1. Desktop is a term commonly used to describe a desktop computer.

2. In reference to software, desktop refers to the desktop environment, which is a Graphical User Interface metaphor that facilitates interaction between the user and the operating system.

3. Desktops is a Windows Sysinternals utility that allows users to manage applications on up to four virtual desktops, all accessible using the tray icon interface.

4. When referring to an operating system or GUI, the Desktop is a system of organization of icons on a screen. The Microsoft Windows Desktop was first introduced with Microsoft Windows 95 and has been included with every version of Windows that followed. The following image is a basic example of the Microsoft Windows Desktop.

Windows 7 Desktop

In the above picture, is an example of the Microsoft Windows 7 Desktop. In this picture, there are no icons on the Desktop and at the bottom of the window is the Taskbar.

Tip: Press the Windows key + D at any time to get to the Windows Desktop. Pressing those same keys again restores any window that was minimized the first time you used the shortcut key combination.

What icons and items are found on the Windows Desktop?

Some of the most common icons on the Desktop include those for My Computer, Recycle Bin, your Internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer), and My Documents. On the Windows Desktop, you can also have access to the Windows Start Menu through the Start button on the Taskbar, as well as the Windows Notification Area.

In some versions of Windows, you may be missing some or all of these icons, you can change what default icons show by following the steps in the link below.

Related pages

Also see: Active desktop, Chassis, CTD, Microcomputer, Nettop, Operating system terms, PC, Presentation manager, Remote desktop, Slimline model, Work area