Windows Operating System Features

Two things exist to help your computer get something done: an operating system and application programs. The hardware is the machinery part and the complementary part of the computer is the software, in which the prime position goes to the operating system. The popular operating system used in today's personal computers is Windows. The user needs to know about any of the versions of Windows OS, otherwise he/she will not be able to operate a computer. The peculiarity of Windows OS lies on its Graphics User Interface (GUI) nature, by which the user is provided with an easy means to operate the computer. Instead of typing in cryptic commands one line at a time, running a program is now as simple as pointing and clicking.

When you want to work on your computer, switch ON the power switch seen on the big box (system unit) and also switch ON the Monitor by pressing the concerned switches. Now you can see Windows on your screen for a short while during a process called booting takes place. Booting is an automatic procedure performed by the computer, which is the process of loading the necessary OS files into the main memory from the secondary storage device attached to your computer. Microsoft introduced Windows 98 in the summer of 1998, which is the successor of Windows 95. After that Windows XP, Windows CE, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 are introduced. Windows 10 is the latest operating version. In this post, we will see how we can work on a computer that has Windows as its operating system.


➢ Turn ON your Computer's Monitor.

➢ Turn ON your Computer.

Once your computer is turned ON, several things will happen as part of the startup procedure in which booting is the last activity. After doing all these, the system stops at Desktop, which is the front door of Windows. This is your centre of control, from where your work begins. As shown in figure, some labeled symbols can be seen on the desktop and are called icons. Also you can see an arrow mark, called mouse pointer. The icons and mouse are some of the key features (known as WIMP feature -Windows, Icon, Mouse, Pop up) of any GUI software (software that provides GUI facility).


The description or some common items seen on the screen is detailed below:

Desktop - The large, background area of the Windows screen. You can customize the desktop by adding shortcuts to your favorite programs documents, and printers. You can also change the look of the desktop to fit your mood and personality.

My Computer - It is used to see everything available on your computer.

Recycle Bin - A temporary holding bin for the stuff you have deleted from your system. The contents of the bin can be removed forever or you can restore them at the original locations, if there is a change of mind about deleting.

Network Neighborhood - This icon, when clicked, enables you to peep at the other computers in the network. It's like a Peeping Tom icon.

My Briefcase - If you work on two computers, you can use the brief case to keep your files up-to-date.

Taskbar - The taskbar is located at the bottom of your screen. It is used to switch quickly between the windows of programs or documents you have opened.

Start Button - The Start button lets you quickly open your programs and documents. You can also use the Start button to find the files and change the settings for Windows.

Quick Launch Toolbar - It gives you quick access to your most frequently used applications. Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, the Windows desktop, and several Websites, called channels, are already included in the Quick Launch Toolbar by default.


To one side of the task bar is the Start button, or Start Thing. It is a thing because when you click on the Start button, up pops a menu full of selections that lead to even more selections; that again lead to even more selections. If you don't see the taskbar on your screen, you can press Ctrl + Esc key combination (Press and hold Ctrl Key and then tap the Esc Key. Release both the keys) to pop up the Start Thing's menu.

The Start Thing's menu.jpg

Follow these steps to activate the Start thing, and then close it again:

1. Click your mouse on the Start button and the Start menu pops up. If you are using one of the new Windows keyboards, you can press the Windows but-ton (between the Ctrl and Alt buttons on the lower left side of the keyboard) to pop up the Start Thing’s menu.

2. There are several items on the Start Thing's menu, as seen in figure. Each plays some role in working Windows. Move your mouse over the programs/ options and you will see even more items.

3. Click the Start button again and the pop up menu disappears. You can also just click your mouse anywhere on the desktop or press the Esc key for the same thing.


A computer file is a named unit of information. You can store your data, pictures, programs, etc. on some file. To identify each file, you can give names and you will make use of these names to refer the information, the content. As we know these file are stored in secondary storage devices, a very large number of files may be kept in your hard disk, floppies and/or CDs. When such devices are set for storing data (the process called formatting the disk), a shelf like place, called folder (directory) will be created in the device to keep the files. The devices are identified as drives and they will also be identified by their respective names and these names are given by the computer manufacturer/Operating System. Thus floppy drive (the place to insert your floppy in the computer) is given the names A and B; hard disk is given the name C and CD drive is given the name D. In the case of hard disk you are permitted to partition it and give names such as D, E, etc. In such situation the CD drive will be given the next letter as its name.

The folder, created by the operating system, in these drives is known as Root folder. It will be difficult to retrieve a file of your interest, if all the files are kept in the Root folder. So you can subdivide this Root folder into sub folders and can be given unique names. Again these sub folders can further be sub divided and this can be continued as per your wish and convenience. Let us see how the folders and files can be managed.

