The desktop
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THE DESKTOP. Microsoft Windows Vista. AL A. LAURIO Teacher . DESKTOP. is the main screen area that you see after you turn on your computer and log on to Windows. it serves as a surface for your work.

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The desktop


Microsoft Windows Vista




  • is the main screen area that you see after you turn on your computer and log on to Windows.

  • it serves as a surface for your work.

  • we can put things on the desktop, such as files and folders, and arrange them however you want.

Working with desktop icons
Working with desktop icons


  • are small pictures that represent files, folders, programs, and other items.

Examples of Icons

Double-clicking a desktop icon starts or opens the item it represents. For example, double-clicking the Internet Explorer icon starts Internet Explorer.

Icons cont d
Icons cont’d.

To add or remove common desktop icons

  • Common desktop icons include Computer, your personal folder, Network, the Recycle Bin, Internet Explorer, and Control Panel.

  • Right-click an empty area of the desktop, and then click Personalize.

  • In the left pane, click Change desktop icons.

  • Under Desktop icons, select the check box for each icon that you want to add to the desktop, or clear the check box for each icon that you want to remove from the desktop, and then click OK.

Icons cont d1
Icons cont’d.


  • is an icon that represents a link to an item, rather than the item itself. When you double-click a shortcut, the item opens. If you delete a shortcut, only the shortcut is removed, not the original item. You can identify shortcuts by the arrow on their icon.

A folder icon (left) and a shortcut icon (right)

Shortcut cont d
Shortcut cont’d.

To add a shortcut to the desktop

  • Locate the item that you want to create a shortcut for.

  • Right-click the item, click Send To, and then click Desktop (create shortcut). The shortcut icon appears on your desktop.

To move a file from a folder to the desktop

  • Open the folder that contains the file.

  • Drag the file to the desktop.

  • To remove an icon from the desktop

  • Right-click the icon, and then click Delete. If the icon is a shortcut, only the shortcut is removed; the original item is not deleted.

Moving icons around
Moving icons around

*You can move an icon by dragging it to a new place on the desktop.

  • To automatically arrange your icons:

  • Right-click an empty area of the desktop, click View, and then click Auto Arrange.

  • To unlock the icons so that you can move them again,

  • click Auto Arrange again, clearing the check mark next to it.

Selecting multiple icons
Selecting multiple icons

To move or delete a bunch of icons at once,

  • Click an empty area of the desktop and drag the mouse.

  • Surround the icons that you want to select with the rectangle that appears.

  • Release the mouse button. Now you can drag the icons as a group or delete them.

Select multiple desktop icons by dragging a rectangle around them

Hiding desktop icons
Hiding desktop icons

To temporarily hide all of your desktop icons without actually removing them,

  • Right-click an empty part of the desktop, click View, and then click Show Desktop Icons to clear the check mark from that option.

    *You can get them back by clicking Show Desktop Icons again.

The recycle bin
The Recycle Bin

This is where deleted files and folders reside.

If you ever change your mind and decide you need a deleted file, you can get it back however…

If you're sure that you won't need the deleted items again, you can empty the Recycle Bin. Doing that will permanently delete the items and reclaim any disk space they were using.

The Recycle Bin when empty (left) and full (right)

Picking a desktop background
Picking a desktop background

* One of the easiest ways to personalize your computer is to change the desktop background, also called the wallpaper.

You can choose one of the backgrounds from:

  • Pictures and images provided by Windows,

  • favorite digital picture from your own collection,

  • a solid color.

  • pictures on the Internet designed to be used as desktop backgrounds.

The start menu


Microsoft Windows Vista



Start menu

  • is the main gateway to your computer's programs, folders, and settings.

  • also called a menu because it provides a list of choices, just as a restaurant menu does and ,

  • as "Start" implies, it's often the place that you'll go to start or open things.

Start menu cont d
Start Menu cont’d


  • Start programs

  • Open commonly used folders

  • Search for files, folders, and programs

  • Adjust computer settings

  • Get help with the Windows operating system

  • Turn off the computer

  • Log off from Windows or switch to a different user account

Start menu cont d1
Start Menu cont’d


  • To open the Start Menu…

  • click the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen. Or,

  • press the Windows logo key on your keyboard.

