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. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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