A. To Create a New Folder:

➢ Double click My Computer in the desktop and again double click the disk drive or folder in which you want to place the new folder.

Alternatively you can run Windows Explorer (by pointing the mouse at. Start button clicking the right button and selecting Explore command) and double click the drive or folder.

➢ On the File menu, point to New and then click Folder. A new folder appears in the location you specified.

➢ Give a name to it, otherwise it will be known as New Folder.

B. Finding Files and Folders

Instead of opening and checking every folder for a particular file or folder, you can use the Find command of Windows Explorer.

➢ Point to the Start button and click the right mouse button (usually), and select Find command. A window as shown in figure will be displayed, where you can specify the file to be searched. You can also specify the locations for better and faster results.

➢After filling the necessary details in the text boxes, click Find Now button. After a moment the result of the search will be displayed.

C. Opening Files and Folders

Once you obtained the file on a folder, you can open it by double clicking on it. Now, if you want to open a folder, do the following:

➢ On the desktop, double click My Computer. Now the My Computer Window opens.

➢ Double click the drive that contains your file or folder.

➢ Double click the file or folder that you want to open.

Alternatively this can be attained by using Windows Explorer.

D. Renaming Files or Folders

If you wish to change the name of your file or folder, do any of the following methods:

Renaming Through File Menu

➢ In a window, select the file or folder you want to rename.

➢ Select the File menu and click Rename command.

➢ Type a new name and press Enter key.

Renaming through Shortcut menu

➢ In a window select the file or folder you want to rename.

➢ Click right mouse button to bring the shortcut (or context) menu for the folder/file.

➢ Select Rename command from the menu

➢ Type a new name and press Enter key.

E. To Move or Copy a File or Folder

You can make a copy of the file or folder and place it in another folder. Even vou can physically move the position of a file or folder from one folder to another. The copying and moving can be performed on different drives also.

➢ Double click My Computer and get the file or folder to be copied/moved and click it. If there are more than one file/folder, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the files/folders one after the other.

➢ Click the menu Edit. To move the file/folder click the Cut command. To copy the file/folder click the Copy command.

➢ Open the folder or drive, where you want to place the file/folder

➢ Click Edit menu and then click Paste command.

F. To Delete a File or Folder

➢ Double click My Computer and get the file or folder to be deleted. Now click it.

➢ Click File menu and then click Delete command or select Delete command from the shortcut menu.

The files or folders that you delete are put in the Recycle Bin, an item in the desktop. If you regret on deletion, you can restore the deleted files or folders in their original locations. Otherwise you permanently remove from your hard disk by emptying the Recycle Bin. To perform the activities emptying and restoring the Bin, proceed as follows:

➢ In the desktop, open the Recycle Bin by double clicking it.

➢ Click File menu

➢ Click Empty Recycle Bin command for emptying. If you want to perform restore action, select the file(s) to be restored and Click Restore command.

G. Running of Programs

A program can be run or executed in many ways when you are using Windows OS. The easiest method is double clicking the icon that represents the program. Alternatively you can do the following:

➢ Click the Start button.

➢ Select Programs option.

➢ Move towards the program list; select the program by pointing to it; and click it.

There is yet another method for running a program and is as follows:

➢ Click the Start button.

➢ Click the Run... option.

➢ A window as shown in figure is displayed on the screen

➢ Type the file name to be run in the Open: text box.

➢ Click OK button or press Enter key.

run window.jpg


WordPad is a typical basic Windows accessory and it is a Windows application to create text files. Follow these steps to start WordPad:

1. Activate Start button and pop up the Start menu.

2. Choose the command Programs, Accessories. The item WordPad would be listed in the Accessories' submenu, probably towards the bottom.

3. Click WordPad. WordPad starts in its own window on the Desktop. It looks as shown in figure.

wordpad window.jpg

Let us have a journey through the screen to have acquaintance with the elements visible.

Menu Bar: It appears near the top of the programmer’s window. It contains several keywords, each of which describes a category of command: File, Edit, View, Insert, Format and Help. Each of these words is the name of a menu. To activate a menu, click on its name using the mouse. The menu item can be activated by clicking it or by using the concerned keyboard shortcuts, which are the key combinations for quick activation.

Tool Bar: Some programs offer quick shortcuts to common commands. These appear on a strip of buttons, called toolbar, somewhere below the menu bar occasionally on floating palettes (tiny window that hover over your screen). The idea here is simple: Click on a button with mouse to get some command quickly. When a button is pointed to by the mouse, a bubble or balloon appears over the icon which tells what the button does. This bubble is called tooltip.

Status Bar: It is nothing more than a strip of information across the windows appears on the bottom of the screen. In WordPad, it may say "For help, Press Fl" or it may tell you about a command. It also informs about the status of the keys like Num Lock and Caps Lock.

