- pcminds

Home Page

Use XP Screen
Saver Background

A Vista Background
Screen Saver

Accessibility Visual Sound Vista XP

More Vista XP
Files Folders

How To Use Email

Contents Map

  Vista WinXP Learn Basics

Vista XP Start Menu Tutorial

 Windows Vista WinXP page focuses mainly upon learning the basic file and folder functions of each well known operating system. Seniors, newbies, 50 plus, others should be able to use their computers with a bit more confidence after doing these lessons. We do not want to be a textbook because there are zillions of those available for use. This is an introduction which hopefully will be less intimidating than several hundred pages of .. learning it all. Let's get started!
*Note - If you need Mouse Help please visit our Desktops page and learn
how to Right, Left and Double Click Mouse before doing these tasks.

 Maryland DC Virginia 50 Plus

Window - rectangles and boxes which appear on your screen.

Next we have a picture of a popular program named Notepad. Before we learn about Notepad, we need to help you learn a fairly useful skill. Sometimes more than one window or box may appear on your screen and block another window you were using behind it. How do you move it? We show you how.


Something In The Way?

Untitled  -  Notepad                    <---                              [ ]   X

File        Edit         Format          View           Help

 Example of Notepad
"Each Category Above Has Separate Drop Down Menu"

Open Area Space

Sometimes Notepad, a box, page, or other, may appear on screen and block your view from something behind it.
See large
X  right, above and away from Vista, WinXP Notepad? 
Move your Mouse Arrow into any open area outside box like "X" example and
left click once.
Notepad or other will disappear and now appear below on bottom Taskbar.
Notice Windows Notepad out of way and on WinXP, Vista Taskbar.
Another option, drag, move the box out of the way with mouse.
Place Mouse Arrow, above, anywhere inside blue, top area example of Notepad.
 <--   With finger, "left click" holding button down, do not release, slide mouse on mouse pad, and move, Drag, the box over to another place on screen, out of the way.




Knowing how to move stuff either to bottom Taskbar or Drag to another place will be necessary when you use your computer. You may need to move box or other if it blocks instructions on this page.

Vista WinXP Start Menus
Read Completely:
Located near left corner at bottom of the screen you will usually find Windows Start which leads to Menus for opening Programs, Utilities and lots more.

View Start Menu Picture Display..

In WinXP, large blue start menu followed by white slide out menus. When you place the Mouse Arrow on Start and then left click once, blue start menu pops up. Just above start and your mouse arrow, you find All Programs.
Left click on All Programs and usually two more large white start menus will slide out with lots of small writing. When you place the arrow on a particular word, example "Accessories," another menu with selections slides out from WinXP. A bit of practice may be necessary when using these menus. Move slowly or you might find the menus sliding in and out all over the place which makes it difficult to access anything. All part of XP fun..

Vista Start Menu works differently. It moves vertically without sliding horizontally, but still require you to move mouse arrow up and down and find a category, click on it, which causes another menu appear and so on. Some practice will help. Vista has classic version option for slide start menus.

Read these instructions completely first, and afterward proceed to do task.
* The reason is when you follow instructions, Windows XP menus will slide over and partially hide this page and instructions. After you become familiar with how menus work, we will use a much shorter form of instructions, without the need for a long explanation.

Windows XP Start Menu


Windows Menu Picture for Vista and for XP
Icon - small picture that represents a folder file, program or function.

Windows Start located bottom left and placed on Blue Taskbar which you will find along bottom of your screen and extends to the right corner where the Clock is located along with Start Up Program Icons.

Place Mouse Arrow on Start and left click once. Move Arrow to All Programs. XP Menus slide horizontally, move arrow slowly to Accessories.

Vista How To Start Menu

Vista has Icon Start Button instead of the word start.
Click Start button vertical menu now pops up.
- Left side shows short list of programs on your computer.
- Search Box lower left corner which allows you to look for Programs and Files, type
  in search terms.
- Right half provides access for frequently used folders, files, settings, features and
  notice here Control Panel included.

The Classic view Vista menus does have menus slide horizontally like previous
Windows versions.
For Classic View: Open Taskbar and Start Menu Properties by clicking Start button, find, click on Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization, and then click Taskbar and Start Menu.
Click on Start Menu tab, and click Classic Start menu, and then please click OK.

After you click Start, just above, like XP, find, click All Programs and find list of  Programs in alphabetical order, followed by a list of Folders, moves vertically.

