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Windows Phone folders: A new way to organize Start screen

  1. #1


    Posts : 22,575
    64-bit Windows 10

    Windows Phone folders: A new way to organize Start screen


    There’s no right or wrong way to arrange your Tiles on Start—there’s only your way. And now, with folders in Windows Phone 8.1 Update, you can make your Start screen more you-ier than ever before. If it’s a Tile on Start, you can add it to a folder. Just push one Tile over another one to make it happen.



    Folders let you group apps, people, websites, and anything else that can be pinned to Start. Below, we (Windows Phone writers Dylan and Matt) provide examples of how we use folders under the guise of doing “research” for work.

    Find out when you can get Windows Phone 8.1 Update (including folders) on your phone here.

    Make your voyage extra bon (Dylan’s vacation folder)

    The most stressful part of any big trip I take is getting there. That includes packing, getting to the airport, and freaking out when I can’t find my passport—only to realize it’s been in my back pocket all along.
    But the next time I go on vacation, I’ll be prepared with a travel folder on my Windows Phone Start screen chock full of stress-reducing and good time-enhancing apps, maps, and more. I can see the folder now…

    • Packing list. I can keep my packing list OneNote note in my travel folder. This way I have it handy when I shop for my trip and I don’t leave anything critical behind.
    • Weather. I don’t want to be stuck in t-shirt territory when the forecast calls for sweater weather. A Tile for my destination from the Bing Weather app should do the trick.
    • Airline app. No check-in counter for this efficient flyer: I plan to keep the airline’s app in my folder so I can get to my digital boarding pass when I need it.
    • Restaurants/places. After enduring airplane food, I’m always ready for something fresh and local upon my arrival. A few recommended restaurants in my travel folder will make it easy to find good eatin’.
    • Directions. Deciding where to eat is only half the battle—I’ll still need to find the place. From the Maps app, I can pin a few restaurant locations to Start, then add them to my folder. (Tip within a tip: Download a map before going to a foreign country to avoid using data.)

    Boy, Hypothetical Future Me sure is a savvy traveler!



    My Start screen with Cabo vacation folder minimized (left) and expanded (right)

    The thrill of victory and the (frequent) agony of defeat (Matt’s sports folder)

    I’ve looked for ways to keep sports from taking over my Start screen. A Tile here, a Tile there, and before you know it, Tiles for sports everywhere. As a long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, it’s not always good news on those Live Tiles either, so I might as well keep all my sports-related misery in one place. Here are some things I have in my sports folder:

    • Scores. I made the Cleveland Indians one of my interests in Cortana’s Notebook. After pinning that interest to Start and putting it in my folder, I get the score for today’s game right on the Live Tile. If I want more detailed info and stats about the game, I just tap the Tile to get it.
    • Fantasy teams. Keeping track of my fantasy baseball team is easier now. I just go into my sports folder and tap the Tile for my team to see how they’re doing. (Nowadays, the answer is usually “Not so good.”) But fantasy football season is right around the corner, so I’ll have more fantasy teams to check on soon enough. Maybe the news will be a little better.
    • Sports radio. On the way to work in the morning, I happily settle into my seat on the bus knowing that I’m just a tap or two from sports radio bliss and the latest sports news.
    • Sports news apps. And of course, I have a bunch of sports apps (ESPN Hub, Bing Sports, and Bleacher Report to name a few—I know, I’m a bit fanatical) to help me keep up on all the latest sports news throughout the day.




    My sports-themed folder with my dog Cooper looking on

    Unfold-er the possibilities

    Travel and sports are of course just a few of the endless number of things you can put in folders to keep your Start screen looking nice and clean. Here are a few more quick ideas we had to get you started:

    • Projects at work or school. Put all your Word docs, PowerPoint slides, OneNote notes, and other things in a folder to keep projects organized and on track.
    • Social networking. Put your social networking apps in one place to stay on top of what’s going on.
    • People. Create a Brady Bunch-esque folder of your friends and family for easy access. Text, email, or call them in a couple of taps.
    • Music and videos. Add albums, artists, websites, and whatever else, so your favorite music and videos are at your fingertips.
    • Cooking. Add your favorite recipes to a folder, toss in a dash of your favorite food blogs, and then stir in your grocery list from OneNote. You’ll be cooking in no time.


