Coly Computer Help

Configuring Windows

Configuring simply means setting up Windows so that it looks and behaves the way you want it to.


Configuring the Taskbar and the Notification area:
Windows XP
has an irritating habit of deleting icons from the Desktop and also of covering up icons in the Notification Area (the tray of small items at right hand end of the task bar). To stop this silly behaviour, Right click a clear area on the Taskbar. On the pop-up menu click Properties, remove the tick from the box labelled Hide inactive icons by clicking it. Click OK.
Now, RIGHT click an empty area on the Desktop. On the pop-up menu click Properties. In the Display Properties window click the tab labelled Desktop. Click the button labelled Customize Desktop. On the Desktop items window, click to un-tick the box labelled Run Desktop Cleanup wizard every 60 days. Click OK.

If icons are not showing on the Desktop for some of your favourite programs, this is how you place them on the Desktop.
Click Start then right click a program for which you want an icon on the Desktop. Click Send To. Click the words Desktop (create a short cut). Repeat this for the rest of the programs.

Windows will probably place your icons in inconvenient and illogical locations on the Desktop. Force Windows to allow you to place icons where you want them to be. Right click an empty area on the Desktop and click Arrange Icons By. On the next fly-out menu, un-tick everything except Show Desktop Icons which must be ticked. Then click anywhere on the Desktop to close the little menus.

If  you would like the icons to be in neat rows then also tick Align to Grid in the above fly-out menu.

Now you need to re-arrange the icons on the Desk top so that they are in the most convenient position for your method of working. Click on an icon and holding down the left mouse button, drag the icon to the preferred position.

My preferred arrangement for Desktop icons is as follows: Recycle bin in top right corner to prevent accidentally dropping an icon into it. Then similar functions are grouped in rows e.g. internet and email icons in one row, anti-virus and anti-spy icons in another row.

Be sure to put icons on the Desktop for the folders My Computer, My Documents and My Pictures. Click Start. At the top of the Start list, RIGHT click  the item labelled My Documents.  A menu will drop down. Click the item labelled Show on Desktop so that a tick appears next to it. A shortcut icon for the My Documents folder will have appeared on the Desktop. Repeat this for the other two folders

Passwords and user accounts: Avoid having passwords and separate user accounts if you can. They are an extra chore every time you switch on your computer. These are only necessary if you wish to keep your files and settings secret from other members of the family or staff members. Separate user accounts and passwords may be necessary if you have badly behaved children who tend to mess up your settings and who insist on down loading dodgy programs.

If you must have passwords and/or user accounts click Password to see how to go about setting them up.

If you wish to remove a password or user account click Password to see how.

Icons are the little pictures which you double click to access a program or folder. Icons are only signposts, if you delete an icon, the  program or folder is not deleted. Similarly, if you destroy the signpost pointing to your town or village, the town/village is not destroyed.

Configuring the Desktop:
To choose the wallpaper (back ground picture) for the Desktop. Always choose an un-fussy restful picture so that you can see your icons clearly. Right click in the following instructions means click the the right hand mouse button. All other clicks refer to the left hand mouse button.
click an empty space on the the Desktop. Click Properties then click the tab labelled Desktop .

Now you can choose either to:
Click the name of a picture in the left hand window, or:
(2) Choose one of your own photos, click the button labelled Browse. You will be taken to the My Pictures folder. Open the folder which contains the photo and click your photo. Then click the Open button

In either case you will be shown a miniature version of the picture in the preview screen, When you have chosen your preferred photo it might not fill the little preview screen, in which case, click the down arrow to the right of the field labelled Position and select Stretch. Click Apply and then OK.

To stop those silly noises that occur every time you press certain keys. Double click the Click Start-->Control Panel (in Windows XP make sure you have the Classic view selected). Double click the icon labelled Sounds and audio devices . Click the tab labelled Sounds , then click the Delete button. This will remove all those ghastly squeaks, beeps and burps. Now click Apply and then OK.

If you just want the Windows Start up and Windows Shut down sounds, delete the sounds as described above. Then in the Program Events field, scroll down to the words Exit Windows and click them. Then in the field below the Sounds heading, click the little down-arrow and scroll down to the words Windows XP Shutdown and click them. To hear what it sounds like click the little square containing a right arrow. Return to the Program Events field and scroll down to find the words Start Windows and click them. Then look in the Sounds field for the words Windows XP Start and click them.

Move to the upper part of the window and click the Save As button. In the pop-up field type a name for the sounds such as Fred's sounds and click OK. Now click the Apply button and then click the OK button.

Configure the computer for UK English like this:-
Click Start-->Control Panel-->Regional and Language Options. In the next dialogue box, under the Regional Options tab, Select English (United Kingdom) in the first field. In the last field under Location select United Kingdom.
On the same dialogue box click the tab labelled Advanced . Select English (United Kingdom) in the top field. In the bottom field select United Kingdom. Now click the tab labelled Languages . Click the button labelled Details . A dialogue box will appear, in the top field select English (United Kingdom) . In the pane below that, you may see both English and US. If so, select the US one and click the Remove button. If the only one displayed is US , then click the Add button and add the UK, then remove the US item. Click Apply and then click OK. Click Apply and then click OK on the next dialogue box. Close the Control Panel.

Some favourite programs may not appear on the Start list, so how do you find them to put a shortcut icon on the Desktop? Access these from the Start list by clicking All Programs. Then right click a program for which you want an icon on the Desktop . Click Send To. Click the words Desktop (create a short cut).


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