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Create A Custom App Tile For The Windows 10 Start Menu

Windows 10 is missing a pretty important and rather obvious feature; it doesn’t let you customize the color of an app tile. For app tiles that feature only an icon in a box, that box often looks ugly against whatever color has been set for the Start menu. If you’re looking for a way to create a custom app tile, image, color and all, there’s a little app that lets you do just that. Meet Better StartMenu an app that will let you create a custom icon for any app of your choice, and through its Windows Store version, you can pin it to the Start menu. The app costs $2.99 but as of a recent update, there are no differences between the paid and trial version with the developer only asking you to donate if you like the app.

First things first; find the icon you want to use for an app and download it to your hard drive. You don’t necessarily need an ICO file, a PNG does just as well.

Download and run the Better StartMenu Helper and click one of the icon size boxes to individually select the icons for different tile sizes. If you don’t have four different sizes of the icon, click the ‘Auto generate all from a single image’ button and select the one image you have. The app will generate variants from that one image alone although, as you can see from the screenshot below, the wide image doesn’t look as good.

Next, name the tile and select the background color for it. In the Action Type field, select an action which in this case for us was Run Desktop app. Finally, in the Select field, navigate to the app’s EXE file and select it. When you’re done, click ‘Generate tile data’.

Better StartMenu Helper

Next, download and open the Better StartMenu app from the Windows Store and refresh the tile list. Select the tile you just created and click the ‘Pin the selected tile to Start Menu’ option.

Better StartMenu

That’s all it takes. Open the Start menu and your custom tile will appear there.

2015-08-26 11_16_12-Greenshot

There is a catch with this app though; the Better StartMenu helper app needs to keep running in the minimized state in the System Tray so that it can act as a redirecting intermediary. The app definitely requires some polishing but it gets the job done if you’re not willing to wait for Microsoft to add the feature back.

Install Better StartMenu

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