    What creative folder ideas can you come up with?

    - Dylan Romero and Matt Lichtenberg
    Source: Windows Phone folders: A new way to organize your Start screen | Blogging Windows

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 216
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Folders is a great update to the App Folders utility that is available in Windows Phone 8.0. If you want to group programs, here's a video on creating folders. Please note that it won't convert to the new way of making Screen Folders, but it should help you get your stuff organized so when you do update to 8.1, you'll have an idea on what works for you. Then you only have to replicate it in 8.1.

    Last edited by Brink; 06 Aug 2014 at 14:16. Reason: embedded video
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thank you both for the info. These are great additions! Can't do this with the old icons!

    Coming off an Android I have a lot of catching up to do.....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I have the update and tried it out, eh. It's just another generic feature android and ios have that I've lived without for years now and don't care for. Having the tiles smaller means I can have a full three screens worth of live tiles on Start. I can't even figure out what to even group together.

    On a side rant though, I miss the days where Windows Phone was uniquely different and stood out from the crowd. I miss the in-system apps like the old Zune player and the tight social network integration. Now it's all just handled externally by apps and thus, the experience becomes more generic to appease the ios and android crown in hopes of converts. I could care less about converting android users or ios users by introducing similar features that work similarly. I care more about features and design that makes the whole worth switching platforms for. Back in Windows Phone 7 to me was the UI design and how uber metro it was and how the whole experience really did feel like you were putting people first, not the OS. Nowadays, it's just about the apps and making Windows Phone seem more like ios or android to the point where it's just a generic haze in the whole grand scheme of things. ios is just like Windows Phone but with rounded corners and no live tiles, android is soon to be more like Windows Phone in style with more '60s Star Trek coloring. Sigh....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    I have the update and tried it out, eh. It's just another generic feature android and ios have that I've lived without for years now and don't care for. Having the tiles smaller means I can have a full three screens worth of live tiles on Start. I can't even figure out what to even group together.

    On a side rant though, I miss the days where Windows Phone was uniquely different and stood out from the crowd. I miss the in-system apps like the old Zune player and the tight social network integration. Now it's all just handled externally by apps and thus, the experience becomes more generic to appease the ios and android crown in hopes of converts. I could care less about converting android users or ios users by introducing similar features that work similarly. I care more about features and design that makes the whole worth switching platforms for. Back in Windows Phone 7 to me was the UI design and how uber metro it was and how the whole experience really did feel like you were putting people first, not the OS. Nowadays, it's just about the apps and making Windows Phone seem more like ios or android to the point where it's just a generic haze in the whole grand scheme of things. ios is just like Windows Phone but with rounded corners and no live tiles, android is soon to be more like Windows Phone in style with more '60s Star Trek coloring. Sigh....
    I have seen this same comment elsewhere on the net.....
    It is not even CLOSE to Android or iOS. Not even the same ball park.

    I really do not get how anyone can look at Live Folders and call it Android/iOS rip off.

    Sorting is not that difficult.
    I put all travel apps together,, maps, gas buddy, other that have to do with traveling
    Food stuff like Yelp (which could go under travel) but is better suited under Food
    like All Recipes, etc.

    It's not that hard really. Camera and Video go under one.
    Having them there does make it faster to get to.

    As for the Social Network Integration, I never really got into all of that myself.
    However, I still get Twitter and Facebook updates in the Me Tile/Phonebook.
    I have all the people I am following in my address book based on Twitter and can go there and find the
    person or twitter feed I want and see what is new just from them.

    They did do the right thing with pulling them apart,
    And that choice has already been explained. It makes it easier to update the apps individually and quicker.
    As before, they had to wait and update them all at once with an OS Update.
    Slower update process, means slower improvements to the apps people really want the most apparently.
    Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, blah blah bblah.....

    The Music player is getting better, but then I never had issues with it.
    It works, it doesn't lag for me, I don't have issues.

