How To Open an Application or Program Window in a Windows Environment – Basic Guide To Windows

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In Windows, the term opening windows refers to launching a program or application. You can open programs via a shortcut or through the Start menu. There are several different ways you can open Windows. This blog will describe how to complete that task.

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How To Open A Window Using A Shortcut

To open a window using an existing shortcut follow the steps outlined below:

For this tutorial you will learn how to launch Windows Explorer by double clicking a shortcut located on the desktop.

(1) Find the Windows Explorer shortcut located on your desktop. If you do not have a Windows Explorer icon substitute it with any icon of your choice.

Figure 1.1 - Opening a Window Using A Shortcut
Figure 1.1 – Opening a Window Using A Shortcut

(2) To launch the icon simply double left click with your mouse. This will cause the main program to load as a full screen window.

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How To Open A Window Using The Windows Taskbar

Opening a window to an application that is already running on a computer is also referred to as maximizing the window. Follow these steps to open an already running Window.

(1) Find the program you want to open from the Windows task bar.  For the purpose of this tutorial we will open the Windows Explorer program.

(2) Once you’ve located the program, right mouse click anywhere on the program from within the task bar.

Figure 1.2 - How To Open an Existing Open Window or Maximize The Window
Figure 1.2 – How To Open an Existing Open Window or Maximize The Window

(3) From the menu that appears, left mouse click the Maximize option.

(4) This will cause the Windows Explorer program to open full sized showing the My Documents folder.

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How To Open Windows Using The Windows Start Menu

To open a program on the Windows Start menu follow these instructions:

Figure 1.3 - How to launch a program through the Windows Start menu.
Figure 1.3 – How to launch a program through the Windows Start menu.

(1) Find the program you want to open on the Windows Start Menu.

(2) Left click once to open the program.

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How to Open Programs Using the Windows Run Command

Windows includes a run command on the Start menu which provides a quicker way of accessing a program or shortcut if you know the program’s executable name. An executable file is a type of file with the extension .exe. For example many accessories in Windows have common executable names such as Notepad.exe, wordpad.exe, and calc.exe (short for calculator).

Here’s how to launch a program executable through the Run command.

(1) Left click the   Start button (Windows XP) or Start Orb (Windows Vista/7/8.1/10).

The Start Button Used in Windows XP
Figure 1.4 – The Start Button Used in Windows XP

(2) Left click the Run command.

The Run Command Used In Windows XP
Figure 1.5 – The Run Command Used In Windows XP

(3) In the Open box enter the program executable name.

Running a Program Using the Windows Run Command
Figure 1.6 – Running a Program Using the Windows Run Command

(4) Left click Ok or press Enter to continue launching the program.

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Congratulations! You now know how to launch a program through double clicking a shortcut, through an existing open program, and through the Windows Run command. It is easy to run programs and launch applications once you know the proper steps.

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