Basically Microsoft hasn’t provided much options to customize the start screen on Windows 8 and 8.1. However, compared to Windows 8, 8.1 has few things that you can change such as you can create group, you can keep only app on the start screen which you use the most, and more.
Believe me, if you still running Windows 8, then I would suggest you to upgrade it to 8.1, you will get better performance and UI customization option.
Ways to Customize Start Screen of Windows 8 and 8.1
For Windows 8 users
In Windows 8 there are only three option to re-size your live tile, small, medium and wide. Only using re-size option you can customize your Start window. Here also if you want to make it more live and dynamic, apps like People, Weather, Photos and news, keep these apps as big tiles because these apps keep changing the color and photo time to time.
Suppose you changed the bing weather to large, in day time, most probably there will be a Sun with current temperature while at night, it automatically changes to dark blue. Even if it is raining outside, it will show (You should be connected to internet).
Similar here in Peoples app, if you have connected your Microsoft account with other social media like Facebook or twitter then it automatically syncs all your contacts and profile images to show here. Even it allows you to sync your Windows Phone contacts as a backup. If you still haven’t connected to Microsoft, go now a connect and sync your contacts.
I am telling this not only to make your start screen better but for security purpose as well.
Now the you use but not often then you can make it small or medium, depending upon the icon design. I would like to suggest you, instead installing software or game from outside, better you can first check the market place installed on your Windows because it includes specially designed tiles to make it look prettier.
That’s it, keep dragging, re-sizing and categorizing the tile according to your needs.
Now moving towards the Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 users can easily create and name groups of tiles, pin freshly installed apps on the Start screen, move and re-size tiles, and change the background image.
When you install a new app it goes behind the start screen first, click on the down arrow in the lower left corner of the Start screen. That takes you to the App screen where you’ll see any all the installed apps and the recent one as highlighted with the word New. Right-click on the tile or tiles of any apps that you wish to appear on the Start screen and click on the Pin to Start button.
The Start screen sometimes look like an unnecessary annoyance to many users, especially those working with a non-touch PC. Windows 8 allows to boot to desktop mode where you can directly go to the desktop instead of seeing the Start screen.
You can unpin any app directly from the Start screen, resize them, uninstall them, turn off any live tiles. You also have more tile sizes from which to choose as I told earlier. Certain tiles offer a choice of small, medium, wide, and large. You can enlarge the tiles for your favorite apps and shrink the ones for apps you rarely use.