New phone?

Everything goes back to Start

On your Windows Phone, Start is your home base: you can keep all of your important stuff right where you need it, perform a task with a tap or two, and then press the Start Start button button to zip right back again. You can fill Start with links, contacts, maps, and apps, or just a few basics. It's unique to you and your needs.

Take a shortcut

When you first get your phone, Start will already have some Tiles on it. But which ones stay is entirely up to you—you can move around or delete anything, or add new ones from different places on your phone. Here are a few of the things you can pin to Start:

  • Apps – If it's in your App list, you can pin it to Start, including any apps you get from the Windows Phone Store.
  • Contacts – When you pin a contact to Start, the person's profile picture will show up in their Tile, and you'll get all of their updates right there. You can also pin a Group and see the updates for everyone in it.
  • Games – Go to your Games Hub and pin any game you've downloaded there.
  • Albums – You can pin music albums you have in heavy rotation for quick access.
  • Maps – Once you've found a location in Maps, you can pin that location to Start and use it as a starting or ending point for directions. Especially handy if you're often going to and from a certain place.
  • Websites – Pin a favorite website to Start for an easy launch point.

For even more things to pin, see Pin things to Start.

Move things around

We start you off with a fairly orderly configuration of Tiles, but you don't have to leave it that way: when you move Tiles around, you're free to leave gaps between them, have only one Tile in a row, or fill up every available space.

You can also adjust Tile sizes so you can pack a lot of apps into a small space or revel in the glory of an expanded Live Tile. All Tiles can be shrunk to the smallest size, and many can be expanded to span the width of the Start screen.

To learn more about rearranging Tiles, see Move, resize, or unpin a Tile on Start.

Bring some color

Your phone comes with 20 colors you can use for your Tiles and the accents peppered here and there around the phone (and some mobile operators might add a color or two of their own).

All 20 accent colors for your phone

Your theme color will show up not only on Start and your App list, but also in links, Speech, Messaging, and other places.

You can also choose between a black or white background. On some phones, the dark background uses less battery, while the light background is higher contrast. Also, here's a tip: some colors look a little different against the dark background than they do against the light, so if you change between them, try revisiting different theme colors. (Optical illusion? Maybe, but experiment to see what you like.)

Start, App list, Messaging, and App switcher with accent colors

To learn how to pick your flavor, see Change accent color or background theme.

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