Create custom Windows 8 app tiles with OblyTile

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 27, 2012
Updated • Sep 27, 2012
Apps, Software, Windows, Windows 8, Windows software

One of the things that I do not like in regards to Windows 8's new startpage is the lack of customization options. Microsoft has added lots of custom - and mostly silly - backgrounds for the startpage itself, but there is no option to modify how tiles are displayed on it. I think it is way too colorful and as a result hurts orientation more than it helps it. You can't modify the tile background color of apps, which for me is a missed opportunity. Why not add an option to make all backgrounds transparent, or use a minimalistic color scheme instead.

Windows 8 is thankfully as customizable as previous versions of Windows in regards to third party tools that modify the default look and feel of the operating system.

OblyTile is a free tile creator for Windows that you can use to exchange app tiles on the startpage of the Windows 8 operating system.

custom windows 8 app tiles

Here is how it works. You extract the program on your computer and run it afterwards. The application displays four mandatory and one optional field.

  • Tile name - the name of the application
  • Program path - the path of the program, use the file browser to select it
  • Program arguments - if you want to run the program with command line arguments, add them here
  • Tile image - select a 120x120 and 30x30 px image for the program.

You can download various sets of Metro images from the Internet, for instance from Deviant art, or create your own tile images that you want to use in programs like Photoshop or Gimp. It is important that the tiles have the right dimensions.The program saves all created tiles under C:\ProgramFiles\OblyTile.

I ran into an issue using the program. The startpage tiles are created when I use the program to create a new tile, but the images that I have selected do not show up. I'm not sure if this is because of the 64-bit version of Windows 8 that I'm running, or a bug in the program.

It also needs to be noted that you can't change backgrounds of Windows Store apps right now due to the lack of executable files on the system. OblyTile regardless of that is a program that many users may find useful.  (via Deskmodder)

Update: The author of the program has fixed the issue. I have justed tried version 0.7 of the program and it is working as advertised on my 64-bit version of Windows 8. The new version ships with options to hide the tile name that you enter, and four tile background colors that you can select one from.


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  1. jacob said on January 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    ARGH is anyone else getting the problem where they go to the start menu and it just shows the run symbol for all of the custom tiles. I tried adding it again and it still showed the run program symbol

  2. james said on November 14, 2012 at 1:18 am

    I’ve been searching all over for the last few days how on earth to fix this problem where the logos and colours don’t show on created tile.

    It happens with the other tile creator called Modern Tile Maker. I’ll try to find a backwards version of 0.7

    I have retail pro version

    1. Zach said on November 25, 2012 at 5:33 am

      i have been experiencing the same problem with both apps.

      hopefully that problem will be fixed soon.

  3. Zachary Way said on October 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve built a searchable database of custom tiles for use with OblyTile. It’s available at

  4. ArgonyOT said on September 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    A new version of OblyTIle is available, the new version resolve the problem you experienced.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Great, I just tested the new version and it is working fine on my 64-bit Windows 8 RTM installation. Thanks for the quick update!

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