Installed programs in Windows Vista
This tutorial shows you how to determine which applications, or programs, are installed on your computer, and how to launch them. We will give you a quick overview of the programs installed by default with Windows Vista; note that programs installed may differ from one Vista edition to another. (Windows Vista Ultimate is the version of Vista that includes all features from Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Business.)
Windows Vista ships with a series of applications pre-installed, or bundled. Some of these include: Windows Calendar, Windows Contacts, Windows Defender, DVD Maker, Movie Maker, Windows Journal, etc.
Microsoft Makes other applications free supplementary downloads for Windows XP and Windows Vista users, like Windows Live Mail, Windows Photo Gallery, etc. These are free, but not pre-installed applications.
More utilitarian applications that come with all editions of Windows Vista are located under Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories, and most notably include: Notepad, WordPad, Paint, etc.
Where does Windows Vista store your applications?
All pre-installed desktop applications, and other programs you may have installed from CD or from an internet download, are stored on your hard drive. The overwhelming majority of applications will be installed, and stored, inside the program files folder, by default:
The easiest way to access desktop applications installed on your computer is to go through the start menu: click the Start Button, and choose All Programs: a sub-menu will open, with a listing of most the programs installed on your computer. Some programs may not be listed if their installer did not create a shortcut in the Start Menu, or if they are uncommon programs: Windows Vista will not, for example, list in the Start Menu some of the computer management tools that should best be left in the hands of system administrators, or programs (like the Volume Sound controller, "SndVol.exe"), which are typically accessed indirectly, and not through Windows Vista's Start Menu.
The Programs folder
Like previous versions of Windows (like Windows XP, and dating at least as far back as Windows 95), Windows Vista stores most of its applications in the programs folder, located in
C:\Program Files. Another way to discover programs installed on your computer is simply to open the program files folder, and explore its folders and sub-folders. You will in many case fall upon programs you did not know you even had installed!