Get to know the Windows 7 desktop

Windows 7 simplifies your PC so you can get more done

Windows 7 cuts through desktop clutter—watch this video to see how. (5:58)

How many windows are open on your PC's desktop right now?

Too many?

We designed Windows 7 to help you clear that desktop clutter and find what you need, fast.

What you'll need:

  • A PC running Windows 7.

  • The Aero desktop environment (for some features). What's that?

A taskbar with a view

Thumbnail previews can be a big help when you're juggling lots of windows. Point to a program's icon on the Windows 7 taskbar, and you'll see miniature views of your documents, images, and even live videos.

Point to the thumbnail, and Peek morphs it to a full-sized view. All the other open windows temporarily disappear. How's that for laser-like focus?

Pinning and Jump Lists

In the past, the Quick Launch toolbar offered shortcuts to the programs you needed to get to quickly. Now you can simply “pin” programs (and files) to the Windows 7 taskbar, where you'll be able to open them with one click. It's easy to rearrange your lineup of taskbar buttons—just click and drag them. And Jump Lists give you quick access to what you use the most—like frequently-viewed websites or favorite documents.

Window magic

Ever need to compare two documents side-by-side? In the past, you'd have to manually resize the windows. With Snap, you just drag two windows to either side of your screen and they'll snap into place opposite each other. Snap a window to the top of the screen and it expands to fill the desktop.

With Shake, you can click the top of a window and give your mouse a shake to minimize all the other windows. Shake again, and the other windows return.

Not just a pretty face

Windows 7 has some great tools for helping you manage your workspace and lots of ways to personalize your desktop's look and feel—themes, wallpapers, and more. But it's got a lot going for it under the hood, too. We heard from customers that what they wanted most was pretty simple: a fast, reliable PC. So that was at the top of our engineers' to-do list. Windows 7 was designed to sleep and resume faster, and to be less memory- and battery-hungry.