If you minimize all windows, you will see a large, usually coloured area called the Desktop. There will probably be some icons on it. If so, one of the icons will be "My Computer". Double-clicking on this shows a new window, with an assortment of icons in it. One of these will probably look something like this: If so, double-click on it to show the contents of your hard disk. Depending how much you've used your computer, a number of folder icons will appear. On my home computer there are 82. Further down, there are a number of files, most of which are important for your computer to function correctly, in other words, leave them alone.
Quite a few of the folders will have names representing programs or companies, e.g. "Acroread" or "Msworks". These will probably contain the program itself, documentation, various related junk, and sometimes documents that were saved by that program.
One of the important folders is "Program Files". This is where most of your programs live. Again, the program itself will be here together with a load of junk.
To tell if a file is a program, first look at its name. If it ends ".exe", it is a program (but not necessarily the one you want - don't run a random program just to see what it does). If none of the files end with .xxx then click on "View", "Folder Options..." then the "View" tab, and click on something like "Hide file extensions for known file types", then "OK". The .xxx file extensions should then appear.
Go back to running programs index page