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I'm experimenting with Windows 8. There's still a lot I don't know how to do. I've loaded it onto a work tablet, and signed in using my Windows Live account. My Live account is linked to my Facebook account (for chat), so the People app has loaded all of the thumbnails of my FB friends. I've tried removing the account and adding a generic Live account — if I click on the app, no contacts show, but the app icon still shows the thumbnails. Is there a way to remove these thumbnails?

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One thing you can do is select the live tile by right clicking or cross swiping and then turn off live tile in the app bar. The images will still be there, but be off, you would need some new contact images to override them or wait until they expire (the expiration is 15 minutes)

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if you go to Settings on the Start Screen you can clear all personal information from tiles - it's a bit destructive since it affects all apps, but that and turning of live updates for that app should do it –  Jim O'Neil Oct 5 '12 at 3:01
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Just right click People app, a bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Click Smaller, the app tile won't show thumbnails in this mode.
To make it larger again, right-click and then click Larger.

Alternatively you can click Turn live tile off. The app tile will be large but it won't show you thumbnails, as well as any updates.

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