Native folder support coming to Windows Phone 8.1 Start Screen

Native folder support coming to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 Start Screen

With the release of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, due later this year, users will be better able to organize their Start Screen thanks to folders. Much like on Android and iOS, folders are a way to keep your apps organized.

Creating and using folders is fairly straightforward. Just hold and drag one Live Tile on top of another one. Give your folder a name by tapping Name Folder. Add more applications into your new folder by dragging them to the folder, and remove apps by dragging them out. Folders can be moved and resized, just like Tiles.

The feature won't come though until Windows Phone 8.1 Update is released (aka GDR1), which should be completed in July with an over-the-air update due in the weeks/months afterwards. Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to get at least two OS updates in 2013 and heading into 2014.

These instructions had been posted on Microsoft's Windows Phone website, but they have since been removed. What do you think of the native folder support coming in Windows Phone 8.1? Tell us below in the comments.

Source: Microsoft via: Nokia Power User



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Dantekai14 says:

Yeee another crap like Xbox music coming.....

J4rrod says:

It takes someone really special to compare an app to a system feature

DavidinCT says:

I'll have to agree with him, just because its now a App, it was a built in app aka part of the OS. So as far as I see it. The OS came with some feature (what WP came with at the feature set) part of the is a music app and games/xbox app, and right now, app or system, they suck and part of the OS.

I think the Xbox music is ok, its the game hub / Xbox hub that sucks on of the reasons ingot WP is because of Xbox about getting screwed by MS on 8.1

haikallp says:

Thank god you have an option to not create a folder right. :)
Come on, some people want it, including me. Options are good.

cH40z-Lord says:

You could already use an app called AppFolder ( which does give you an option (already) to create folders.

Eaglespro says:

Appfolder is better then not having but you can not drag and drop apps to the folders which is a real pain in the ass. So its not really the same

I was excited when it was released. But after trying it I saw it was crap.

It's very slow and not worth using. You are better off swiping left and finding your app on the app list.

One of the reasons I wanted a folder was to put stuff like whatsapp, Kik and other messaging apps into it. But since the tile did not show that you had messages then it was useless. Mostly then since there was no action center before.

wpgeek820 says:

I thought 8.1 was feature locked. How can it have this unless its a stand alone app then in which case its going to be similar to the nokia folders app.

Anubis4574 says:

It could be another over-the-air update, or some back end update. Perhaps it was already included natively but needs to be utilized, like 3D touch.

Denegar says:

The wording of the article's title makes it clear; Windows Phone 8.1 "Update 1". So, it's a future update to WP8.1, just like Windows 8.1 Update 1 improved 8.1 with some new mouse-friendly features.

Yousef Kawmi says:

They changed the title 

MikeInTexas says:

I think it's just that what is now called App Folder (formerly Nokia Folder) will be "native" to the system rather than a separate download. ... just a guess.

Nokia App Folders is likely a complete and separate folder system unrelated to the system apparently coming to 8.1 GDR1. It will likely still function separately from the native folder functionality that is to come.

...or like GDR1 for WP8

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is not feature locked.

Update 1, not 8.1 that's shipping now.

rodneyej says:

2013 heading into 2014?

firewolf006 says:

Time machines... ???

kenzibit says:

Is this going to render the Nokia app folder useless or will be the same one with just added features?

Denegar says:

The Microsoft Mobile (Nokia) folder thing was okay, but slow, clunky, not integrated with drag-and-drop, and it didn't show tile counters. I hope this new integrated folder feature fixes all of those issues.

grazy1982 says:

it needs to illustrate tiles when you go into the folder on the start screen rather than a list that takes its time to populate.


I would hope the folder tile would rotate its image of each tile within and when you open it it pushes all tiles around it out of the way. that would look a lot better!

Nik Rolls says:

If you read the instructions you'll see that the new feature is integrated into Start, and not just an app.

treiz says:

The whole point of the start screen is live tiles, I don't understand why someone would want a folder. Seems a waste, but I won't turn down more features...