Pictures of Vista Menus:
For Vista, click this link and View Pictures of Vista Menus and Description display provided by Microsoft site, then to return to our site. How? Use Back Arrow. Look up top, left corner of this Explorer window you are using now, find blue arrows, left click once  <---   for back and return to our site.
Vista Menu Display

How To Use Notepad Vista and for win XP:
Start by opening an often used handy program called Notepad.
*After opening Notepad, it may block our instructions. We told you up top how to move Notepad out of the way using the Mouse. Review instructions.

WinXP Use Notepad

Vista Use Notepad File

WinXP Open Notepad Tutorial:

Left Click once "Start" menu located bottom Toolbar.
Blue Menu appears ..
Just above your Mouse pointer look for
"All Programs."
Move Mouse Arrow and click once on
All Programs.
Menus slide out horizontally..
Move pointer slowly to right and on to first menu. Carefully move pointer up and find "Accessories" near top.
Pause, another menu slides out ..
Move arrow slowly right and find "Notepad"
"Left click" once on Notepad ..
You should see Notepad now.
* If needed read again
or proceed and try the task.

Vista Open Notepad Tutorial:

Left Click once "Start" menu located
bottom Toolbar..
Just above your Mouse pointer look for
"All Programs."

Vista has just one list..
You may need to move mouse pointer
down, find "Accessories."

"Left click" once on Accessories ...
Look for "Notepad", click Notepad
Notepad should appear.

* If needed read again
or proceed and try the task.


Vista WinXP Learn Notepad Menu

With some practice, you should be more familiar with how the menu process works and how placing the mouse arrow on one item leads to another menu, and another menu and so forth. Then you can skip the extra details and move from start / now all programs / now accessories / ... and open Notepad using the short form instructions.

WinXP Notepad Short Instructions:
Start Menu / All Programs / Accessories / Find Notepad / Click Notepad

Vista Notepad Short Instructions:
Start Menu / All Programs / Accessories / Find Notepad / Click Notepad

Try short way....

Window - rectangles and boxes which appear on your screen.

Notepad Pictured Up Top

Vista WinXP - Parts of a Notepad window usually contain this:

• Title bar. Displays the name of the document and program or the folder
name if you're working in a folder. Up top in left corner.
• Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons. These buttons hide the window, enlarge it to fill the whole screen, and close it, respectively.

• Menu bar. Contains items that you can click to make choices in a program and each has a menu. File, Edit, Format, View, Help.

• Scroll bar. Scroll the contents of the window to see information that is currently now out of view.
Scroll Knob located between two arrows along right window edge or bottom.
You can use your mouse wheel in middle of your mouse to move pages
up and down too.

Vista XP Notepad Now Open:

At top of Notepad "window" notice and see the program "name" Notepad.
Top right corner, three squares which changes Vista WinXP Notepad window size.

picture displays window sizes

" - " will "Minimize" the window out of your way
and you will see window appear rectangle shaped along your bottom Taskbar.
Click  " - "  and observe ..

Vista WinXP Windows Notepad Minimize Now On Bottom Taskbar:



Untitled Notepad    <--

If you want Notepad back, or any other window, "Restore it" ...
Place Mouse Arrow directly on window rectangle, Notepad, on the bottom
Taskbar .. and left click once ..
You see Vista XP Notepad Window pop up back or "Restored" ....
* Note when you open Notepad or other windows on your screen, they will minimize themselves and appear on the bottom taskbar like Notepad example above, when you click on something else.

The [ ] Box in the Middle and will "Maximize" window size
to fit your entire screen.
If you want to bring window back or "Restore to previous size" ...
Arrow in Middle "Small Boxes" and left click once.
You see Notepad Window back in place or "Restored Size" ....

Click middle box, observe ..
Click middle again, window returns.

X will Close Notepad window.
Place arrow on X click and observe Notepad window closes.

*Vista, WinXP Files, Folders, other windows can be minimized to toolbar
and restored this way too.

Find, open WinXP, Vista Notepad once again.

Find Edit category up top and left click.. menu drops..
You will see some options and one is "Time and Date".
Click on "time and date" and notice they appear on the pad.

Notepad Word Wrap
Normally selecting word wrap is the best thing. When you type, the words kind of stay on the same long line, but click Word Wrap ...  the words will start a new line without having to hit the Enter key.
To turn Word Wrap ON look up top click once on Format
On Menu Click "Word Wrap". A checkmark will appear next to Word Wrap...


