How to turn Windows 8 Metro live tiles on and off

Certain Metro tiles in Windows can show you live and updated information. Here's how to turn that feature on and off.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

One of the benefits of the Metro Start screen are live tiles, which can display the latest info from your e-mail, calendar, contacts, and other apps. How do you enable that feature?

You first need to open and potentially set up the app for which you want to see a live tile. Among the apps in the new Windows 8 Release Preview that can tap into this feature are Mail, People, Calendar, Photos, Weather, News, and Sports.

Just opening certain apps will turn on the live tile feature. For example, open the News and Weather apps and then return to the Metro Start screen. Live tiles will automatically be enabled, so you'll start to see the latest updates and photos displayed in those two tiles.

Other apps require some setup. To display a live tile for your e-mail, you'll need to set up at least one e-mail account. Displaying the live tile for People requires you to add your accounts for Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, or other social networks. And viewing the live tile for the Weather app means you'll need to specify your location or allow Windows to pick it up.

To set up accounts for Mail or People, open the app. Launch the Charms bar by holding down the Windows key on your keyboard and pressing C. Click the Settings charm and look for an option that says accounts. From there, you'll be able to add your various accounts.

OK, that's fine. But sometimes working in the Metro Start screen can lead to information overload.

I don't always need to know the temperature or see the latest posts or pictures from my Facebook friends. How can you turn Live tiles off? That's easy enough. Simply right-click the tile and select the option to "turn live tile off" from the Apps bar below.

Live tiles can be a handy and helpful feature, but it's good to know that you can easily turn them on or off.

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