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Exiting a Program

Two kinds of programs run in Windows: programs that run automatically behind the scenes and programs that you start up yourself. You can exit either one of them.

Exiting a Running Program

To exit a program, close its window. You learned how to close Windows in Chapter 1, remember? You can exit a program by doing any of the following:

  • Click the Close button (top right).

  • Double-click the Control menu icon (top left).

  • Choose File, Exit.

  • Right-click the window's bar on the taskbar and choose Close from the shortcut menu.

  • Shut down or restart Windows.

The only quirk when exiting a program (as opposed to closing a window that contains something else) is that in some programs it is possible to close the open data file without exiting the program entirely. In cases like that, you will see two separate commands on the File menu: Close and Exit. Close refers to the data file; Exit refers to the program itself.

In such programs you also might see two Close buttons in the top-right corner, one above the other. The higher one is for the program itself and the lower one is for the open data file. See Figure 3.15, which shows Microsoft Excel (a prime example).

Figure 3.15 Programs such as these enable you to close the data file without exiting the program.

  1. Close command closes the document.
  2. Exit command closes the program itself.
  3. This Close button is for the program.
  4. This Close button is for the data file.

Exiting a Program in the System Tray

As you learned in Chapter 1, the icons in the System tray area (the area by the clock in the bottom-right corner) represent programs that stay running all the time to perform some behind-the-scenes function such as virus protection. You usually will not need to exit these programs. They start by themselves, and they stay running the entire time that Windows is running.

Figure 3.16 Right-click a system tray icon to open its shortcut menu, and then look for a command that shuts it down.

However, you might occasionally need to exit or disable one of them for some special reason. For example, some installation programs will not run unless you disable virus protection temporarily.

Exiting Program in the System Tray

  1. Right-click the program's icon. A shortcut menu appears. The commands on the menu vary depending on the program. Figure 3.16 shows an example.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If an Exit or Close command is on the menu, click it.

    • If no Exit or Close command exists, look for (and click) a command that pauses or disables the program.


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