Windows 7

Before We Begin

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The Logon Screen looks different.

But you still hold down Ctrl + Alt + Delete to log on with your campus login and password.

Windows 7 will default to the last person that logged on; if another user has logged on since you last logged on:

  1. Click the "Switch User" button, below the login prompt.
  2. Click the icon for "Other User".
  3. Use your campus User Name and Password to log on.


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With a newly installed operating system (OS) you will again be asked if you want to save passwords/login information by your web browser.

IITS would like to remind you:

  • We do not recommend saving your login/password information in your browser.
  • Please be careful, if you download programs, that they come from trustworthy web sites.  Recall the fall of Troy.
  • Phishing attacks are on the rise.  We will never ask for your password via email; never.

Start Menu

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Some cool and new aspects in the Start Menu include:

  • most universally used programs at the top-left
  • the 15 most recent programs you use are "pinned" at the middle-left
  • "All Programs" is still available at the bottom-left
  • the "Start Search" field, below the "All Programs" link, allows you to search for program and file names
  • "My Documents" link is at the top-right of the menu
  • "Recent Items" is in the middle-right of the menu
  • the "Computer" link is a quick way to browse your computer and network drives
  • "Control Panel" is still in the middle-right of the menu
  • "Printers" is still in the middle-right of the menu

Pinning (and unpinning) Applications

You may add to our list of the most universally used programs at the top-left of the Start Menu. 

  1. Find the application you wish to pin either via All Programs or the Start Search field.
  2. Right click the application when it is displayed in the Start Menu.
  3. Click "Pin to Start Menu" from the drop-down menu.

You may unpin applications as needed, to save space in your Start Menu.

  1. Right click the application when it is displayed in the Start Menu.
  2. Click "Remove from this list" from the drop-down menu.

You may reorganize the list of pinned applications.

  1. Click, hold, and drag applications in the pinned area of the menu to reorder them.


  1. Type "visio" in the "Start Search" box (bottom of the Start Menu).
  2. Singe click "Microsoft Office Visio 2007" in the search return.
  3. When it opens, close the application.
  4. Return to the Start Menu.
    Note it is now in your recently opened programs area.
  5. Click and drag it to the Pinned Applications area.
  6. Click and drag it to reposition it as you wish.
  7. Right click it and select "Unpin from Start Menu".


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  • To create an application shortcut on your Desktop, you may click, hold and drag the application from anywhere in the Start Menu, to your Desktop.
  • By default, your icons will snap to the grid and you will be able to position them anywhere on your Desktop.
    • To change the view settings for your Desktop:
      1. Right click anywhere on your Desktop.
      2. Click "View" and the setting you wish to change, from the pop-out menu.
      • Note:
        • Auto Arrange will line all your Desktop icons along the left side.
        • Align to Grid: unchecking this feature will allow you to position icons more exactly where you like.
        • Show Desktop Icons: unchecking this feature will hide all your icons (this will make working challenging).
  • Putting things in the Recycle Bin works just as it always did (right click or click and hold and drag).


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Hovering your mouse over items in the Taskbar will show the tool-tip describing the function of the item, or giving you a small display of open applications and documents.

The Taskbar is the bar at the bottom of your Desktop (by default) where open applications are displayed.

  • You may lock and unlock the Taskbar by right clicking anywhere in the Taskbar and selecting "Lock the Taskbar" as needed.
    Unlocking the Taskbar allows you to stretch the Taskbar, or change its location (not recommended).

The Quick Launch Toolbar is the portion of the Taskbar, between the Start Menu and the open applications.

  • It contains icons that you only need to click once to open.  By default, there are icons for "Show desktop", "Switch between windows", Internet Explorer, Firefox and Outlook.
  • You can add your favorite applications to this area: Click, hold, and drag applications from the Start Menu or Desktop to this area to create a shortcut here.  Or right click the application (in the Start Menu) and click "Add to Quick Launch".
  • To remove applications from the Quick Launch Toolbar: Right click the icon you wish to remove and click "Delete".

The Notification Area is the portion of the Taskbar to the right of the open applications.  Some applications and Control Panels are displayed here (time & date, network, volume, etc.).


  1. Drag Word from your pinned list (in your Start Menu) to the Quick Launch Toolbar.
  2. Right click the Word shortcut you just created, in your Quick Launch Toolbar, and select "Delete"
  3. Click the "Yes" button when asked if you want to move this shortcut to the Recycle Bin.

Files and Folders

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All work files should be saved to your H:\ drive so they are accessible anywhere your H:\ drive is; these files are also backed up regularly.

Your C:\ drive and Desktop are places you might save personal files.  Saving personal files on your computer, locally saves critical space on the network and backup drives.

Removable drives are an option for saving files you need to transport (to places where you cannot access your H:\ drive, like to conferences or home).

Saving files and creating folders: The processes to do these things are the same as they were under Windows XP.