Learn To Highlight Plus Copy And Paste

Learn How To Highlight Text In Both Vista, WinXP:

When you "Highlight Text", more options will show on the Edit drop menu and on  other menus too. Highlighting is something you will do quite often. Maybe you want to copy some information on a web site and paste it in Notepad, Wordpad, Word, Works or other place. Maybe you would like to move text on a page in Word, or Notepad form one place to another... or delete a line.. or "Select All" on menu to copy or delete the entire document. To Copy and Paste, you need to Highlight text.

More Notepad 50 Plus, Seniors
We will Highlight and Copy and Paste into Notepad.
To "Highlight", take your mouse .. notice Mouse "Arrow" will turn into  " I "  kind of shape when placed before text on a page. 
Next, copy the following sentence.

Place your Mouse at beginning of this sentence here.

Next, "Left Click" holding the mouse button down, don't let it click back up...
Now,  while holding left button down, slowly slide your mouse "  I "  horizontally, sweeping along the text, left to right, and you should see the text highlighted.
Might take some practice...
Stop at end of sentence.
Release left mouse button.

Text should look like this .. hope yours does or try again.

Next, place Mouse Arrow anywhere "inside" the Highlighted text.
Carefully, Right Click Mouse once with Arrow inside highlighted text.
Small Menu appears and next find word Copy ...
Place Arrow over on "Copy" and now Left Click once..
Isn't this fun? Whew!

Above on Blue Taskbar Display, we showed you what Notepad rectangle looks like when "Minimized" on the taskbar. As before, place Mouse Arrow directly on Notepad
rectangle and left click once, which will pop Notepad back up on your screen.
In Notepad, move arrow top area and find Edit category.
Left Click once on Edit and a Menu drops down.
Find Paste in menu and now left click once.
Your copied text should now appear in Notepad.

Another Way To Copy Paste In Windows Vista and WinXP:
After you Use Right Click and copy sentence from this page, instead of using Edit:
Place Mouse Arrow inside Notepad open white space ...
Next, Right Click Mouse and on menu find, left click, Paste.
Your copied text should now appear in Notepad.

Practice this so you get used to "Copy and Paste"
because you will probably do this a lot more.

More Tasks:
Same instructions apply when you wish to Delete text from a page or from Notepad. "Highlight" as before...
Edit category click Menu ..
Find Delete and click... Text now removed from Notepad.

Want the text back?
Click on Edit ... in menu find option ... Undo ...
Click on "Undo" text is now back on Notepad...
Undo undoes what you just did, understand hmm?

This time you don't have to do any Highlighting..
Edit Menu find "Select All" and notice all text will be highlighted...
Click Edit .. notice text disappears.
Hit Undo again.
The text is back. 

Choose a Font In Vista and WinXP Notepad:

Back up top click Format - Menu drops and click on "Font"..
Box appears and now you can select your Font Type..
You can use Bold, and find the numbers, choose Text Size..
We showed all this stuff because it works not just in Notepad.
It works in other programs for example, Word, Works processor, WordPad and many
many other applications, and Internet.
Highlight - Copy - Paste - Cut you will use a lot.
Practice Practice Practice now.

Please email us with comments because we need to know if you are able to understand our instructions. Email address located on bottom of Home Page.
Home Page

Windows Vista Desktop Start Menu Watch Video


File -

A collection of data or information that has a name, called the file name. Almost all information stored must be in a file. There are many different types of files: data files, text files , program files, directory files, and so on. Different types of files store different types of information. Program files store programs. Text files, "Notepad," store text.

Default -
A value or setting that a device or program automatically selects if you do not specify a substitute. For example, word processors usually have default margins and have default page lengths that you can override or reset.
Default drive is disk drive where the computer accesses unless you specify a different disk drive.
The default can also be an action that a device or program will take. For example, some Word processors make backup files by default. more

Next: Save

Vista And WinXP Save A File Or Folder

 Save As  Box                                           <---                                X
Review: Click and drag

 Sometimes a box like this or maybe similar may appear in front and block your view from something behind it. Close click X ..
But maybe you want to keep the box open for a while. Usually you can move it easily out of the way. See Arrow in top section,  <--  when box appears, place your mouse arrow anywhere in "top area" only, and then "left click" holding the button down, like when we highlighted earlier. Hold button, slide mouse on mouse pad, and move, Drag, the box over to another place on screen, out of the way.

For Vista and WinXP:
Learn How To "Save File"

Once again, we use Notepad which will be our Saved File.
Open Notepad..
Type a few sentences now in Notepad.