Title Bar: It is also a strip appears on the top of the screen that contains document icon, document name and the name of the program that supports the document. It also contains the window's control buttons (on the right side of the strip) for minimizing, maximizing and closing the window.

Formatting Bar: It is tool bar like strip that contains the buttons for formatting the document. This can also be in floating palette form the buttons of which are the shortcuts of the commands under the Format menu of the menu bar. It also contains the type and size of the font being used in the document. Usually it appears below the tool bar. Note that being floating palettes the strips except title bar and status bar can be placed anywhere on the screen.

Stuff: It is the biggest window appears on the screen, which contains the document text. On top of the text and below the strips there is Ruler, which is used as a scale for setting margins and indents.

Scroll Bar: It is a vertical strip using which the text can be scrolled up or down by dragging the button on the strip downwards or upwards with the mouse. Scroll bar appears on the right side of the screen.

If you have completed your work using WordPad, return to Desktop by exiting the WordPad. This can be done by either clicking the close button in the title bar or by clicking at the command Exit of the File menu.


Windows comes with its own drawing program, officially called Paint. You can use it to create graphical images, doodle, to make artwork for your documents or new Desktop wallpaper patterns (i.e., the background of the Desktop screen) and to edit graphic images. When you are ready to draw the picture load the Paint program by following the steps given below:

1. Activate Start button and pop up the Start menu.

2. Choose the commands Programs, Accessories. The item Paint would be listed in the Accessories' submenu, probably towards the bottom.

3. Click Paint. Paint starts in its own window on the Desktop. It looks as shown in figure.

paint window.jpg

The new elements you can see on the screen are the Tool palette and Color palette. The tool palette gives you the tool for drawing and the color palette contains the colors you can select to make your picture colourful and attractive.

The following are the tools available on the tool palette:

Selection Tools: Use the selection tools to select graphics on the screen for dragging, copying, or cutting. Use star-shaped selection tool to drag around unusual shapes and select them; the rectangle selection tool selects only rectangular shapes.

Color Eraser: If you click the right button of the mouse while using the Eraser tool, you are actually using the color eraser. In that mode, only the selected foreground colour will be erased, replaced by the background colour. This is a handy tool for erasing only certain parts of your images without the need for precision.

Paint Bucket: It is the Fill Color tool, which fills an area on the screen with a specific colour. Click with the left mouse button to fill with the foreground colour; click with the right mouse button to fill with the background colour.

Eyedropper: It is the Pick Color tool, which is used to choose a colour from the canvas's image (the stuff that is present on the screen).

Magnifier: It is used to view the parts of the image on the canvas in an enlarged (magnified) form. Select this tool, point to the part to be magnified, and press the left mouse button. To make it in normal fashion, again click the tool and click the mouse somewhere in the canvas. This view is because of the Zoom in and Zoom out of the image.

Pencil: It is used to draw a thin line. It is best used when you zoom in to a graphic for tight to tiny work. Press Ctrl +Page Down to zoom in; press Ctrl + Page Up to zoom out.

Brush: The brush draws a thicker line than the Pencil and in one of the shapes from the tool option palette.

Airbrush: It is used to spray a selected colour on the canvas. This is accomplished by clicking the left mouse button.

Text Tool: It allows you to type in graphical text. Choose the View menu and click Text Toolbar, so you can choose font, size and style for the text. Note that the text drawn in the current foreground colour, if you do not see the text, it is probably because you have selected white as the foreground colour.

Line Draw: It enables you to draw a straight line from one point to another. You do this by dragging the mouse. Choose a line width from the tool option palette.

Curve: It is used to draw curves. Select-the tool and click the mouse at two points; a straight line appears; and now drags the mouse properly to make the line a curve.

Shape Tools: They draw their respective shapes. The width of the line is chosen by clicking the Line Draw tool and setting a width.

Now draw the desired pictures with these tools. Initially you may not be able to draw with perfection. With a better control of mouse you can draw pictures, edit images with maximum perfection.


When you finished your use of the computer for the day, you should shutdown Windows and turn off your computer. Follow these steps to shut down Windows:

➢ Activate the Start button. You can do this most quickly by pressing Ctrl + Esc or by pressing Windows key.

➢ Select the bottom item Shut Down.... Now you can see the dialogue box as shown in figure.

shut down windows.jpg

1. Make sure the option Shut down is selected. Click the option button if there isn't a black dot by it.

2. Click on the OK button. If you change your mind, click Cancel button and Windows will return to normal.

3. Windows will hum. It will stir. It will wrap things up for you. If you haven't yet saved any documents to disk, you will be informed of that now and given a chance to save. Otherwise Windows hums and stirs some more.

4. All done. The final screen displays the Windows logo and tells you ifs okay to turn off your computer. The latest systems produce a beep sound and shut down.