Desktops 101: Windows 7

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

15 thoughts on “Desktops 101: Windows 7

    1. Totally agree with you! I was having a panic attack just thinking I wouldn’t be getting my newsletter. Now I can relax, thanks, Cindy!

  1. Re: Windows 7 – Updates: Why can’t I do any updates anymore as of 15 Mar 2017? Also, tried to do a restore thinking that would solve the problem. Can’t do those anymore either. Are we, Windows 7 advocates, being left on the door step? I’m a genealogist and have over 30 years of work on my computer and I love my Windows 7. Yes, I have a backup. Carbonite. Just plainly upsets this ole grannie. Will, surely look forward to your thoughts.

  2. Cynthia……….. So happy to have you continue with Tech Tips and interesting new info.

    Good luck!

  3. Hello Cynthia! I totally agree with all comments here. Sorry to have Steve depart the scene, but I understand his predicament & reasoning. In my area, a lot of stores have called it quits as well – mainly because of loosing business to the on- line businesses. On a positive note, I look forward to receiving your newsletter/tech tips. Thank you for being here for us. Here’s wishing you the best.

    Bill H.

    P.S. I have a new email address. So please remove any reference to the old WorldStart address.

    1. Bill, I don’t have access to your old WS account, but you can click the sign-up button on the front page of this blog to sign up for my upcoming newsletter.

  4. So happy that you have continued the Technical Tips it is a great service even after many years I can still find tips to be most useful
    Please let me know what has happened to the WorldStar tips I have saved now the pictures can’t be viewed

    1. Susanne: The reason that you can’t see the images is that the newsletters contained text and html which displayed the pictures that were stored on WorldStart’s server. Newsletters containing the actual pictures files would have been very large files and difficult to send. When the WorldStart servers shut down, the images went away with them. I’ve transferred all the old tips to the new website and am in the process of re-uploading all the images to match the tips. But they won’t display in the old newsletters because they’ll actually be in a different location – the server for my new website.

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