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Taskbar, Start menu & Notification area (System tray) - (101)

incomplete / still in process

Here they are...  This snap is Windows 7 but Windows 10 is similar assuming you are not in the tablet mode and a few other settings are still the default.


Start menu

Windows 10 (operating system) Start menu is the Microsoft Windows icon, but by default, in the same place as the above Windows 7 Start menu.   Either operating system, you single click single click  the Start menu to open.


Windows 7 (Windows 10 below)  All are single click single click  

  • Red boxed (upper left) are items that are "pinned" to the menu.  Those pinned items never move or change.
    • The red circled arrow is the "Jump list" indicating there are recently used files for whatever pinned item.  Clicking it shows that list of recent items, a.k.a. MRU.  See customizing later.
  • White boxed (upper right) is the second panel showing links to (depending on your settings discussed later), Help, Device and Printers, Control Panel, Computer, etc.
    • Windows 10 took that away and replaced the items with the live tiles.
  • Blue boxed (center left) are the applications used, sorted by most commonly used.  Notepad at the top as we used that a lot!  See copy/paste hints.
  • Green box (lower left)  single click single click  expands to show all other applications available.
  • Bottom is the search box where you type in a application or file name to locate it on the computer.  See searching

Customize it

By right clicking then Properties or via the Control Panel > Taskbar..., you can customize various aspects of the Start menu:

  • Customize to show what items appear and change those to links or menus.
  • Chose what happens when you touch the computer's power button.
  • Chose to display (or not) recent items (MRU) and how many MRUs appear.
  • And a few other items.


start menu

Windows 10, varies greatly depending on your settings and preferences.  All are single click single click  

  • White box (upper left) simply expands the Start menu items (red circled) for a better view.
  • Yellow boxed (vertical) is the scroll bar allowing you to move up and down the list.  But that scroll bar has a terrible feature that allows it to disappear if the mouse becomes inactive.  So far, we found no setting or tweak that really works.
  • Red boxed (right vertical) are the (stupid) live tiles, which by default, shows all kinds of links to Internet and other items that few people use.

By right clicking you do not get the option to customize rather you get a similar menu to Windows 7 right panel - very handy.  Note: Later versions of Windows 10 right click menu do not offer the Control Panel.  Very disappointing Microsoft!

Win 10 right click

win 10

Customize it

As mentioned, Windows 10 Start menu has various options and customizations you can apply but to get there, you need to click Settings > Personalize > Start menu.

customize 10

Choose which folders appear on Start opens this window > > >
win 10 folders





The below information is common to Windows.  Some computers may offer more or different things than we are discussing here...

Windows 7

By right clicking then Properties or via the Control Panel > Taskbar..., you can customize various aspects of the Taskbar, Start menu and Toolbars:



Windows 10