Turning off Metro Startpage Live Tiles

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 26, 2012
Windows, Windows 8

Since I installed a copy of the Windows 8 Release Preview on my second desktop PC, I started to play around with some of the new features the operating system provides. Among those features is the highly controversial Metro startpage and everything that comes along with it.

The startpage basically displays a list of installed apps and file links, that either link to Metro apps which open in fullscreen, or to the computer's desktop interface.

What you may also notice here is that some tiles display updates automatically on the screen. The photos app for instance switches between photo previews, a news app may highlight some of the latest news topics, and the mail app the latest messages that you have received.

Live Tiles

The screenshot above shows part of the Metro startpage with four live tiles enabled. The issue that you may experience, especially if you not only have four live tiles but a dozen or more, is that most tiles update in a high frequency. The news app for instance displays a new tile every few seconds, as does the photo app (despite there being only two photos to flip through).

For me, this is highly irritating, especially since there does not seem to be a way to change the update frequency of startpage live tiles in Windows 8 (there is probably a Registry switch somewhere but I have not found it yet). In the interface, you do not have an option to change a live tile's update frequency. Imagine a dozen or more live tiles switching their display every few seconds or so: stimulus satiation.

Since there is no option to change the update frequency of individual tiles, you are only left with two options at this point in time: live with it, or turn off the updating completely.

To turn off individual tiles, right-click the tile on the Metro startpage, and select the turn live tile off option on the bottom toolbar.

Once you do, it stops updating its tile contents completely.

Microsoft's own weather app shows that updates can be handled differently. It only updates once per hour on the start page with new weather information. While this won't make sense for news and other time-sensitive information, I'd suggest that Microsoft implement an option to let users change the update interval of the live tiles individually.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. chesscanoe said on April 17, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Works great to kill live tiles on Windows 10 x64 Home [Version 10.0.17763.437] unless its design significantly improves in the future.

  2. Shruti said on October 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Hmm.. I wish there could be another option to change the update frequency of individual tiles. So that, I need not to stops updating tile contents entirely. Well, I really like the article. Thanks Martin.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      I agree, this is something that Microsoft should really add, as it does not make sense to iterate between the same two screens every ten seconds.

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