The Start menu (overview)

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1 The Start menu (overview) The Start menu is the main gateway to your computer's programs, folders, and settings. It's called a menu because it provides a list of choices, just as a restaurant menu does. And as "Start" implies, it's often the place that you'll go to start or open things. Use the Start menu to do these common activities: Start programs Open commonly used folders Search for files, folders, and programs Adjust computer settings Get help with the Windows operating system Turn off the computer Log off from Windows or switch to a different user account Getting started with the Start menu To open the Start menu, click the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen. Or, press the Windows logo key on your keyboard. The Start menu appears. The Start menu is divided into three basic parts: The large left pane shows a short list of programs on your computer. You can customize this list. Clicking All Programs displays a complete list of programs. In the lower left corner is the search box, which allows you to look for programs and files on your computer by typing in search terms. The right pane provides access to commonly used folders, files, settings, and features. It's also where you go to log off from Windows or turn off your computer. Start Menu Handout Page 1

2 Opening programs from the Start menu One of the most common uses of the Start menu is opening programs installed on your computer. To open a program shown in the left pane of the Start menu, click it. The program opens and the Start menu closes. If you don't see the program you want to open, click All Programs at the bottom of the left pane. Instantly, the left pane displays a long list of programs in alphabetical order, followed by a list of folders: The Start menu after clicking All Programs. Clicking one of the program icons launches the program, and the Start menu closes. So what's inside the folders? More programs. Click Accessories, for example, and a list of programs that are stored in that folder appears. Click any program to open it. To get back to the programs you saw when you first opened the Start menu, click Back near the bottom of the menu. Clicking the Accessories folder shows the programs it contains Start Menu Handout Page 2

3 If you're ever unsure what a program does, move the pointer over its icon or name. A box appears that often contains a description of the program. For example, pointing to Calculator displays this message: "Performs basic arithmetic tasks with an on-screen calculator." This trick works for items in the right pane of the Start menu, too. Pointing to an item displays information about it You might notice that over time, the lists of programs in your Start menu change. This happens for two reasons. First, when you install new programs, they get added to the All Programs list. Second, the Start menu detects which programs you use the most and it places them in the left pane for quick access. The Search box The Search box is one of the most convenient ways to find things on your computer. The exact location of the items doesn't matter the Search box will scour your programs and all of the folders in your personal folder (which includes Documents, Pictures, Music, Desktop, and other common locations). It will also search your messages, saved instant messages, appointments, and contacts. The Start menu Search box To use the Search box, open the Start menu and start typing. You don't need to click inside the box first. As you type, the search results appear above the Search box in the left pane of the Start menu. A program, file, or folder will appear as a search result if: Any word in its title matches or begins with your search term. Any text in the actual contents of the file such as the text in a word-processing document matches or begins with your search term. Any word in a property of the file, such as the author, matches or begins with your search term. Click any search result to open it. Or, click the Clear button to clear the search results and return to the main programs list. You can also click See all results to display the search results in a folder with more advanced options; or Search the Internet to open your web browser and search the Internet for your term. If your search produced no results, you can click Search Everywhere to search your entire computer. Besides programs, files and folders, and communications, the Search box also looks through your Internet favorites and the history of websites you've visited. If any of these web pages include the search term, they appear under a heading called "Favorites and History." Start Menu Handout Page 3

4 To search for programs or files from the Start menu Click the Start button, and then type a word or phrase in the Search box. As you type, items that match your text will appear on the Start menu. The search is based on text in the file name, text in the file, tags, and other file properties. You don't need to press ENTER, since searching happens automatically. What's in the right pane? The right pane of the Start menu contains links to parts of Windows that you're likely to use frequently. Here they are, from top to bottom: Personal folder. Opens your personal folder, which is named for whoever is currently logged on to Windows. For example, if the current user is Molly Clark, the folder will be named Molly Clark. This folder, in turn, contains user-specific files, including the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders. Documents. Opens the Documents folder, where you can store and open text files, spreadsheets, presentations, and other kinds of documents. Pictures. Opens the Pictures folder, where you can store and view digital pictures and graphics files. Music. Opens the Music folder, where you can store and play music and other audio files. Games. Opens the Games folder, where you can access all of the games on your computer. Search. Opens a window where you can search your computer using advanced options. Recent Items. Opens a list of files you've opened recently. Click one of the files in the list to open it. Computer. Opens a window where you can access disk drives, cameras, printers, scanners, and other hardware connected to your computer. Network. Opens a window where you can access the computers and devices on your network. Connect To. Opens a window where you can connect to a new network. Control Panel. Opens Control Panel, where you can customize the appearance and functionality of your computer, add or remove programs, set up network connections, and manage user accounts. Default Programs. Opens a window where you can choose which program you want Windows to use for activities like web browsing, editing pictures, sending , and playing music and videos. Help and Support. Opens Windows Help and Support, where you can browse and search Help topics about using Windows and your computer. Power button (left); Lock button (right) At the bottom of the right pane are two buttons: the Power button and the Lock button. Click the Power button to save your session and put your computer in a low power state, or click the Lock button to lock your computer without turning it off. Once locked, your computer cannot be used until you unlock it with your password. Clicking the arrow next to the lock button displays a menu with additional options for switching users, logging off, restarting, or shutting down. Start Menu Handout Page 4