2tomtom says:

I agree, what would happen to a live tile in a folder?

neonspark says:

you'd only see the live tiles if you go in that folder. which is great, because if you group them by subject you really only want to see that when you're there and not scrolling 8000 pixels worth of stuff you don't care about to get to the weather region of your start screen for instance.

R0bR says:

Tend to agree, I would much prefer a filter structure for the app list instead.

Murani Lewis says:

Just like Groups Live Tiles can show updates from everyone in that group I would think the Live Tiles for Folders would be able to flip and reveal the latest update or notification from any app contained in the folder. I also think the Update 1 will come OOB with the new flagship that will launch in November with the LiveView that supposedly will allow you to hover over a tile and allow it to expand and expose the contents within.

Cristoby says:

Maybe the tile notifications will surface for the app group, similar to the way people groups behave. But, I see the issue.

Lobbie1978 says:

+920 Totally agree.

herbertsnow says:

This is what happens when people cry about not having stupid andriod features on WP. For me folders would be completely useless and I won't be using it at all.

iyae says:

That's nice. Then don't. Thanks for your input. It was completely useless and i won't be using it at all.

herbertsnow says:

Ok crybaby. I hope that post made you feel better.

Whodaboss says:

Totally agree 100000000%!!!! I wish those who like Android features go buy a damn Android and stop trying to ruin WP bit by bit.

herbertsnow says:

I really wish they would. I've had enough of their prepubescent whining here.

zicoz says:

I depends on the app. I would not place Facebook in a folder, but I do have folder for the Nokia image apps like Cinemagraph, Creative Studio etc.

chmun77 says:

Because not every single tile is "live"? Some are just simply shortcuts from URLs, etc? In this way, it will provide better accessibilities to the users?

neonspark says:

because all the apologists that made that argument just don't ralize that a list of live tiles that scrolls to china is useless.

next on the list is start screen pages like on iOS and Android. Slowly but steadily MSFT is fixing their UX mess and that is only good news for the world.

duk3togo says:

Hmmm.... Did you mean 2014 to 2015? Since Windows phone 8.1 is not really out yet.

blackprince says:

Yay time travel

Studio384 says:

Windows Phone 8.1 is already out. The official start of support was 24 June, devices where being sold since last month.

wphashan says:

Congrats on your achievement.. :-P

Yousef Kawmi says:

Too bad, you won't get a cookie

terrokkinit says:

One potato, two potato.....;)

Aman2901 says:

+820..Haha..Nice one!!

Yu Cheng says:

Copy cat, ok, I don't need this feature.

ricbon says:

So because you don't need it that means somebody else doesn't. 

Rem97 says:

Simple solution: Don't use it.

CJ Thunder says:

I need basic name folders in the app list. Otherwise the start screen should be live folders!!!! For the love of god.

exkerZ says:

I find it hilarious that whenever someone like yourself expresses their feelings about not wanting or not caring about certain things.. There needs to be people who come to question, not you, but the wants of everyone else. As if no one understood that only one person doesn't care about one thing for themselves. But eh whatever, people will get mad at whatever they want.

di_genius_7 says:

And its not copy cat, its something that has always been in windows for PC and was on Windows Mobile.

CJ Thunder says:

True, I want to rename stuff too because this alphabetical stuff is getting annoying if the best pencil is cool writing tool and not pencil, how am I to find it in a snap?

Suhasa Su says:

What about material design of google?

haikallp says:

Then don't use it. Some people want it.

BPaules says:

Coooool! Though I'll probably only use it for the three or four games I have... Haha

DreadVenom says:

Same here, plus if these aren't live folders, then the current Nokia folder is fine for me

osoalex says:

Games and photography apps in my case.

cdbstl76 says:

Photo and travel apps for me

aitt says:

First company to use folders last to implement in WP. Damn shame

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

eric12341 says:

Not a big deal, I probably won't even use them but we'll see how it's implemented as to whether or not they'll be live. If so then WP will have the best implementation.

