Woking with Windows Vista desktop and taskbar

Posted by Meo Con on 01:16 in
What is a desktop?

If you are using Windows Vista, after you start your computer the first thing you see is the desktop. The desktop is your work area.

Can you explain the Windows Vista desktop?

The following table explains the various features of the Windows Vista desktop.

The Desktop




By default, the taskbar is located on the bottom edge of the desktop. You can click the taskbar and drag it to other locations. The Start button, active program buttons, icons for quick access to programs, and the notification area are located on the taskbar.

Recycle Bin

When you delete an object, Windows Vista sends it to the Recycle Bin. You can restore objects from the Recycle Bin or you can permanently delete them.

Shortcut icon

Icons with an arrow in the lower-left corner are shortcut icons. Click the icon for quick access to the object it represents (program, document, printer, and so on).

Program, folder, and document icons

Program, folder, and document icons do not have an arrow in the lower-left corner. These icons represent the actual objects and provide direct access to the objects. Be careful: When you delete a program, folder, or document icon, you are deleting the actual program, folder, or document.


The default placement for the Windows Vista sidebar is along the right side of your desktop. You can use the sidebar to display gadgets. Gadgets are small programs with which you can display a clock, post notes, track stocks, or perform other miscellaneous tasks.

Can you explain the taskbar?

The taskbar is a long bar that by default runs along the bottom of your desktop. The Start button, Quick Launch toolbar, active program buttons, and the notification area are located on the taskbar.

The Taskbar

1 Start 2 Quick Launch Toolbar
3 Active Program Buttons 4 Notification Area

You click the Start button to display the Start menu. You use the Start menu to open programs and to perform other functions such as searching for files.

On the taskbar, right next to the Start button is the Quick Launch toolbar. Using the Quick Launch toolbar, you can open a program or file simply by clicking its icon. To add an icon to the Quick Launch toolbar:

  1. Locate the program you want to add.
  2. Right-click. A context menu appears.
  3. Click Add to Quick Launch. Vista adds the program to the Quick Launch toolbar.

Quick Launch

1 Show Desktop 2

Switch Between Windows

Two icons appear on the Quick Launch toolbar by default: the Show Desktop icon and the Switch between Windows icon. You can display the desktop by clicking the Show Desktop icon. You can use the Switch between Windows icon to display all open windows in 3D flip if your version of windows has Aero or you can use the Switch between Windows icon to tab through open windows if your version of Vista does not have Aero.

Open Programs

When using Vista, each program, document, or other type of file opens in its own window. You can have multiple programs, documents, and files open at a given time. A button for each open program, file, or document window displays on the taskbar. You can quickly move from one open file to another open file by clicking the files button. If you have a large number of files open, Vista may group all files of a given type together. For example, if you have several Microsoft Word documents open, Vista may group them together. When you click the button for Microsoft Word, Vista displays a menu of open Word files. You can click the document you want to open.

Notification Area

The notification area is located on the right side of the task bar. It displays several icons and the current time. The icons that display depend on the way in which your computer is configured. You can move your mouse pointer over an icon to see the current settings for the option the icon represents. In many cases, you can click the icon to change the settings. For example, the Volume icon is located in the notification area. When you pause your over the Volume icon the volume setting for the speakers on your computer appears. You can click the icon to adjust the volume.


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