If you are new to navigating Windows this free lesson will help you explore how to move around within the operating system.
An application—also known as a program—is a type of software that allows you to complete tasks on your computer. Windows comes with many built-in applications you can use. For example, if you want to browse the Internet, you can use Microsoft Edge (or Internet Explorer if you're using Windows 8 or earlier).
There is no Start menu in Windows 8, so you'll usually open applications from the Start screen. Click the Start button to go to the Start screen, then click an app to open it.
Whenever you open a file, folder, or application, it will appear in a new window. You can have multiple items open at the same time in different windows. You'll use windows all the time, so it's important to know how to switch between open windows, how to move and resize windows, and how to close windows when you're done using them.
In Windows 8, some programs will open on the Start screen, not the desktop. If you're using Windows 8, note that the information below applies only to windows you have opened on the desktop.
You'll see the same three buttons in the upper-right corner of almost every window. These buttons allow you to perform several functions, including these below.
If you have more than one window open at the same time, you can quickly switch between them by clicking the icon for that window on the taskbar.