Menu Bar: File, Edit, Format, View, Help.
* Note to be able to read our instructions, you may need to move
"Save As" box out of way as you learned to do above.

Move up top, click "File" and drop menu appears ...
Click once on "Save As" on drop menu...
Box appears..

See first section bottom, and where it says File Name
and "txt" inside box should be "Highlighted"  If not, please highlight..
Type the "Name" of File in the File Name box.
Our example name, Dons Notes.

Next Section - "Save As Type"  with box.
If it says "text document" fine, make no changes.
If not, find small arrow over on right, and click.. menu appears..
Click on words "text document"...
Notepad is Text document type of file aka .txt for extension.

Next, look up top and notice it says "Save In." Browse Folders with box.
What we are doing here is deciding where in the computer we want
"Dons Notes," text file to be stored or saved.
(We named ours "Dons Notes," use whatever name you chose)
Find Small Arrow on right and click.
Now Choose "My Documents" from menu list (might already be selected)
Save document

About My Documents Folder
Windows has already provided a folder for you named "My Documents" or just "Documents." (In XP and previous versions, Windows named many folders or places, "My" such as "my documents" or "my desktop" For whatever reason, Microsoft has decided to drop the "my" in Vista and just call the folder "Documents.")
Don't ask..

Uh, where were we ...
My Documents is a very popular folder. Let's store our file here.
"Save In" Browse Folders Choose, My Documents.

Next, look Bottom Right Corner and find two buttons, Save and Cancel.
Now Click on Save
File Stored in Documents Folder.

If you go to My Documents folder now, you should find "Dons Notes" or whatever
you named your file.
This will be the place in the computer where "Dons Notes" is stored.
Start / Blue Menu My Documents
Vista - same but menu probably would black.
See Menu Picture up top if needed, Documents located near top
of menu, find click on "Documents."

Vista, WinXP My Documents Folder Appears.
To Open, put mouse arrow directly on the File itself, double click.
Dons Notes File opens up..
To Close, Documents click " X "

Remember keep practicing....

Now find, open My Documents folder again..
Let's make some content changes in our Notepad file "Dons Notes"...
Type ...  have a nice day ...  in the "Dons Notes" Notepad file.

Dons Notes  -  Notepad                                               [ ]   X

File          Edit             Format          View           Help

Now we will Save our file with our "added changes."
Ok, up top left "File" please left click once, drop menu appears.
This time look for "Save" and not "Save As" ...
Left Click once on Save ....
Finally, "Close" your file .. look up top right corner Click the "X" ..
Your file returns to Documents...  XP - My Documents.
*You can double click on File and Open to check if changes were saved.

More Tasks To Learn:

How To Delete A File Or A Folder In Vista, WinXP:
If you have a file and no longer wish to keep it, delete file or folder,
over to the Recycle Bin ...
One way, Place Mouse Arrow directly on file, folder icon ..

"Right Click" once and file, folder, will be "Highlighted" And Menu appears ...
Move Mouse Arrow to "Delete" on Menu and left click once.
Box appears, click Yes
File or Folder deleted to Recycle Bin.

Recycle Bin WinXP Vista:
Empty the Recycle Bin. Now in case you didn't know, the recycle bin is that trash can icon on your desktop, or notebook screen background. Every time you delete a file, for your protection, it usually will go to the recycle bin folder.

How To Open Recycle Bin In Vista and WinXP:
Click on Recycle Bin icon and folder opens with contents, or may be empty.
Now, if you want to remove the contents in recycle bin permanently ...
In Recycle Bin Folder, top find and click Edit ...
Drop Menu click "Select All" ....
Top find "File" and click, now menu appears ..
Click on Empty Recycle Bin..
Box asks you if you are sure you want to delete stuff and click yes.
This gets rid of unwanted stuff and frees up space on your hard drive.

Restore A File Vista XP:
In case you accidentally delete a file or folder and want it
back, you can open the recycle bin and put it back.
Click on Recycle Bin icon on desktop background screen ..
and folder opens with contents.
In Recycle Bin Folder, look for deleted file or folder.
Left Click once, and folder or file will be "Highlighted" ..
Look up top left corner and find File category...
Click File, menu drops, click on Restore.
The file or folder you deleted will reappear in the
same place from where you deleted it.
Locate folder, place where file or folder was deleted from.
File or Folder is back.

*Note - Folders can have files and other folders inside.

