utility...
    It's free, supports store apps, Steam, Chrome apps, and all kinds of custom links for folders, etc.
    It only supports the small and medium square size and doesn't support transparency but it requires no program to constantly run in the background and for most apps the link generated still supports jump lists.
    A few programs make you jump through a couple hoops to create a new tile, such as Office apps and Firefox.
  • This application is very complicated for most users, I made a few app to pin game tiles without so much headache for the users (in my web I also have other apps for windows 10): https://pepeizqapps.com/
  • I thought the idea of Store apps was that they DON'T require .exe files to use them.
  • I've been searching lately for a custom tile make. I'm excited to try this out on some of those ugly pinned tiles 😅
  • I also use EdgeTile Creator. It's brilliant. What I love about it is there is no splash screen of the tile making app before the launch of the x86 app. Launches clean as soon as the tile is pressed. Highly recommended.
  • Windows is so ugly. Microsoft are so mediocre and pathetic
  • Much like you for coming on to a Windows site to write that comment.
  • ok