The Windows Taskbar

As you can see in the screenshot below, the taskbar is where everything is controlled from (NOTE: Windows versions after Windows 8 changes from a start button to tiles, however, that again changes after Windows 10 and may continue to change, so I am going to limit the changes to these tutorials to where things are as of the introduction of windows 10).  You click on the Start button to find programs, make system settings, and shut down the computer. NOTE: Do not shut your computer off by shutting the power off unless it is frozen and you don't have any other choice.

Always go to the Start button and click on Shut Down (Win95 thorough ME) or Turn Off Computer (WinXP and later).  Also NOTE: If your computer is stuck and won't turn off when you press the power button, before you resort to unplugging it, hold the power button in for 5 to 7 seconds and see if it shuts off. 

Windows taskbar (prior to Windows 8, or later versions of Windows with add-ons such as Start 10.

Windows 8 Start Screen

Windows 8 Taskbar

Windows 10

The area next to the Start button is where any selected toolbars are located (toolbars you've turned on, for example the Quick Launch toolbar).  The clock, if you have selected to display it, is on the far right.  The area just to the left, and including the clock, is called the system tray and includes icons which are programs which usually start up when Windows starts.  The area between the Start button and the system tray shows what programs are running.  If you click on a program shown in this area, it will make the program minimize and maximize.

Click here for information on adding, or removing a toolbar on the taskbar.  Select the toolbar from the menu below.


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Please Note: All information provided in The Help Desk web site is in easy to understand terms, in my opinion only, and may not necessarily be the only accepted answers or advice.  I will not be responsible for any problems caused from anyone making any configuration or hardware changes to their computer system resulting from information obtained from this web site.  Please contact me prior to using any content from this web site.