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The Bottom Line

Installing, removing, and launching programs with Windows XP are all fairly common-sense activities. Just remember these important points:

  • Whenever possible, use the built-in installation program that comes with a new software program.

  • If you have to install a program manually, use Windows XP's Add or Remove Programs utility; you can also use this utility to uninstall programs from your hard disk.

  • If you're looking for freeware or software programs to download, be sure they're Windows XP/2000-compatible. If you're not downloading from a major software archive, be sure you check the files for viruses.

  • With Windows XP, you can launch programs from the Start menu, from My Computer, from a desktop shortcut icon, or from the Run command.

  • To switch between open programs, click the appropriate Taskbar button—or press Alt+Tab to cycle through all open programs.

  • To manually close a frozen program, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the Windows Task Manager, and then select the program and click the End Task button.

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