Familiarize yourself with the Windows 8 desktop so you can navigate with File Explorer, pin apps, manage open windows, and more.
Although Windows 8 uses the Start screen for launching apps and other tasks, the desktop view is still an important feature you'll need to know how to use. In this lesson, we'll show you the basics of using the desktop, including how to navigate with File Explorer, pin apps to the taskbar, and manage open windows with the built-in desktop effects.
Watch the video to learn the basics of using the desktop.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about the desktop view in Windows 8.
On the right side of the taskbar, you will see the date and time. There will also be shortcuts to different settings, like Internet settings and sound volume.
The taskbar contains shortcuts to applications, the date & time, and more. When you open a program or file, it will appear on the taskbar, and you can easily switch between different programs by selecting them on the taskbar.
Some programs will have shortcuts on the taskbar for easy access. In this example, there are shortcuts to Internet Explorer, File Explorer, and Windows Media Player.
When you double-click a folder, it will open in a specialized program called File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer). This allows you to navigate to the specific folder or file you want.
The desktop background, or wallpaper, allows you to personalize your computer. You can choose a built-in background or use one of your own images.
You can keep folders, files, and shortcuts on the desktop so they'll be easily accessible.
When you delete a file, it is moved to the Recycle Bin. This allows you to recover the file if you change your mind. To permanently delete the file, you will need to empty the Recycle Bin.
In Windows 8, you'll click the Start button to return to the Start screen.
In Windows 7 and earlier versions, you'll click the Start button to open the Start menu.