Exactly. Apart from the "live" feature it should list and open the apps instantly which "App Folder" currently doesn't do well. But I guess it will.

eric12341 says:

It would probably be similar to how the group feature works now but with apps.

Live in what way? The only thing I would find a live tile useful in a folder tile is allowing the apps you put into the folder push info onto the folder tile itself. Don't know how difficult that would be or I it is at all possible. I guess that's a feature that MS could allow devs to implement in their own apps.

That's exactly what we are thinking.

neonspark says:

lol I know. such obvious thing. I would have love to have been on the meeting of a bunch of softies trying to rationalize how to remove a pivotal UI concept without offering a better alternative.

ah MSFT. so brilliant, yet so uncategorically stupid.

fahad kazi says:

Folders come soon I'm excited ;)

purevibz says:

It make sense now that we have so many apps on our start screen, it will be great to get them organized.

aitt says:


Posted via Windows Phone Central App

ebin5 says:

But now the link is pulled.

Aman2901 says:

I took screenshots of those don't worry..

Neek Capl says:

I love the way mine is laid out, see no need for it other than games, music & vids apps

Aman2901 says:

Someone posted the link of this in one of the previous article's comments section..

I remember too ;)

ebin5 says:

Wow, so excited to see that Tom Warren of' The verge' has credited my tweet@ebin_5 in his article on WP 8.1 update. Was just tweeting while watching my fav Holland beating Mexico.

Aman2901 says:

Wow!!Just take a screenshot and upload it on Facebook,,WhatsApp,,Instagram and also on 9gag!!

Aman2901 says:

Sadly the credit goes to Joseph Keller..But am happy that they do read our comments..Kudos to both!!

ebin5 says:

No problem,tom warren of 'the verge' has credited me in his article.

Aman2901 says:

You posted that on Twitter??

Mrun4Nk says:

How will tile repositioning work if you just end up making a folder? the gesture they say is similar for repositioning...

Nik Rolls says:

To reposition you hold a tile in the gap between two other tiles. To group you hold a tile directly over another tile for an extended period of time.

Viipottaja says:

Sounds potentially finicky...

Nik Rolls says:

Should be fine if the tonight is graded well and it's easy to cancel the motion. Eg, hovering over another tile may have some kind of indicator that it will create a folder, but you have to let go while that indicator is showing for it to happen.

AnubhavSingh says:

Yea I saw that too

balaji kn says:

Awaited one for me ☺

Can still achieve the same function with the Nokia app folder which is now just folder, well it will be good if it was tied into the OS

Novron says:

No, if it's apped, it can only folder certain types. Nokia's only does apps and settings, even then only some are can be foldered not all. Samsung's goes further allowing bookmarks to be foldered but still not everything.

Build into the OS and anything pinnable to the start screen should allowed to be foldered.

What I want is live tiles within folders.

osoalex says:

Hope it's not just an app that uses the whole screen to show its content, but a context menu-like thing. It'd be way faster in my opinion.

Also waiting for it in Windows 8.1 Update X.

Nik Rolls says:

If you read the instructions you'll see that it's not an app. You can drag items from a folder back to Start.

Mainak Pal says:

Make these folders live.

After that I will be spending some more minutes to organize things... :D

With this will the App folder app be of any use?

anon8649069 says:

No but you can use it if you want :P

MS is taking alot of time to implement such simple things which were implemented by other platforms long ago.

It was part of their OWN Windows Mobile before "other paltforms" even existed.

Hathac says:

Why on the start screen? I'd rather have folders in the app list

Interesting point!

Exactly what I wanted aswell I find having to jump from one letter to the next time consuming

spaulagain says:

So, the Start Menu for Windows Phone?

Viipottaja says:

Don't see any reason why they could not have your folder appear on the app list too. However, given that it sounds like you will open the folder on the startscreen, it would have to take you back to the homescreen when tapped, or open in a diffeent type of view. Would not look very elegant.

