By Mary Belasco

Basic Windows Navigation


The mouse is used for guiding the pointer around the screen and to select icons, windows, folders, files and text by clicking the buttons (left and right). The movement and appearance of the mouse and pointer can be customized to your preference in Settings > Control Panel > Mouse. If necessary, the keyboard can be used to move the pointer and is set up by turning on "Mousekeys" through Settings > Control Panel > Accessibility Options > Mouse.

Left and Right Mouse Buttons

Under standard settings, pressing the left mouse button selects objects by clicking once and opens programs by clicking twice. Pressing the right mouse button shows a menu list of actions that may be taken on an object, such as copy, paste, delete, etc. The possible actions available may change depending upon the item chosen. Right clicking within a particular program will also give actions pertaining to that program. After right clicking and obtaining the action menu, the action is selected by clicking the left button.

Drag and Drop

MS Windows defines 'drag' as: to move an item on the screen by selecting the item and then pressing and holding down the mouse button while moving the mouse. For example, you can move a window to another location on the screen by dragging its title bar.

Icons, folders and files can also be dragged to another location and "dropped" by letting go of the mouse button when the object that was dragged is at the desired location, such as another part of the screen or in a different folder. Files may also be moved using the Windows instructions below:

To move files by dragging:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Find the file or folder you want to move.
  3. Make sure the destination for the file or folder you want to move is visible.
  4. Drag the file or folder to the destination.


Last updated: January 20, 2005
Website Feedback  |  Privacy Policy

© Copyright 1997-2013, Rutgers University Libraries   (Further Copyright Information)