Operating System

In our previous chapter, we have learned about the most common types of input

and output devices, their functions and storage devices. In this chapter, we will be learning about the operating system (OS), how it works and how to create a file, folder and subfolder.

What is an Operating System?

The operating system is an essential part of a computer, without which a user cannot operate it. It helps users use the computer efficiently and makes our work simple and easy.

The operating system (OS) connects different parts of a computer and provides a facility for computer programs to use other computer units properly.

  • An operating system provides many more facilities and has many programs within it.
  • Some of them control the disk.
  • Some programs perform other functions.
  • Some of its programs control the input/output devices.
  • Some programs connect one computer to the other.

How Does the Operating System Work?

  • When we switch on the computer, the operating system identifies different parts connected with it – keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, etc.
  • Then it checks whether all the parts are working correctly or not.
  • After it checks all the parts, a computer screen appears, called a desktop.


  • The desktop screen has small pictures on it, which are called icons.
  • An icon represents a program, a file or a folder.
  • The icon’s picture represents its nature (program, file or folder).
  • The name of a file or a program is written below the icon.
  • These icons help the user to open a file or start a program.
  • The bar at the bottom of a desktop is called a taskbar.
  • There is a start button on the left side of the taskbar.
  • By pressing the taskbar the user can view the list of programs.
  • The programs, which the user opens, are shown as a button on the taskbar.

Mouse Pointer

  • With the help of a mouse, the user can give instructions to the computer.
  • When the user moves the mouse on the mouse pad, an arrow sign moves with it on the screen. It is also known as a mouse pointer or cursor.
  • By double-clicking on icons, the user can open any files, folders and also start a program.

Window Screen

  • There is a start button on the taskbar. By clicking on the start button, a list of programs appears.
  • By dragging the mouse pointer to the ‘My Documents’ in the given program list, the user can view the list of folders and files.
  • There are different parts in this window screen: title bar, menu bar, scroll bar, file and folder.

How to Create a Folder?

The folder contains many files and subfolders.

Here is a list of instructions used to create a folder:

  • Drag the mouse to the empty place on the desktop and right-click.
  • Select and click on the New option, the pop-up menu appears.
  • Click on the folder option in the sub-menu.
  • This will create a new folder on your desktop.
  • Type the name for the folder.
  • The user can change the folder’s name by clicking on the Rename option.


The folder can be divided into many parts.

  1. These parts are called subfolders.
  2. Users can open several subfolders and store different data, records or files.
  3. This will make the task easier and avoid any confusion with the files.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a cursor?

When the mouse is moved on a mouse pad, an arrow sign also moves on the screen. It is called a cursor.


Where can you find the vertical scroll bar and the menu bar?

The vertical scroll bar is on the work area’s right side, and the menu bar is found below the title bar.


What are Windows and Icon?

Windows is an operating system (OS).
Icons are small pictures on the desktop. Icons can either be a file or folder or any program.


What are the functions of the operating system?

An operating system controls the overall working of a computer to work correctly. Input/output devices are a part of the operating system.


What is a Taskbar?

  • The bar at the bottom of a desktop is called a taskbar. It is below the window.
  • The taskbar has a start button on its left side and some small buttons on its right side.
  • The programs, which are minimized, are shown as buttons in the middle.

Stay tuned to BYJU’S for more information on NIOS, syllabus, notes, along with its important questions and solutions.


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