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Operating System

a computer program that manages all other programs on the computer, stores files, allows you to use software programs and coordinates the use of computer hardware


the area you can see on your screen after you log on to Windows


long horizontal bar located at the bottom of the screen; shows which programs are running on the computer and allows you to easily switch between them, contains the start button, the quick launch toolbar, middle section and the notification area


located on the right side of the desktop that contains small programs called Gadgets

User Account

collection of information which tells Windows the files and folders you can access, what changes you can make to the computer and your personal preferences, such as your desktop, background or color theme

Standard User Account

allows a person to use most of the capabilities of the computer, but must gain permission from an administrator to make changes which affect other uses or the security of the computer

Administrator Account

user account that allows you to make changes to the computer that will affect other users

Guest Account

Account for users who do not have a permanent account on the computer


a string of characters, letters or numbers people can use to log on to a computer


small pictures which represent files, folders and programs, to delete right click and click delete, Windows Vista automatically arranges icons in columns on the left side of desktop


an icon that represents a link to an item rather than the item itself

Quick Launch Toolbar

allows you to start programs and documents you have open and lets you quickly switch between them, located on the Taskbar


a small picture which shows a miniature version of the corresponding window, especially useful if you cannot identify a window by its title alone

Notification Area

located on the right side of the toolbar; includes a clock and icons that show the status of certain programs and computer settings

Show Desktop Button

temporarily hides all open windows and allows the desktop to be viewed

Start Button

main function is to open the Start menu, located on the Taskbar, can be used to access programs, folders and computer settings

Start Menu

main access point of all of your computer's programs, filders and settings


offer information at a glance and provides easy access to frequently used tools, if a gadget isn't installed on computer you can't install it


A collection of visual elements that can affect the style of windows, icons, fonts, colors and sometimes sounds


desktop background is a picture or design on the desktop, provides a background to your open windows

User Account Picture

helps identify your account on a computer, displayed on the Welcome screen and on the Start menu


contains a collection of related information


a container in which you can store files

Recycle Bin

allows you to recover files of folders that were accidentally deleted


software or hardware that checks information coming from the Internet or a network and then either turns it away or allows it to pass through to your computer

Antivirus Software

protects your computer against viruses, worms and other security threats


malicious software


removes a window from the desktop temporarily

Show Hidden Icons

click to temporarily display hidden icons

Search Box

a convenient way to find items on your computer

Security Center

where to check your computer's security status and fix security problems

Middle Section

shows you which programs and documents you have open and lets you quickly switch between them, located on the taskbar

Screen Saver

picture or animation that appears on the screen when you have not used the mouse or keyboard for a set period of time

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