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Introduction to Windows

Patrick, a computer technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

It would be beneficial for you to read this introduction to computer basics first and introduction to computers, before proceeding. This will boost your knowledge about computers and give you a better chance of comprehending what is happening here.

MS Windows is a multitasking operating system that uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to link the user to the computer. A GUI is an interface that helps users to interact with the computer by use of windows, icons, and menus. The interaction between the user and the computer heavily relies on the use of a mouse and keyboard which make it possible to enter data into the computer and also manipulate it the way we want.

For you to enjoy this lesson, you have to power on the computer you intend to use. This will help you learn some of the terms used in the computer world.

What Is a Computer Desktop?

A computers' desktop is the screen that appears after your computer boots or powers on. The desktop is your PCs working area where any open programs are held. Let us have a look at desktop parts for Windows XP.

Features of Windows XP Desktop

The above table explains the various features of the Windows XP desktop.


1. Taskbar

It is located on the bottom edge of the desktop though it can be dragged to other locations. It shows the applications that are currently running on a computer

2. The Start button

It is located at the bottom left hand corner. It is used to launch or start programs

3. System tray

Located at the bottom right hand corner. It shows time and the status of system components

4. Icons

Graphical representation of objects like pictures, programs, files, devices, etc

5. Recycle Bin

Where everything you delete in a computer goes to

6. Short cut icons

Provides a quick access to program they are linked to

How to Use the Mouse

The mouse is an input device and is commonly used for pointing and clicking in order to issue commands. How to hold and be able to use it proficiently is usually a challenge especially to newbies in the computer field. However, with a little practice, it is possible to get adapted to it quickly. The pointing finger and the middle finger should be resting on the left and right buttons respectively ready to click. The remaining fingers should hold the mouse in a light grip; they should also be used to move the mouse in all directions.

Don't hold your mouse tightly and don't click so hard otherwise you will strain your hand and fingers. When I tell you to click on the start button, don't lift your mouse up and take it close to the start button. You will laugh at yourself later on when you remember this incidence. It happens, I am a computer tutor and I have seen it happen to some of my students that I have taught.

A Computer Mouse

A Computer Mouse

What Is a Window?

A computer window is an enclosed frame that is used to display programs, text files, images etc. It comprises a title bar at the top, minimize, restore down, maximize and close buttons. Other features will be present depending on the program you are using. You can have a number of windows open at the same time. The use of these buttons is as follows:

  1. Minimize button: it minimizes the window to the taskbar.
  2. Restore down: resizes your window to a smaller one.
  3. Maximize: used to enlarge the window and make it fit the whole desktop.
  4. Close: for quitting or closing the window.

A Computer Window

A Computer Window

A Computer Window

How to Work With a Window

Now, your practice lessons start here. Locate one of the icons on your desktop, I suggest you use my computer or my documents, double click on it (click on the left button two times lightly and successively, if you can't be able to do it just right click on the icon and select open). If you have succeeded, a window has opened. Now you can practice on minimizing, maximizing, restoring down and closing the window.

A Tip on How to Become a Computer Expert

The trick in becoming an expert in using computers is to practice a lot. Then as you practice, you must have your eyes open and make sure you read those messages that keep on popping up. Now for more lessons, you can check on my profile page and I am sure you will enjoy learning about computers.

Introduction to Parts of a Desktop Screen

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Patrick Kamau


chilangwa moses on May 21, 2019:

you prepared a very nice work sir .

mildret nyongoro on April 08, 2019:

the lesson was super only that it is too short

Adityaveer Singh on December 25, 2018:

It Very helpful

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on October 23, 2017:

Thanks NIWAGABA for the compliment.

NIWAGABA HANINGTON on October 18, 2017: