Window 95

Microsoft Windows 95 Home

Windows 95 is an operating system by Microsoft. It replaced the Windows 3.1 edition. It has the new format that Microsoft uses in its other operating systems like Windows 98 and Windows NT. You can study those operating systems in other sections of this web site. Windows 95 has many features. We will cover the important ones here.

Lets get started. Windows 95 like its predecessor Windows 3x is based on a GUI (graphic user interface) design. The idea is to give the user maximum control over the operation of the computer system. The concept of multitasking lets one perform many functions simultaneously. This brings us to the concept of windows. Every application runs inside a window. For example, if you run the My Computer application, it will open a new window on your desktop and will look something like this

A window is defined by attributes like size, position, color etc. If you want to close a window, click on the x in the upper right corner. If you want to resize a window, click on next to the x. If you want to minimize a window, click on the _ which is to the left of . A window can be resized manually also by moving the mouse cursor in one of the four corners until you see something that looks like . Then while you hold the left mouse key, you can change the size of the window. Try it and see how it works.

Start Button:

Windows 95 and the subsequent operating  systems from Microsoft use the Start Button as the starting point for most applications. We'll spend a little time discussing the Start button first. It is located on the left bottom part of your computer screen. Also on the new keyboards, you will see a key that has the Windows logo on it. Go ahead and click on the Start button now. You will see a new pop-up menu similar to the drop-down menu. Depending on your installation, you may see different menu options. I will discuss the more common ones here. In order to use the Program option, use the left button on the mouse or use the keyboard option. Here is what the start button looks like in Windows 95

I am going to discuss each of the Start options briefly.

This option lets the user select what applications to run on the computer. If you want to work on word processing, you can click on Programs and then select Microsoft Word. If you want to surf the web, you can click Programs and then Internet Explorer. Sometimes it is easier to create a short cut on the Desktop instead of using the Programs button. I will discuss that later in this section.


Windows keeps track of the documents that you recently worked on. The easiest way to open these documents is to use the Documents options. When you click on it, a list of documents will appear. You can then select the appropriate document.


This menu option is used to configure the settings on your computer. You can add and remove software using this option. In addition you can change the desktop settings and also the Start Menu option. The most important item under the settings menu is the Control Panel. Using control panel, one is able to change the configuration on the computer.


This is one of my favorite options under the Start Menu. This one option lets you find files and  folders on your computer. If you vaguely remember the name of the file you are looking for lets say resume something, you can use this option to locate the file. After you select Find, a new dialog box will pop-up. Go ahead and enter resume* . 

 * is a wild character that will look for documents starting with vacation and ending with any other characters

 Finally click Find Now to do the search. This will look something like this


This is a fast way to look up information about the Windows operating system. There are three ways to get the information you need. One is to use the Contents tab which lists all the topics in order. I tend to use the Index tab which lists everything alphabetically. You can also do an exhaustive search by Find tab. This creates a search engine within the Windows OS.


This option lets you execute programs directly from the Start Menu. A lot of time this is a fast way to install new software on your machine. Also you can test an exe file by using the Browse option if you cant find the right file.

For example if you want to run the following command regedit, it looks something like this

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Shut Down

This is also one of my favorite options. When things go wrong, it is a good idea to restart your computer. One of options under the Shut Down menu is Restart the Computer. 


Control Panel
The control panel is a short cut to the details about your computer system. It lets you add and remove software from your machine. You can view and update the hardware on your system. You can even change the default settings and customize them according to your wishes. It lets you set up your network and configure the adapters. You can start control panel by doing the following.

Settings Control Panel

You will get a new dialog box that looks like this

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Windows Explorer:

In Windows Explorer, you can see both the hierarchy of folders (aka directories) on your computer and all the files and folders in each selected folder. Go ahead and start Windows Explorer by doing the following

Start Programs Windows Explorer

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You will see the new window is split into two sections. The one on the left is the folder window as it shows only the folders including your hard drive (C) and other system folders like Control Panel, Network Neighborhood etc. The window on the right side is the file window as it contains the files in addition to any other folders. Go ahead and click on Windows folder in the left window. You will notice that a new set of files appear on the right side. These are the contents of Windows folder and show all the file and folders included.

Windows Explorer is especially useful for copying and moving files. You can open the folder that contains the file you want to move or copy, and then drag it to the folder you want to put it in. Lets try the following exercise. First we will find a file in the Windows folder and then move it to the Program Files folder. As you have Window selected in the left window, look for the Win.ini file in the right window. Once you find it, move the mouse on it, click the left button. Now comes the hard part. While you have the left mouse button pressed down, move the cursor to the Program Files folder in the left window and then release the mouse button. You just moved Win.ini from Windows folder to the Program Files folder! Congrats. Remember this is just practice, so lets move the file back to the Windows folder. You can either repeat the above steps or just select Undo move from Edit menu.

Another useful feature of Windows Explorer is to locate files and folder. Lets say that we were looking for Win.ini file but did not know what folder to look in. We can do the following. From the menu, select Tools, Find and Files and Folders. A new window will appear. Type the following

Named     Win.ini
Look in     Drive C

and select Find Now. The utility searches the hard drive and locates the file in C:\Windows folder. It also gives you other information like the file size, file type and the date it was modified. This is useful if you are working on a big document and have saved multiple copies on the hard drive. You can easily find the latest copy by using the Find utility.

To find a file or folder

1    Click the Start button, and then point to Find.
2    Click Files Or Folders.
3    In the Named box, type all or part of the file's name.
      If you do not know the name of a file or want to refine the search, click the Date Modified or Advanced tabs.
      If you want to specify where Windows should begin its search, click Browse.
4    Click Find Now.

To copy a file or folder

1    In My Computer or Windows Explorer, click the file or folder you want to copy.
2    On the Edit menu, click Copy.
3    Open the folder or disk where you want to put the copy.
4    On the Edit menu, click Paste.