Learn how to use Windows 10 for beginners lesson 3


Lesson 3 Desktop, Tabs and Windows

I wish I knew more about the desktop, tabs and window’s when I first started to learn about my computer.  These features can make you multitask in all aspects of your computer.  Understanding these can alleviate many struggles you may have had or could have with operating your Windows computer.  This lesson will help your be more efficient and understand your computers operating system better.


The Desktop

What is the desktop? The desktop is your primary location once the computer is turned on.  On the desktop you can have a background image of your choosing and shortcut’s to just about anything on the computer.  The desktop can also be arranged any way you would like it to be.

Earlier we discussed how to set a file or folder as a desktop shortcut, you can go back to this step here.

Customizing the desktop

You can change the background picture to do so

1. Right click in a open area of the desktop


2. Select Personalize

3. Select background drop down, here you can choose either picture, solid color or slideshow.  Slideshow will periodically change pictures in a designated folder of your choice.

4. After selecting the background drop down click on browse to find the any pictures on your computer or select a folder if you chose the slideshow option.

Moving desktop icons

You can drag any icon to any location on the desktop by holding the left click on the icon and dragging it to any location on your desktop.

Text size and resolution

What is resolution? Resolution is the amount of pixels or amount of detail in your picture.  This is the same as a standard definition TV vs. a 4K TV.  The higher the resolution the more pixels and detail on your computer.

1. Right click in a open area of the desktop

2. Select Display settings

3. Scroll down to Scale and Layout and choose the scale you want, the higher the percentage the larger your text and app size will be.

4. Right below Scale and Layout you will see Display Resolution, you can change it to any size you want, Generally the recommended is the best quality and ratio for your screen.  This feature is beneficial if you get a new monitor or connect your computer to a TV screen.


What is a window? A window is what opens when you open a program, everything that open’s is opened in a window.  You can adjust each window’s size and do many other features with each window.  Here is a list of all the features you can do with windows.


This takes the currently opened window and reduces it so it is not visible.  The window can be put back to its original size by clicking on it in the taskbar.  When you minimize a window, it will stay exactly where you were last.

Restore Down

This takes a full screen window and reduces its size a little bit, this option also allows you to customize the size of a window.  We will go over customizing the size of windows shortly. You can also restore down any screen by double clicking an empty space on the very top ribbon bar.


This takes the window back to the maximum size to fit the entire screen.  You can also maximize any screen by double clicking an empty space on the very top ribbon bar.


This closes the window or program that you have open.  You can re-open the program or window any time, but it will start over from the very beginning.

Customizing your window’s

You can customize many features in each window allowing you to better multitask and get work done more effectively.

Adjust the size

When a window is not maximized or is restored down it does not fit the entire screen. You can make it any size you want by moving your mouse to any edge or any corner of the window.  The mouse icon will change to two arrows.  When the mouse shows the two arrow’s you can click and hold the mouse button and drag it manually to the size or position you want.  I recommend choosing the corner’s when you drag, this will give you more control of the size.

Dragging window’s

You can reposition any window by dragging on a empty spot on the very top of the ribbon, to do this click and hold the mouse button on the ribbon and move your mouse to the desired position.

Split screen

If you have two programs or windows open, you can split screen them so they each fit 50% of the screen.  To do this click and hold the ribbon and move the mouse all the way to the right or left of the screen till your mouse pointer touches the edge of your computer’s screen, then let go of the mouse.  This will fill half of the screen; you will now notice on the other half of the screen some small tiles.  Choose the tile that you want to fill the other half of the screen.

Split screen in quarter’s

The steps here are the same as the split screen except you drag each window to one of the corner’s, moving the mouse all the way to the corner before letting the mouse button go.

Adjusting the split screen

You can adjust the size of the split screen by selecting the middle divider and dragging it with your mouse.


What is a Tab? Tabs are just like windows, but they are all within the same window and each one opens a different part of the same program.  An example is on a web browser, all web browser’s have some form of tabs and each one can be on a different webpage.

How to use tabs

open a web browser, for this example we will use Chrome.

Once open you will notice toward the top a plus icon click on it.

You now opened a new tab, and you will notice there are two of them on the top now.  

Navigating tabs

You can click on either tab to go back and forth from one web address to another.  Each tab will stay on the last location it was left on.  Sometimes when you close your web browser and then re-open it later your web browser may keep the same tabs that were open earlier.  You can have as many tabs open as you want.  You can also click and drag a tab away from the top ribbon, this will make a 2nd window for the web browser.  

Closing tabs

You can close tabs by clicking on the small x next to the tab, sometimes the small x is not visible until you move your mouse to the tab.

Tips and Tricks

Make a website shortcut on the desktop.

You can make a website a shortcut on your desktop.  To do this we will use Chrome web browser as an example.  Many of the steps will be the same on other browsers as well.
  1. Open your web browser
  2. Go to the website you want to make as a shortcut.
  3. Click on the favorites star icon.
  4. Choose add bookmark
  5. Change the name of it if you choose to
  6. Choose the location dropdown of the bookmark’s bar
  7. If the bookmark’s bar is not visible choose three dots on top right, bookmarks, show bookmark’s bar.
  8. Once it is on the bookmark’s bar then restore down your Chrome window
  9. And manually drag the favorite to the desktop, you may need to move your Chrome window to one side so you can see Chrome and your desktop simultaneously.  You can drag any favorites you want to the desktop this way.