    Live Folders have taken things to a whole new level.
    I think people are just so iOS'ed and Androidized they
    can't see past the same old BS they have been using now , for getting near a decade.
    I have 4 email accounts I follow...
    I drop them all under one Live Folder
    I have them set as Wide Tiles under that
    I can glance at the Live Folder and see which icon and how many emails there are
    I can tap it and see all the headers of the most recent email
    Yes, I can get the same info from the Action Center, but that is besides the point.
    I don't see Android and iOS doing this. Oh, redundant, so what is the point.
    trust me, there is one, and it works.

    Not to mention that the Live Folder themselves (based on size) show you information that is under it.
    Not just an icon.

    I'll take Live Tiles and Live Folders with Information at a glance over what> Nested icons only?
    Really? Seriously? Just like iOS and Andriod? Come on........!!!!

    People need to be deprogrammed from the Android/iOS UN-imaginative
    eco system of endless back and forth to just check for a bit of info.

    But don't worry, iOS/Android are going to make revolutionary changes that only they could copy Live info and do it better
    making it the best thing since sliced bread and the world will rejoice.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Tepid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    I have the update and tried it out, eh. It's just another generic feature android and ios have that I've lived without for years now and don't care for. Having the tiles smaller means I can have a full three screens worth of live tiles on Start. I can't even figure out what to even group together.

    On a side rant though, I miss the days where Windows Phone was uniquely different and stood out from the crowd. I miss the in-system apps like the old Zune player and the tight social network integration. Now it's all just handled externally by apps and thus, the experience becomes more generic to appease the ios and android crown in hopes of converts. I could care less about converting android users or ios users by introducing similar features that work similarly. I care more about features and design that makes the whole worth switching platforms for. Back in Windows Phone 7 to me was the UI design and how uber metro it was and how the whole experience really did feel like you were putting people first, not the OS. Nowadays, it's just about the apps and making Windows Phone seem more like ios or android to the point where it's just a generic haze in the whole grand scheme of things. ios is just like Windows Phone but with rounded corners and no live tiles, android is soon to be more like Windows Phone in style with more '60s Star Trek coloring. Sigh....
    I have seen this same comment elsewhere on the net.....
    It is not even CLOSE to Android or iOS. Not even the same ball park.

    I really do not get how anyone can look at Live Folders and call it Android/iOS rip off.

    Sorting is not that difficult.
    I put all travel apps together,, maps, gas buddy, other that have to do with traveling
    Food stuff like Yelp (which could go under travel) but is better suited under Food
    like All Recipes, etc.

    It's not that hard really. Camera and Video go under one.
    Having them there does make it faster to get to.

    As for the Social Network Integration, I never really got into all of that myself.
    However, I still get Twitter and Facebook updates in the Me Tile/Phonebook.
    I have all the people I am following in my address book based on Twitter and can go there and find the
    person or twitter feed I want and see what is new just from them.

    They did do the right thing with pulling them apart,
    And that choice has already been explained. It makes it easier to update the apps individually and quicker.
    As before, they had to wait and update them all at once with an OS Update.
    Slower update process, means slower improvements to the apps people really want the most apparently.
    Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, blah blah bblah.....

    The Music player is getting better, but then I never had issues with it.
    It works, it doesn't lag for me, I don't have issues.

    Live Folders have taken things to a whole new level.
    I think people are just so iOS'ed and Androidized they
    can't see past the same old BS they have been using now , for getting near a decade.
    I have 4 email accounts I follow...
    I drop them all under one Live Folder
    I have them set as Wide Tiles under that
    I can glance at the Live Folder and see which icon and how many emails there are
    I can tap it and see all the headers of the most recent email
    Yes, I can get the same info from the Action Center, but that is besides the point.
    I don't see Android and iOS doing this. Oh, redundant, so what is the point.
    trust me, there is one, and it works.

    Not to mention that the Live Folder themselves (based on size) show you information that is under it.
    Not just an icon.

    I'll take Live Tiles and Live Folders with Information at a glance over what> Nested icons only?
    Really? Seriously? Just like iOS and Andriod? Come on........!!!!

    People need to be deprogrammed from the Android/iOS UN-imaginative
    eco system of endless back and forth to just check for a bit of info.

