Basic Window, Buttons, and Dialog Box Commands in a Windows Operating System Environment – Basic Guide To Windows


In Windows, there are some basics commands and buttons that you should get familiar with in order to master a Windows operating system and how to move around Windows. In this blog I explain the Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons.

Basic Window Buttons

On all Windows based systems, there are three main buttons that control how a Window is used within the desktop. There is a minimize button, maximize button, and a close button typically shown on all windows. This is shown in the illustration below.

Minimize, Maximize, Close Buttons on an active window
Minimize, Maximize, and Close Buttons on an Active Window in Windows 8.1

1. Minimize Button

The first command to be explained is the minimize button.

  • Click this button to minimize the window to a task-bar button. To restore the minimized window to its previous size, click its task-bar button.

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2. Maximize Button

The next button to be explained is the maximize button.

The term maximize refers to the process of making an active window larger or more visible on the desktop. You would use the maximize option when you want to see more of the work space for a specific application. The following screenshot shows the before and after effects of the maximize button using two generic Notepad application windows.

Using The Maximize Function / Button to Enlarge A Window or Making it Bigger on the Screen.
Using The Maximize Function / Button to Enlarge A Window or Making it Bigger on the Screen.

On any open window the maximize button is always shown as a white and blue square rectangle symbol.

The Minimize Button Left mouse click this button to minimize the window.

The Maximize Button This button indicates the active window can be maximized. Left clicking this button will cause the window to be displayed using its previous state and size.

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3. Close Button

The Close Button There are two ways that you can close an open window.

Closing Windows Using The Close Button

  1. To close any open application in a Windows environment find the close button on the active window.
Closing A Window Using The Close Button
To Permanently Close An Active Window Click the X Symbol on the Top Right Corner of the Window.

On any open window the close button is always shown as a white and red X symbol. Left mouse click this button to close the window.

Closing Windows Using The Shortcut ALT + F4

In Windows open applications can be closed using the keyboard shortcuts ALT + F4. Keyboard shortcuts are keys or combinations of keys that provide an alternative way to do something that you’d typically do with a mouse.

Pressing both keys (ALT and F4) at the same time will close the active window.

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Congratulations! You now have a basic understanding of how to close open application windows. Just remember the three main buttons at the top right of any window will minimize, maximize, and restore the window size. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to close an active window.

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