Become more familiar with the Windows XP desktop in this free lesson.
To begin exploring Windows XP, click the Start button.
When you click the Start button, the Start menu appears. The Start menu is your gateway to the applications on your computer. The left side of the Start menu lists programs, while the right side allows access to common Windows folders (My Documents, for example). It also provides access to Help and Support, Search, and Run.
If you select All Programs, a pop-up menu appears. Pop-up menus like this are called cascading menus. If a cascading menu is available, a small black triangle appears next to the name of the application or function.
In the example below, the Word program has been selected.
The Start menu remembers items you've recently opened and places each icon on the Start menu so you can easily open them the next time you open the Start menu. For example, if you recently opened Microsoft Word using StartAll ProgramsMicrosoft Word, the next time you open the Start menu simply click the Word icon on the left side of the Start menu.