    But don't worry, iOS/Android are going to make revolutionary changes that only they could copy Live info and do it better
    making it the best thing since sliced bread and the world will rejoice.
    Live folders are the Windows Phone version of ios' app folder grouping. Straight and simple as that's EXACTLY what ios does except without live tiles. I don't know what android does for sure as there are several skins that do different things and don't please me. But if it means pinning MORE content to the Start Screen and not having to rely on an external notification tray, then it's not so bad. Don't get me started on the notification center, bleh. I see little to no use of it, it's only used personally from the lock screen if it is or whilst in driving mode.

    Myself and everyone except three people have issue with Xbox Music in 8.1. It's incredibly laggy, slow, and every update is almost just an update to change the numbering. Nothing is being really helped. I'm going to see on a Lumia 635 if it's as terrible as now. I get they had to rip things apart to be able to update them, that's great, but the way things have been executed I'd rather take constant system updates than deal with half-arsed, half-baked, poorly executed coding any day. I mean seriously, the latter has yet to even prove to be better. It's shown to be a HUGE step backwards. These days, you can't be releasing a music playing app that can't even play local files in a timely fashion; not because it's a hardware limitation of yesteryears, but awful coding. Something so trivial like Xbox Music shouldn't be the focal point of criticism because it's LITERALLY that trivial. Music players aren't supposed to be an awful experience to use.

    Then there's the People hub, now in 8.1, should be just renamed Contacts+trickle feed of social networking. It's not the People hub anymore, it's a fancy contacts app. Don't get me wrong, it basically was a gloried contacts app, except it was a whole aggregator of social networking feeds in one place. It was a step forward in simplicity. But now, it's more just view a news feed, jump to the app EVERY single time you want to view a picture or post a comment. Then what's the point of the People hub? Just use the app. That was what made Windows Phone 7 so great to me, when ios and andorid's mottos were basically, "There's an app for that" Windows Phone already does that.

    8.1 to me is more a step forward, two steps back coming as an early adopter. There are things great about it, but there is also things not to like.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    You may need to reset your phone.

    I did this on a whim (but I did not allow it to auto restore the phone) as I was having the lag issue with the Live Lock Screen Beta
    Most everything else ran fine, but I also wanted to see if battery would be improved
    I had read that was the case, but I didn't notice any more drain on the battery from WP8 to 8.1 anyway.
    It didn't help with the battery, I am getting what the specs pretty much say I would get.
    But the unlock my phone lag is completely gone.

    What I also did was, went to the phone store on my PC and downloaded all my apps using the Download and install manually links
    about 90 or so.

    I lost Let's Golf 2, cause I got it free through a promotion, it's ok though, no big deal.
    and Windows Phone Insider

    But, after I reset my phone, I copied all my apps to a sub-folder under the root of the Icon Phone
    go to store and hit the 3 dots, tap on Install local apps
    All your apps will be listed, and you can hit select all and install
    You may have to do this a couple of times and some installs may fail, but it's ok, they all reinstalled without issue
    Was the easiest reset I have done actually, without doing the auto-restore.

    My phone is still running great, and with GDR1.

    As for People Hub, Twitter is pretty much automatic, and Facebook can be linked.
    However, there are some issues with Facebook still. It does need a lot of work in this area
    I can't get it to sync. and this appears to be an issue a lot of people are having.

    However, I will say, they still did the right thing de-integrating it from the OS.

    While I am not a big social network person, I am interested to see how it all works, so I am working on it and testing it out.
    It is very convoluted and Facebook is not really working, so I get your point. It does need a ton of work.

    Over all, I am still very happy with WP8.1 Update.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I'd hate to have to do a hard reset on my phone when I already have a developer ROM flashed on it. I'm just too lazy. I've read the hard reset will fix Xbox Music issues, it could. It seems the recent update for it is actually getting somewhere in terms of performance, but again, such poor execution on such a trivial part of the OS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    You won't be taking it back to WP8. 8.1 and GDR1 will still be there. You won't have to reinstall them.

    Yeah, I agree, to an extent. It software, so glitches in an update like 8.1 are bound to happen. I accept it, nuke and reload and move on. It works, so......
    No one ever claimed computers and OS's would work 100% every day all day forever. 😈
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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