I’m heading back to basics in this article and going over some common terms that folks sometimes aren’t familiar with. Often times, you’ll hear directions involving the taskbar, system tray, or start menu. If you aren’t sure what these terms mean, it’s hard to grasp what people are starting about.

Let’s start with the term desktop. The desktop is simply the start screen for most PCs. Once you’ve opened any lock screen, you’ll see the desktop.  This is an example of what you’ll see in Windows 7.


When you click on an icon representing a program on the desktop, that’s known as a shortcut. The actual program doesn’t reside on the desktop but in a program file. But this is a quick and easy way to open it without searching. Deleting the shortcut won’t delete the program.


At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find the taskbar. Here you’ll see any open programs and you can also add shortcuts to frequently used programs.


Right-clicking on a blank spot on the taskbar gives you a menu with several options.


At the far right on the taskbar, you’ll see the time and next to that the system tray. Here you’ll see icons for things like cloud accounts, audio control, WiFi, and security programs.


Click the little arrow symbol for options to customize.


To the far-left, you’ll find the familiar start button. Click that to see your start menu.


I hope this little refresher course makes your PC easier to navigate.

~ Cynthia