Windows Terms


The screen background of a graphical user interface (GUI).The covering of a computer desktop is called "wallpaper," which makes no sense at all until you realize that the screen is vertical like a wall, rather than horizontal like a real desktop.


A pattern or picture used to represent the desktop surface.

Learn how to customize your desktop Look & Feel here

Screen Saver

A utility that prevents a screen from being damaged by an unchanging image.
After a specified period of time without keyboard or mouse input, it blanks the screen or displays moving objects.
It would actually take many hours to burn in an image on today's color monitors, but a lot of people find screen savers nice to look at and it "covers" up your work, if you have to leave the computer for a while.
Pressing a key or moving the mouse restores the screen.

Learn how to customize your desktop Look & Feel here


To transfer a file TO your computer FROM somewhere else, such as the Internet.


To transfer a file FROM your computer TO another computer or for example to an online storing place.


Software used to infect a computer. After the virus code is written, it is buried within an existing program. Once that program is executed, the virus code is activated and attaches copies of itself to other programs in the system. Infected programs can copy the virus to other programs.
The effect of the virus may be a simple prank that pops up a message on screen out of the blue, or it may destroy programs and data right away or on a certain date. It can lay dormant and do its damage once a year. For example, the Michelangelo virus contaminates the machine on Michelangelo's birthday.

Learn how to protect yourself from Virus here

Adware (ADvertisementWARE)

Software that periodically pops up advertisements on a user's computer. It displays ads targeted to the individual user based on key words entered in search engines and the types of Web sites the user visits. The marketing data is collected periodically and sent in the background to the adware Web server. Adware is also known as "contextual marketing."


Software "secretly" being installed on some ones computer to monitor the use of the computer in some way without the users knowledge. Most spyware tries to get the user to view advertising and/or particular web pages.
Some spyware also sends information about the user to another computer over the Internet.

Spyware is often downloaded along with a "Free" software or file download, such as music files or images.


E(lectronical) mail is a transmission of a text message and optional file attachments over a network.
To manage e-mails you willl need an e-mail program such as Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express or a similar program.

More information on setting up E-mails here

Web Browser

The program that serves as your front end to the Web on the Internet. In order to view a site, you type its address (URL) into the browser's Location field; for example,, and the home page of that site is downloaded to you. The home page is an index to other pages on that site that you can jump to by clicking an underlined hyperlink or an icon. Links on that site may take you to other related sites.


A pre-defined link(age) between one object and another. On Web pages, a hyperlink can be either text (hypertext) or a graphic element (hypergraphic).


In a graphical user interface (GUI), a small, pictorial, on-screen representation of an object, such as a document, program, folder or disk drive.


Browsers have a "Bookmark" and/or "Favorites" feature that lets you store references to your favorite sites. Instead of having to type in the URL to visit the site again, you select the bookmark.


Basically, you can say that a cookie is a small piece of information sent to your browser program from a web server. The cookie allows your browser to recognize a website, but it might also contain certain other information, such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information, user preferences

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