Windows 10 Interface | Introduction to Computers

We have gone over how to install Windows 10, now we will go over how to navigate the interface.

Getting Around

In Windows 10 you navigate using the mouse and keyboard. The mouse has to functions; the left button is used to activate whatever the cursor is on and the right button brings up additional options. The keyboard has many keys and many more functions, so we will introduce them slowly.

When you start up your computer and login, you will be greeted with the desktop. This place can contain files and program shortcuts, but it is always a good idea to keep it clean.

At the bottom of the screen you will see the task bar.

Widows 10 TaskbarThis is the key to the interface. From left to right: Start Button, Cortana Searchbar, Task View Shortcut, Quick Launch Shortcuts, Notifications Area, Time and Date, and the Show Desktop Shortcut.

As we will not be using Cortana and there are shortcuts using the keyboard for task view we will disable the buttons on the taskbar. To do so we need to right click on the taskbar. This will bring up a Context Menu, it is called such as it is different depending on where and when you right click.

Taskbar Context MenuYou will want to highlight the Cortana button in the menu, this will open up a submenu where you can chose to hide Cortana, click it. Click Show Task View button in the menu to hide it as well. Context Menus often give you access to many options that would otherwise be inconvenient to access.

Now that we have a clean looking taskbar, we can go over what everything is.

The Start Button gives you access to a menu of options and all of the installed programs. This will be the launching point of most of what you do on your computer. We will come back to this in a minute.

The Quick Launch Shortcuts give you the ability to access some programs without opening the Start Menu. This is useful for your most used programs.

The Notifications Area will tell you your internet connection status, volume settings, and many more. The button just left of the time will open up a list of notifications where you can see what has been happening to your computer. The arrow on the far left opens up a menu with more icons that will give you the status of certain programs. Some programs that you will install, such as a firewall, will place icons in this menu.

The time and date are displayed and when clicked will give you a monthly calendar.

The last button is a little hard to see by some, but it will hide all of your open programs and show the desktop when clicked. This is very useful when your screen is getting crowded.

The Start MenuThe Start Menu and Programs

Click the start button or press the meta key on the keyboard (It looks like the start button) to open the start menu. It is full of ads and looks unprofessional, but we will be replacing it soon and we need it.

This is the part of the interface that brings you to your programs. Lets open File Explorer by clicking on it in the menu.

File ExplorerAll files in Windows are stored in File(Also Called Directories). These file can hold pictures, music, videos, programs, and other files. You navigate these using a program named File Explore.

At the top you see the icon that represents the program, a properties, new folder, the name of the icon, a minimize, maximize, and exit button.

You should also note that the icon for File Explorer is highlighted with a blue bar under it in the taskbar. This indicates that it is open and active.

If you click the minimize button the program will be hidden from view, to bring it back up, just click on it in the taskbar. The Maximize button will make the program take up the whole screen. The Exit button will close the program.

If you hover the cursor along any of the edges of the program you can change its size. This is helpful if you have more than one program open at once.

We will go over File Explorer in depth in the future. For now you should have an understanding of how the widows interface works.

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