Start button and Start menu

Start menu cont d2
Start Menu cont’d


  • Large left pane

    - Shows a list of programs on your computer

  • Search Box

    - Allows you to look for programs and files on your computer by typing in search terms.

  • Right Pane

    - Provides access to commonly used folders, files, settings and features.

    - Is where you go to log off from Windows or turn off your computer.

Start menu cont d3
Start Menu cont’d


- most common use of the Start menu is opening programs installed on your computer

  • * To open a program shown in the left pane of the Start menu, click it. The program opens and the Start menu closes.

  • typing in the Search Box one of the most convenient ways to find things on your computer

  • scours your programs and all of the folders in your personal folder (which includes Documents, Pictures, Music, Desktop, and other common locations).

  • also searches your e‑mail messages, saved instant messages, appointments, and contacts

The Start menu Search box

Search box cont d
Search Box cont’d

  • A program, file, or folder will appear as a search result if:

  • Any word in its title matches or begins with your search term.

  • Any text in the actual contents of the file—such as the text in a word-processing document—matches or begins with your search term.

  • Any word in a property of the file, such as the author, matches or begins with your search term.

- contains links to parts of Windows that you're likely to use frequently.

  • List of Links to Parts of Windows in the Right Pane

  • Personal folder

    • - Opens your personal folder, which is named for whoever is currently logged on to Windows.

  • Documents

  • - Opens the Documents folder, where you can store and open text files, spreadsheets, presentations, and other kinds of documents.

  • Pictures

  • - Opens the Pictures folder, where you can store and view digital pictures and graphics files.

  • Music

  • - Opens the Music folder, where you can store and play music and other audio files.

  • Games

  • - Opens the Games folder, where you can access all of the games on your computer.

  • Search

  • - Opens a window where you can search your computer using advanced options.

  • Recent Items

  • -Opens a list of files you've opened recently. Click one of the files in the list to open it.

  • Computer

  • -Opens a window where you can access disk drives, cameras, printers, scanners, and other hardware connected to your computer.

  • Network

  • Opens a window where you can access the computers and devices on your network.

  • Connect To

  • Opens a window where you can connect to a new network.

  • Control Panel

  • Opens Control Panel, where you can customize the appearance and functionality of your computer, add or remove programs, set up network connections, and manage user accounts.

  • Default Programs

  • -Opens a window where you can choose which program you want Windows to use for activities like web browsing, editing pictures, sending e‑mail, and playing music and videos.

  • Help and Support

  • -Opens Windows Help and Support, where you can browse and search Help topics about using Windows and your computer.

Power button (left); Lock button (right)

The taskbar


Microsoft Windows Vista




  • is the long horizontal bar located at the bottom of your screen.

  • is visible almost all the time unlike the desktop, which can get obscured by the windows on top of it.

Four 4 main sections of a taskbar

Taskbar cont’d.


  • Start button

    • opens the Start menu.

  • Quick Launch toolbar

    • start programs with one click.

  • Middle section

    • shows which programs and documents you have opened and allows you to quickly switch between them.

  • Notification area

    • includes a clock and icons (small pictures) that communicate the status of certain programs and computer settings.

Taskbar cont’d.

The taskbar is located at the bottom of your screen

Taskbar cont’d.


  • Whenever you open a program, folder, or document, Windows creates a button on the taskbar corresponding to that item.

  • button shows the icon and name of the item.

Each program has its own button on the taskbar

Taskbar cont’d.

  • Clicking taskbar buttons is only one of several ways to switch between windows.

  • When a window is active (its taskbar button appears pressed down), clicking its taskbar button minimizes the window.

  • You can also minimize a window by clicking the Minimize button, in the upper-right corner of the window:

  • To restore a minimized window (make it show up again on the desktop), click its taskbar button.

Taskbar cont’d.

  • If the taskbar is too crowded with buttons, the buttons for the same program will be grouped into a single button.

Three Paint windows grouped into one taskbar button

  • Clicking one of the items in the menu activates its window.

  • To close all of the items in the group, right-click the group's taskbar button, and then click Close Group.