How to Open an Application in Windows Vista - dummies

How to Open an Application in Windows Vista

By Nancy C. Muir

You certainly can’t do much unless you actually open a program in Windows Vista, but how do you just that? Actually, you can choose from several different methods to launch an application in Windows Vista. The method you choose to open a program in Vista depends on whether you have a shortcut icon on your desktop, whether the program you want to open in Windows Vista is located on your Quick Launch bar, or whether you’ve used the program recently.

Here’s one way to launch an application:

  • Choose Start and select All Programs.

  • Locate and click the program name on the All Programs list.

    Clicking an item with a folder icon displays a list of programs within it; just click the program on that sublist to open it


Another, even easier, way to open a program in Windows Vista involves one short step. Just double-click a program shortcut icon on the desktop. Of course, if you don’t have a shortcut icon on the desktop, you can’t use this method.

The last way to open an application in Windows Vista involves the following two steps.

  • Press the Windows key if the taskbar isn’t showing.

    The taskbar at the bottom of the screen should display by default, but if it doesn’t, just press the Windows key on your keyboard.

  • Click an icon on the Quick Launch bar.

    The Quick Launch bar is located just to the right of the Start button.


If you’ve used a program recently and saved a file, you can use this method:

  • Go to Start.

    Select Recent Items from the Start Menu.

  • Click a document created in that program.

    After you click Recent Items, a list of recently used documents displays from which you can choose a file to open, automatically opening your desired program.