Windows 10 combines the best of Windows 7's start menu with Windows 8's start screen functionality. However, marrying the old with the new can create some stylistic problems.

As a guy who spends hours (literally, don't judge) organizing my start menus across Windows and Windows Phone, the way older apps present when pinned to the start menu can be a tad ugly. Thankfully, there's a neat app to help you customize those rebellious Win32 tiles. Let's take a look.

I discovered TileCreator via reddit (thanks IntoWindows). TileCreator is similar to OblyTile from Windows 8.1. However, changes to Windows 10 have rendered it unviable for customizing the new start menu.

There are a few hoops to jump through to get TileCreator to work, so let's take a look at the steps:

  • Download TileCreator for free from the Windows 10 store here.
  • Download TileCreatorProxy.exe here. This program helps the Universal app to bypass a pinning restriction imposed in Windows 10, and creates the directory C:\TileCreator. Be sure to run this program as administrator (right-click, Run as Administrator), otherwise it won't work properly.
  • Navigate to C:\TileCreator, you can do this simply by copy and pasting "C:\TileCreator" into the start menu. It should look like this:

  • Once there, open up the .config file using Notepad. Here, you'll input a "key" (the app's name) and a folder path to the program's .exe file. To find out the file path of a program, type its name into the start menu, then right-click and "Open file location". From there, you can copy and paste the folder path from the file explorer's address bar, and add the program's file name at the end. Remember to include the file extension (.exe for example). I'm using Photoshop to start with:

  • Once you've done this, go back to the TileCreator universal app you downloaded from the Windows Store.
  • Enter the "key" you used in the .config file (be wary to type it exactly as it is in the file and avoid using special characters). You can give the tile a name or leave it blank to let the icon do all the talking.

  • Once you're done, hit the "pin tile" button and voilà! A modern looking Photoshop tile for my modern start menu.

If you're running into problems pinning, please make sure you ran TileCreatorProxy.exe as administrator by selecting the option from the right-click menu. If you forgot to do this the first time around, remove C:\TileCreator and start over.

The app has some minor limitations. If you're clicking on a tile created by TileCreator, the universal app boots up for a moment to circumvent some OS limitations. Text colorization doesn't work yet and is likely a bug.

TileCreator is only a week old and the developer has promised future updates on the app's XDA project thread.

If you're looking for "Modern UI" style icons, there's a vast repository of them here.

If you're as tile conscious as I am, I'd love to see your start menu in the comments below!