Anguis says:

Nice to have the option.

reprod3 says:

This is huge to me. I hope these work well... I need to see this in action...

I need to see things like how will I see notifications for items inside folders. Will expanding a folder actually expand it... shifting things lower or will it sit on top of the rest of my screen?

If this is real... I need to see it!

Kumar Gaurav says:

Are you sure its coming in wp 8.1 or update 2 or maybe "threshold"?
coz Dan was saying wp8.1 is feature locked and no new feature will be added during official release.

DJCBS says:

It may come in GDR1 which should be out later this Summer.

No think late fall to winter for 8.1 rtm & below handsets

Ticomfreak says:

*also my theory*

I was wondering too

ebin5 says:

Tom Warren of 'the verge' has pointed out that MS may have readied the next update called Windows phone 8.1 update.

b0blight says:

He did say Windows Phone 8.1 Update. That makes it more likely to come like a GDR1 update to WP 8.1

gamo62 says:

Looks like you'll need the final to get it working. If you try it now, it just moves the icon out of the way.

Nope. GDR1 in July

Honestly, I like the groups in Windows 8 better. Its more elegant looking. If the folders aren't live tiles you're loosing information.

portalfocus says:

Exactly what I thought

Joe920 says:

Exactly. Pinch zoom out (semantic zoom) to see the tile groups would be absolutely great, and completely compatible with phone screen sizes. I honestly don't understand how that's not in there yet.

B_Hawk says:

Thumbs up for every reasonable comment in here, sometimes you just wonder why doesn't Microsoft stand to their vision and unify the experience. I always thought that the Windows team was much better than the WP one.

I suggested both features (tiles grouping + semantic zoom) for so long and got +10000 votes in the feature user voice site, but then they labeled it complete and removed voting from it.

here is the link:

Joe920 says:

Pretty infuriating. Whoever is going nuts with the repeated 'not implemented' comments is not really helping though.. :)

MikeSo says:

Absolutely. Better, consistent with design philosphy, more useful, nicer looking.

Folders is for Windows 3.1. It's crap, 30 year old idiocy.

hasanmj8 says:

I wanna see a video

App folder app. Just saying.

DJCBS says:

The only advantage I see in making this native is if the folders are also live tiles showing the info of the apps inside each folder. Otherwise I'd rather they kept it as an app.

ebin5 says:

Truth is that folders are mainly used for games and photography apps which most of them doesn't have a live tile.

DJCBS says:

That doesn't matter. If you're putting something in the core OS you should consider that other people may want to put apps with live tiles in them too. Otherwise, there's no reason to bake this into the OS instead of leaving the App Folders app as it is.

aXross says:

I'm afraid too that it might not show notifications from the apps inside the folder. Still useful to have. I rather they improve the Hubs though.

rushilrai says:

We don't need folders with live tiles because we have action centre

ZuneEtunes says:

Is the WP 8.1 folder app similar to the Nokia App Folder or will it have added features?

lesd777 says:

Much needed. I was looking for the app that does this just yesterday but forgot the name of it.

2tomtom says:

App Folder maybe? Under Nokia apps in the store.

lesd777 says:

Thanks 2tom. That's the one. Just downloaded. I need here drive, four square and a handful of others that will be useful while on vacation.

JagJunkkie says:

Awesome! Been wanting this feature natively for some time!

vinayscxbox says:

The INSTRUCTIONS are STILL LIVE on the Windows Phone website...
Check it out..

Ticomfreak says:

Take screenshots!

matheee says:

Read the comments and get the link!

Now can we get live tile for the apps we keep in the folder. I mean if i make folder of messaging apps like whatsapp, etc while i get live tile notifications which we don't get in Nokia's App Folder

jcw108 says:

Will app information still be displayed in the folder, the same was it is with live tiles? If not, then this is one more step towards making WP like iOs and Android.

Need it to be live, and open like folders in ios. Little animation and just pop up on screen..