Vista And WinXP How To Use WordPad System :
With Vista, XP some computers include "Microsoft Word" program when brand new
and some have "Microsoft Works" program ...
WordPad is a shorter version of actual full "Word 2007" or earlier edition, word processor included in Vista and XP. For beginners, a word processor is basically a computer program
that you can use to create, edit, view, and print text documents. With WordPad, you can type letters, book reports, and other simple documents. You can also change how the text looks, quickly move sentences and paragraphs around, and copy and paste text within and between documents. Microsoft helps you understand WordPad which has several more features than "Notepad."
View how to use WordPad and after, return to our site. How? Use Back Arrow. Look up top, left corner of this Explorer window you are using now, find blue arrows, left click once  <---   for back and return to our site.
Learn WordPad  END

Beginners Lessons Continue:
Vista Background Screen Savers More
XP Screen Saver Background More

FYI  - Beginners, 50 plus Seniors should find experienced user for help

Lockups or Freezeups 
Have you been on Windows and all of sudden everything freezes? Sometimes programs might not respond or maybe Windows is exhausted, possibly because you are doing too many tasks too quickly or other reasons. Happens to us because we can be impatient or are using a computer that has limited RAM.
Press Crtl + Alt + Del .  A close program box appears.
Programs and background tasks in memory are displayed. Programs or tasks that say (not responding) after the listing have stopped working. Click each one not responding and another box shows up. Depending on Windows version hit a button that says "Close Program" or maybe reads "End Task." If there is more than one, then repeat the same process for each one separately.

How To Use Task Manager In XP and Vista
Task Manager shows you the programs, processes, and services that are currently running on your computer. You can use Task Manager to monitor your computer’s performance or to close a program that is not responding... meaning if you are waiting a fairly long time and nothing happens..

Open Task Manager "right click" on bottom taskbar ..
Left click Task Manager..
You can also open Task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC here

Turn off or end Program:
Left click once on item...
Look to bottom "End Task" and be careful to choose the right item..
Click once and item disappears...
If problem still, you may have shut off wrong one. try another...
Be careful when ending processes. If you end a process associated with an open program, such as a word processing program, the program will also close and you will lose any unsaved data. If you end a process associated with a system service, some part of the system might not function properly.

Applications tab - tells you what applications are currently running..
Processes Tab - tells you what processes are running currently and you see a lot of stuff here. You can also see how much memory from your computer is being used by these processes. Unless your computer is working very slow, you don't need to delete any of there processes. IF you feel the computer is too slow, then 50+ and other beginners should ask experienced users opinion on slowness and if changes are needed, be sure they know this section and what each individual process does.
Performance - Tells you percentage of resources your main Processor currently uses and other is how many resources the computer memory uses. For 50+ and beginners this is stuff you can learn about when you are more experienced.

Windows WinXP
Windows XP How-to Resources
Windows Vista Defender
Windows Defender and more.

What are Svchost.exe XP
Svchost.exe is a process on your computer that hosts, or contains, other individual services that Windows uses to perform various functions. For example, Windows Defender uses a service that is hosted by a svchost.exe process.
There can be multiple instances of svchost.exe running on your computer, with each instance containing different services. One instance of svchost.exe might host a single service for a program, and another instance might host several services related to Windows.

Vista, WinXP
Copy File To Flash Drive
Close all files, folders, and windows...
Put your flash drive into back or front Computer USB Port.
For our example we will use "My Documents" Folder, please open...
Start / Right Side Blue Menu and find word Documents, Click, Open.
Locate the file you want and do "One Left Click" on file icon ...
Do not double click!
Look left side, find "Files And Folder Tasks" Menu and click it.
A "Copy Items" box opens and shows you a list of places to put your file..
Scroll and select the Drive Letter of the "Removable Media" (Flash Drive) ..
Probably E or F and might read "Removable Drive" or a "Proprietary name"..
Next, click the "Copy" button which will copy file to Flash Drive.
Your file will stay in My Documents because you are copying the file.
Copy Picture Files, Documents, Disc, or Flash Drive, other.
Move File Copy Files

We found stuff for you.
Microsoft Free Here
More than 150,000 free images and more from Microsoft Clip Art.

If you live in within say fifty miles of DCMetro, please let us know if you like or dislike your current Internet Provider, including the online experience, price, phone support, for dial up dsl cable or other. Please email us a short review maybe 100 to 150 words. Help us help others. Email located on Home Page.

Beginners Lessons Continue:
Vista Background Screen Savers More
XP Screen Saver Background More