The Taskbar (Continued)


To change other taskbar items, right click anywhere on the taskbar where there are no icons, then left click on Properties and you will get the settings box shown here.  It will be slightly different in Win95-ME but the same basic settings.  The properties screen shot to the left will look a little different with later versions of Windows, but it still works the same way.


You can also move the taskbar around, make it larger, etc. Sometimes some computers can be a little finicky performing this operation, so to make things easier, move the mouse cursor over the border between the taskbar and the Windows desktop.  The cursor should change to a double-headed arrow.  Click and drag a very little distance toward the desktop. This should make the taskbar wider.  Go to a blank area around the Start button and click and hold the left mouse button and drag the taskbar to somewhere else, the top for instance, and let go.  The taskbar will now be in the new position.  Now you can go back, to the border where the cursor changes to a double headed arrow, again click and drag to make the taskbar narrower.

To switch to a program which is already running, either locate the program on the taskbar and then click on it with the mouse, or, hold the Alt key down and tap the Tab key, while still holding the Alt key.  This will bring up a window in the middle showing the running programs. When the program you want to switch to is highlighted, let go of the Alt key and the program will be the active window.  If you want to change form one program to another, the highlight will cycle though the programs one at a time each time you tap the Tab key.

The area on the right (by the clock) is called the system tray.  Here you will find an icon for most of the programs which are running when Windows starts.  There should be a minimum number of icons here.  Many programs which you install, such as Real Player, will put programs here. These programs are not necessary and they tend to use up system memory.

You can also right click on these icons and open, close, or set configurations from the context menus. The system clock usually only displays the time of day.  If you hover over the clock the date will be displayed.

If you right click on the clock you can then click on the menu to adjust the time or date.  NOTE: Windows XP has the capability to synchronize your clock once a day to correct the time.  Most computer clocks do a fairly good job of keeping time, although, some computers' clocks are not very accurate at all.


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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.