WPhone says:

Useless. If you have so many on your start screen, why not use the app list. WP is copying Android and IOS more and more. Soon enough, WP will be no more than a bad implementation of those two. WP should keep innovating. Android is getting actionable notifications when WP has only just made a very poor copy of Notification center. Which is taking way to long to release officially.

Aashish13 says:

We need interactive live tiles.
Html5 fb integration back.

2tomtom says:

Looked at a Sony Z2 yesterday in the phone shop and the demo model has 4 tiles that flip on one screen. Wonder where they got that is from?

MikeSo says:

Exactly. Folders are a terrible idea to begin with, only used because it resembled a physical object that people were familiar with.

Today, there is zero need to enocurage the use of folders. Keywords and other metadata should be used for organization instead, and the App list would be the proper way to organize by type, frequency of use, etc. The Start screen should have customizable but automated (optional) areas, so with "pin to start" you'd get a music app into an optional "music" area for example. Like in Windows 8.1.

Folders destroy the very basis for the WP interface. But they seem happy to try to be a second rate Android instead of something truly innovative.

TechFreak1 says:

What about categorising the app list. Would have prefered that as opposed to having tiles on the start screen. Never the less this is an nice option to have, also the native support makes the app folder apps redundant now lol.

Roan Grunder says:

'App Folder' is a decent app that does this perfectly already

Studio384 says:

Through this will probably work much faster.

Not perfectly though.

Yousef Kawmi says:

Yeah, it's slow.

DarwinPurol says:

Not all phones can support that app

2tomtom says:

Tried it and deleted it. Don't see the point, it looks rubbish and what's the use for live tiles....

Roan Grunder says:

Hehe, maybe the term 'perfectly' is a bit strong... Its not bad. I like the fact that it supports transparent tiles. It looks better for me than placing all those non-transparent tiles on my front screen.

shukuist says:

Too late

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Watching soccer right now Netherlands Mexico 0-0
So I can't react now ;)

2tomtom says:

Mexico to win, asked Cortana :-/s

ven07 says:

Oh hallelujah! I would love this

Studio384 says:

I hope the tile of a folder acts like the people hub, but then with pictures of the tile instead of avatars.

psiu_glen says:

Now if they could only come up with a way to group related apps together in the Apps menu...I could take all of my games...put them into a folder, a repository, a "hub" if you will, and I will call it "Games".

2tomtom says:

A Games Hub, brilliant idea. You could include an avatar and achievements etc...

Grrrr Mexico scores :/

2tomtom says:

Did tell you what Cortana said :-)

Will this be a way of mitigating some hub functionality?

EMINENT 1 says:

I'm enjoying the best of both worlds on my dev. preview of WP 8.1 on my 920! Bring it

ebradley says:

There are only a few tiles I worry about being Live. This will help with a even more minimalist Start screen. For me anyway.

ajit920 says:

Really needed

Aashish13 says:

Interactive live tiles would be better. Don't need an app folder. If want to use an app which I haven't pinned to I can quickly swipe right

ricardios says:

Yes, hopefully it's fast opening up

Chemilinski says:

As with a lot of functions that aren't or weren't in Windows, it should've already been there to begin with.

MARKjotep says:

1.To get to any of the apps in the folder, just tap the folder to open it, and then tap the app you want.

2.To close the folder, tap anywhere outside it."

wow. so this means that this folder works like an IOS folder.
Well it should work this way since its easier.. OVERLAY.
im smelling chatHead support!!

cyborg4 says:

No, the instructions have not been pulled!

RaRa85 says:

A welcome addition. More options are better than less options as long as it is done well.

shivamgoel says:

It would be an awesome addition....

wphashan says:

Hope this will do the job, nokia app folder sucks!

saahil687 says:

Awesome if I'd come actually..

Studio384 says:

If you don't come it's still awesome.

usman567 says:

Nice one. I will use for photo editor apps and games !

troylytle says:

The way they word this on the site makes me about certain it will come out in the GDR1 release.

troylytle says:

Now proven... Lol.