5 Customize the Start menu You can control which items appear in the Start menu. For example, you can add icons for your favorite programs to the Start menu for easy access, or remove programs from the list. You can also choose to hide or display certain items in the right pane. Organizing the Start menu can make it easier to find your favorite programs and folders. Note: Some of the following steps do not apply if you're using the Classic Start menu. To pin a program icon to the Start menu If you use a program regularly, you can create a shortcut to it by pinning the program icon to the Start menu. Pinned program icons appear on the left side of the Start menu, above the horizontal line. Right-click the program icon you want to pin to the Start menu, and then click Pin to Start Menu. To unpin a program icon, right-click it, and then click Unpin from Start Menu. To change the order of a pinned item, drag the program icon to a new position in the list. To remove a program icon from the Start menu Removing a program icon from the Start menu doesn't remove it from the All Programs list or uninstall the program. 1. Click the Start button. 2. Right-click the program icon you want to remove from the Start menu, and then click Remove from this list. Start Menu Handout Page 5

6 To move the Start button The Start button is located on the taskbar. Although you can't remove the Start button from the taskbar, you can move the taskbar and the Start button along with it. 1. Right-click an empty space on the taskbar. If Lock the Taskbar has a check mark beside it, click it to remove the check mark. 2. Click an empty space on the taskbar, and then hold down the mouse button as you drag the taskbar to one of the four edges of the desktop. When the taskbar is where you want it, release the mouse button. Note: To lock the taskbar into place, right-click an empty space on the taskbar, and then click Lock the Taskbar so that the check mark reappears. To clear recent items from the Start menu Clearing the Recent Items list does not delete the items from your computer. 1. Click the Start button. 2. Right-click Recent Items, and then click Clear Recent Items List. To adjust the number of shortcuts for frequently used programs Windows displays shortcuts on the Start menu for the programs you use most frequently. You can change the number of program shortcuts displayed. 2. Click the Start Menu tab, and then click Customize. 3. In the Customize Start Menu dialog box, in the Number of recent programs to display box, enter the number of programs you want to display on the Start menu, and then click OK. To customize the right pane of the Start menu You can add or remove items, such as Computer, Control Panel, and Pictures, that appear on the right side of the Start menu. You can also change some items so that they appear as links or menus. 2. Click the Start Menu tab, and then click Customize. 3. In the Customize Start Menu dialog box, select the options in the list that you want, and then click OK. To restore Start menu default settings You can restore the Start menu to its original, default settings. 2. Click the Start Menu tab, and then click Customize. 3. In the Customize Start Menu dialog box, click Use Default Settings, and then click OK. To change the Start menu to Classic view The classic view of Start menu is based on previous version of Windows. 1. Right-click the Start button, chose Properties 2. Click the Start Menu tab, click Classic Start menu, and then click OK. Start Menu Handout Page 6

7 Add or remove Recent Items on the Start menu Recent Items, which is located on the right side of the Start menu, displays a list of the files that you've used recently. You can open a file from this list by clicking it. Recent Items appears on the Start menu by default, but you can remove it, which will stop Windows from compiling a list of your recently opened files. If you want to begin compiling a list of your recently opened files again, you can add Recent Items back to the Start menu. 2. Click the Start Menu tab, and then, under Privacy, select the Store and display a list of recently opened files check box so that it is checked. This will add Recent Items to the Start menu. To remove Recent Items from the Start menu, clear the Store and display a list of recently opened files check box. Start Menu Handout Page 7

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