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End of Support

Please note: Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. If you are still running Windows 7, you should update your operating system as soon as possible.

The Windows 7 Interface

The Windows 7 Start Button

Windows 7’s start button is a streamlined, round button featuring the Windows logo.

Menu Name Changes

All of the familiar features of the Start Menu are still contained in Windows 7. They have been regrouped to reflect their various functions and some of them have been renamed.

In Windows 7, the pronoun “My” has been removed from the labels for accessing the Computer, Music, Pictures, and Documents areas. The "Printers and Faxes" function has been absorbed into the new Devices and Printers group.

Log Off Options

  • Switch User – allows you to log off the computer and then have another user log in while programs remain open.
  • Log Off – closes all programs, lets you quit the current session and log off.
  • Lock – suspends the functions of your computer and requires you to enter your password to access it again.
  • Restart – closes down all programs, shuts Windows down and then restarts Windows again.
  • Sleep – pauses your computer's functions and puts it in a low-power mode that will allow it to power up and begin working quickly.
  • Hibernate – this function saves your current session, including the file and program information, then shuts the computer down.

Finding Files in Windows 7

When a user clicks on the Start button and selects either 'Computer' or anything above it, a dialogue box will open called the Windows Explorer. This allows you to find the files saved to your computer.

Address Bar

Windows 7 uses arrows in the address bar. When Windows can’t display the entire address for a document, it uses a chevron to indicate that there is more to the address than is displayed in the address bar. Every arrow to the right of a folder name acts as a link to show the contents of that folder.

The Command Bar

The Command Bar is just below the address bar in Windows 7, and gives you options depending on what type of file is selected. The Command Bar is a permanent feature in Windows 7 Windows Explorer and is not customizable.

Here the Command Bar options include:

  • Organize: Allows you to choose how the Windows Explorer window displays information about your files and folders
  • Open: Opens the currently highlighted file or folder
  • Print: Prints the currently highlighted file without opening it.
  • Burn: Burns the file or folder onto a CD/DVD.
  • New Folder: Creates a new folder in this area of the computer

Folders List

At the bottom of the navigation pane, there is a Folders List.

The Address Bar no longer opens out into a list of all available resources - it only displays the most recent files and folders you’ve visited. The Folders List is an excellent way for you to navigate the various resources available from your computer when you are logged in to the Drew network. To open the list, simply click on the upward pointing chevron in the Folders List bar.

You can expand a resource to see what’s available inside it by clicking on the white triangle next to the name. The white triangle will turn black, and a list of files and folders available in that resource will appear as a drop down list

Copying Files and Folders

You can copy files in Windows 7 exactly the same way you moved and copied files in Windows XP.

Copying Files using the Send To function

  1. Select a file or files by clicking on the file once.
    1. To select more than one file at a time, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the files you want to move or copy. When you are done choosing files, release the Ctrl key.
  2. Right click on the selected file(s). A File menu should appear.
  3. Choose Send To.
  4. Choose the location to which you would like to move the file(s) you selected.

Copying Files by clicking and dragging

You can also copy files to a new location by opening a window to their current location, and then opening a new window to the location where you want to place the copies.

  1. Open a window displaying the current location of a file.
  2. Open a new window that displays the new location you want for the copies.
  3. Select the files you wish to copy by clicking on them once.
    1. To select more than one file at a time, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the files you want to move or copy. When you are done choosing files, release the Ctrl key.
  4. Click and drag the selected files from the current location window to the new location window.
    1. You can also right click on the selected file(s), and select Cut or Copy from the drop-down box, then right click in the new location window and choose Paste.

Start Menu and Task Bar

The Start Menu

Pin Programs to the Start Menu

To add programs to the top of the Start Menu for easy, repeated access:

  1. Find the icon for the program you want to pin to the Start Menu.
  2. Right click on the icon
  3. Among the available options, choose Pin to Start Menu

The Taskbar

You can change the size and location of the Taskbar as well as determine how programs are grouped when displayed in the Taskbar.

Customize the Taskbar

You will need to unlock the Taskbar to make any changes.

  1. Right click on a free area of the Taskbar
  2. Uncheck “Lock the taskbar” to allow customization
  3. When customization is finished, lock the taskbar again by right clicking on a free area of the taskbar and clicking on "Lock the taskbar".

Move the Taskbar

  1. Click in the middle of the unlocked Taskbar
  2. Drag the Taskbar to the desired location on any edge of the computer screen

Change Taskbar Grouping, Hide the Taskbar, and other Taskbar Settings

  1. Taskbar → Properties dialog box → Taskbar tab.
  2. Choose from the range of desired options
    • Auto-hide: The Taskbar disappears until the cursor is rolled to the bottom of the screen.
  3. Keep Taskbar on Top: A default setting that insures the Taskbar is always visible.
    • Group similar Taskbar buttons: A default setting that groups multiple windows from the same program together to preserve space on the Taskbar.
    • Show QuickLaunch: Makes visible the small menu of icons at the bottom left of the Taskbar for opening programs
    • Show window previews: Displays small thumbnail images of open programs when the cursor rolls over the tabs in the Taskbar.


One of the best new features in Windows 7 is the improved Search function. To find a program or file on your computer quickly and easily, you only need to type a few letters of the program or file name into the Search box at the bottom of the Start Menu.

Using Search Features

To find a program, file, or folder on your computer, type the name of the file/folder/program into the search box at the bottom of the Start Menu.

The Search function will not automatically search for files on an external storage device or a network drive. To search these locations, use the Advanced Search Features.