Rumor has it that Microsoft may pull the plug on the Live Tiles feature in Windows 10. Actually, that rumor has been making the rounds since last summer when Microsoft (apparently accidentally) released a Windows 10 preview build with a revamped start menu — and no Live Tiles.

But a new report from Windows Latest adds a bit of fuel to the fire with the assertion that “people familiar with the development” say that Microsoft will remove Live Tiles from Windows 10 sometime in the next year or so.

I have no idea if there’s any merit to the rumors. But I do know that I personally have never paid much attention to Live Tiles. So that got me wondering… would anyone actually miss them if they were gone?

First off, let’s talk about what Live Tiles are and what they’re for.

Open the Windows 10 start menu and you’ll see a set of app icons and names on the left, plus a series of squares and rectangles on the right — those are called Tiles. What makes one “Live” is the ability to constantly refresh and display different content.

For example, the Microsoft Weather app has a Live Tile that can display the current weather conditions. Music apps like Spotify can show suggested playlists. The Netflix Live Tile displays thumbnail images of TV shows or movies you’ve been streaming. And honestly, I just kind of forget they exist most of the time.

The idea had more merit when Live Tiles first debuted with the launch of Windows Phone 7 almost a decade ago. At the time, they offered a way to get information-at-a-glance on the home screen of your smartphone without having to open a full app. But Windows Phone is dead, and Live Tiles have never felt nearly as useful in the Windows Start Menu… which you probably only ever open briefly to launch an app, not to look at.

So when Microsoft introduced a brand new version of Windows designed for dual-screen tablets, maybe it wasn’t a big surprise that the company left out Live Tiles from the brand new Windows 10X Start Menu.

And maybe it won’t be much of a surprise if the company eventually does away with them in a future update to the desktop/laptop version of Windows. After all, we’ve kind of been expecting it for nearly a year.

Then again, maybe there are some die-hard Live Tile fans out there. So what do you say?

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24 Comments

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  1. I hate Live Tiles! Make they go away NOW! There was nothing wrong with the Windows 7 Start Menu. Why did Microsoft have to screw it up so bad with all these ‘features’ that nobody wants?

  2. I do use live tiles for exactly three programs: my to-do list, my calendar to show next appointments, and whether. Those three live tiles are useful, since I can quickly hit start to see all that useful info at a glance without opening individual programs.

    Beyond that, I don’t use them.

    But I would miss live tiles for those three things if they’re removed.

  3. I’m a Windows Surface user and I wouldn’t like them to go. They are one of the nice differentiating features on my tablet compared to Android or IOS devices.
    On desktop computer they make less sense – but they also do not harm.

    Please keep them!

  4. I sorta like the “Live Tiles” as it gives ye olde Windows a modern feel to it. I get why the other commenters here (who are the niche btw) would revert back to a Windows7 style.

    I’m not opposed for them to remove it, only that the thing replacing it is better. And Windows7-style isn’t quite better, it’s a sidegrade. So if they remove it, what are they going with instead?

  5. Nope. Why the OS is burning clock cycles for things not used is beyond me. But then, most things Microsoft does is beyond me. Every update means additional mouse clicks to do the things I need to do. Going the wrong direction…

    1. OS developers have this weird tendency to think that we spend a lot of time doing things in the OS itself.

      The reality is that an OS shouldn’t be anything but an interface to get to your actual programs and files. Adding dynamic cosmetic features to the OS is like putting decorations onto your bare drywall before the first coat of paint is applied.

      1. This is exactly why I moved away from Mac OS and want to move away from Windows 10. The latter is still necessary for a lot of programs I use, but still insists on garbage like full-screen pop-ups for “important” OS notifications and unscheduled restarts during my rendering or AI training sessions. For the most part, I have coped with hacking out the more annoying components.
        But to be fair, the last time I put up drywall I did do something along the lines of “[YCAU] was here” before putting on the paint. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Instead of the live tiles being shoved in the start menu, I would like to see some information, like weather, either hovering close to the lower right corner, invisible until you place the mouse close enough or as a side pane like how windows xp did it.

    1. You can use Rainmeter to do exactly that. It does use a considerable amount of system resources however.

  7. They’ve been neglected for a long time. So might as well. Plus they are hideous. They need to bring widgets back though. They were much more useful than live tiles.

  8. What are Live Tiles??
    The first thing after any Windows 10 installation is for me to get back those good old days of Windows 7 with Open Shell.

    1. I just did away with them manually, which wasn’t all the difficult as I recall. I assume you can still do that. I haven’t run Windows 10 in a couple of years though.

  9. I wouldn’t mind if Microsoft went back to a Win8-style approach… a fullscreen live tile view when in tablet mode, and traditional win7-style start menu in desktop mode.

      1. He’s not alone. Lots of Home-Theatre PC users loved the Windows 8 start screen. It was by far the most couch-friendly OS UI out there. It could be 100% navigated with keyboard commands, so you could easily map it to a remote control.

        Windows 10 has the Tablet-mode UI, which is similar, and equally useful.

    1. My Windows 10 start screen is a full-screen menu with all of my most common apps. I set it up with Win 8 and liked it enough to keep it over the years.