If you are new to navigating Windows this free lesson will help you explore how to move around within the operating system.
Whether you're new to computers or just Windows, it's important to learn the basics of using your computer. If it all seems a little overwhelming right now, don't worry! We'll take you through it step by step and show you some of the most fundamental things you'll need to know, including how to work with the desktop, open and close windows, and turn off your computer.
Watch the video below to learn the basics of navigating Windows.
Once your computer has finished starting up, the first thing you'll see is the desktop. You can think of the desktop as the main workspace for your computer. From here, you can view and manage your files, open applications, access the Internet, and much more.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become more familiar with the desktop.
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.
You can keep folders, files, and shortcuts on the desktop so they'll be easily accessible.
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.
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.
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 and 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.
In Windows 10, Windows 7, and earlier versions, you'll click the Start button to open the Start menu. In Windows 8, you'll click the Start button to return to the Start screen.
In Windows 8, you will usually see the Start screen before the desktop. To learn more, review our lesson on Getting Started with Windows 8.