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

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There are several different ways you can open Windows. This page will describe how to complete that task.

Opening 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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Opening 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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Opening A 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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Opening A Windows 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 in Windows Xp Start.
  2. Left click the Run command. The start button in Windows Xp
  3. In the Open box enter the program executable name.

    The start button in Windows Xp

  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.

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