This tutorial is for newcomers who have never worked with Windows before. Most of the screenshots are from Windows 7; however, the tutorials are also appropriate for Windows 10 (see Win10 abc's
). To learn about operating systems in general, see operating system
. For handy Windows tips, see Win tips
What's a Window?
A window is a rectangular area on screen with a title bar and program name at the top. Each time you launch (run) a Windows application, it is displayed in its own window. You can launch several applications and keep them all open.
You can place windows side-by-side in order to view more than one document at the same time. The windows can be moved around, overlapped, made smaller or made to take up the full screen, and you can easily switch between them. When you rerun an application, it should come back in the same window size that existed when you exited the program.
Windows in Windows
Windows, the Mac and every other graphics-based operating system, display applications in a window. This shows the computer's desktop partially covered by four open programs, each in a window. Applications can also open up other windows.
To learn the basics, bookmark this section and read the following entries in sequence. All the Windows how to's in this encyclopedia start with a "Win" prefix.
A - Start Menu and Taskbar
The Start menu is the launching pad for running applications, and the title bar and Taskbar identify what is running. See Win Start menu
, Win Title bar
, Win Taskbar
and Win File menu
B - Switching and Moving Windows
You can switch from one open application to another, and you can take a window off screen temporarily. You can move windows around on screen and change their size. See Win Switch windows
, Win Minimize windows
, Win Copy between windows
and Win Change window position and size
C - Using Windows Explorer
Since install programs create the appropriate folders for storing the application, and since the applications save data into default folders, many users never deal with file management. However, you may want to add folders for better organization, or you may want to transfer data into or out of the computer via a USB drive. In such cases, the Explorer utility is used, which is an important component in Windows. See Win Explorer
, Win Folder organization
, Win Create new folder
, Win Highlighting items
, Win Copy/move files/folders
and Win Drag and drop