Windows Explorer

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Allows you to view files and folders on your computer and network drives.
Start > All Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer
Shortcut: "[Windows Key] + e"

  • Navigating across folders:
    • Single clicking selects a folder, file or drive
      (displays details at the bottom of the Explorer window).
    • Double clicking opens folders, files and drives.
    • The "back" and "forward" buttons (top left of the Explorer window) operate as you would expect.
      There is also a "Recent" arrow, right of the forward button.
    • Breadcrumbs (at the top of the window) allow you to jump back to any parent folder with one click.
      (Maximize the window to allow for longer folder paths.)
      A screen shot of the breadcrumbs in Windows Explorer windows.
  • Search field appears at the top right of the Explorer window.
  • Favorite Links (top left of the Explorer window).
    • Recently Changed ("Details" view displays recently edited files at the top).
  • Organize menu allows you to:
    • Create a New Folder
    • Delete, Rename, Print (even Copy & Paste or Burn) files
      Note: right clicking a file/folder also gives you much of this functionality.
  • View menu allows you to display files, folders and drives in different ways.
    • I prefer "Details" for files and folders.
    • I prefer the larger "Icons" size for images.
  • Preview Pane in Windows Explorer:
    Organize (menu) > Layout > Preview Pane
    Allows you to view (and even Copy & Paste) content without opening a file.
  • Just As Always
    • You can sort (and invert sort) selections by column header.

Moving files between folders: You can still click and drag existent files from one folder to another.


  1. Open a Windows Explorer window.
  2. Set the "Views" (menu) to "Small Icons".
  3. Open your H:\ drive and single click any file.
    Note the Details pane (at the bottom, gives you detailed information about that file).
  4. Be sure your H:\ is selected in the "Folders" area (left side of the window) and use the "Search" feature (top right) to search for a file name.
    Note that the search finds documents that begin with your search string.
  1. Open a Windows Explorer window.
  2. Open several folders within folders.
  3. Experiment with the back and forward buttons, the recent menu arrow, and the breadcrumbs, to navigate.


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There are several ways to do a simple search in Windows 7.

Start Search, at the bottom of the Start Menu, searches for programs, files, and even in your email for your search term.

[Windows key] + f, opens a Windows Explorer window with the search field at the top-right of the window.
Note: Be careful when selecting the "Show only" option.  All is selected by default and you might prefer to narrow the search by document type.

Advanced Search

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From the Windows Explorer window, you can select a location in the "Folders" area (bottom left of the window) to restrict your search to that location (and its sub-folders).

If, after using the basic search, you’d like to narrow your search, click the "Advanced Search" link, below the results of your basic search.

The advanced search options that will be displayed include ways to limit your search to:

  • Location
  • Date
  • Size
  • Show only (bar, above the advanced search fields)

Control Panel

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Some of the commonly used tools have new names in Windows 7 like:

  • "Personalization" was "Display"

But most of your favorite Control Panel tools are named as they were:

  • Mouse
  • Sound
  • Folder Options
  • Internet Options
  • Sync Center
  • Regional and Language Options

Aesthetic Options (the way things look)

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Desktop Picture and Color

  1. Right click anywhere on the Desktop and click "Personalize".
  2. To change the the background color or image:
    1. Click "Desktop Background" from the Personalization Control Panel.
    • Note:
      • You may chose different colors and images from the "Location" pull-down menu.
      • You may "Browse..." for your own images.

Screen Saver

  1. Right click anywhere on the Desktop and click "Personalize".
  2. Click "Screen Saver" from the Personalization Control Panel.  "Preview" as needed.
    1. Pick the desired screen saver from the pull-down menu.
    2. Set the desired "Wait" and if you want your computer to be locked when the screen saver starts.
  3. Click the "OK" button.

Start Menu Icon Size

  1. Right click anywhere in the Start Menu and click "Properties".
  2. Click the "Customize..." button in the pop-up window.
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the list of customizable items.
  4. Click the "Use large icons" box
  5. Click the "OK" button.
  6. Click the "OK" button.

Screen Resolution

  1. Right click anywhere on the Desktop and click "Personalize".
  2. Click "Display Settings" from the Personalization Control Panel.
    1. Select the monitor you wish to change
    2. Drag the "Resolution" slider as desired.
  3. Click the "OK" button.

Account Icon

This is the image that appears at the top-right of your Start Menu and when you login, after your screen is locked.

To change this image:

  1. Single click the icon at the top-right of your Start Menu.
  2. Click the "Change your picture" link from the pop-up window.
  3. Choose the image you want from those displayed.
    Note: you may click the "Browse for more pictures..." link, below the displayed images, to choose one of your own.


  1. Change the Desktop Background.
  2. Change the Screen Saver.
    Note that you can set to "On resume, display logon screen" this means when the screen saver engages, it will lock the computer.
  3. Change the Start Menu icon (also your logon screen icon).

Logging Out

Crtl + Alt + Delete still brings you to a list of choices (Lock, and Log off, being two of them).  You will also see two red icons in the bottom-right of this screen for "Shut down" and "Shut down options"; these allow you to Shut Down or Restart the computer.

These options can also be accessed via the Start menu (by clicking the arrow, to the right of the lock icon).

Reference Materials

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On Line Training:

Web Sites:


Contact us for help

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Our Help Desk Staff