INFO: What is the Start Menu?

Description: The Windows 7 Start Menu is the main access to programs, files and configuration for the computer.

  1. By Clicking on the Start Button we are presented with a whole range of options. Nearly everything you see is able to do something when clicked by a mouse, either a right or left click. The basic concepts will be covered in this article.
  2. Programs are on the left hand column, Configuration and file access are on the right.

  3. Programs are used to type, edit photos, access the internet, calculate gas mileage, and talk with friends in a video call. Files are the things that programs work with. This means the documents, photos, or videos themselves. Many programs can be used to open or work with the same files.
  4. At the top on the right column is the User Photo or Picture

    1. Moving the mouse pointer over this will change it to a hand. Clicking the hand once will bring up the settings for the user account.
  5. Just below that are quick access links to the Documents, Music and Photos on the computer. Clicking on any of these names will quickly open those types of files.

  6. Just below these are the control panel and devices and printers.

    1. Control Panel has most of the configuration for the computer. From mouse settings to setting up new users most of the ways to make changes or adjustments are found here.
    2. Devices and Printers holds printer information as well as Bluetooth, Fax devices, keyboards and other connected devices. This is where a new printer can be added.
  7. The left column has the list of the most often used programs.
  8. At the bottom of the list is All Programs.
    1. Moving the mouse pointer over All Programs and waiting for a moment will open the main list of programs installed on this computer.

  9. The Search Programs and Files box at the bottom

    1. Is a quick way to find a program, configuration or file in windows 7.
    2. Type the name of what you are looking for and choose from the list that appears.

  10. The Help function in Windows 7 is very extensive.

    1. Click on Help and Support in the popup box and type a short phrase or question. A long list of helpful articles will appear.

  11. The Shut Down menu is the proper way to turn off a Windows 7 Computer. There are several options here.

    1. The first option is to click directly on Shut Down which will turn off the computer.
    2. Other options can be seen by clicking on the triangle just to the right.

    •  Switch User - will leave all the current programs open and running but to allow a second person to login to the computer with a different name and run their programs at the same time.
    •  Log off - will close all the open programs and then allow a second person to log into the computer.
    • Lock - will lock the screen so that the next person who tries to use the computer will need to enter a password to see the screen.
    • Restart - will close windows total and start the program over again without actually turning off the computer.
    • Sleep - will put the computer into low energy use mode.
    • Hibernate - will keep all of the programs in their current state while shutting off the computer completely. When turned on the computer will return to the same open programs and files that were open when Hibernate was activated.

For more assistance contact Technical Support here.