Administrative Options

You can set administrative options for several features by using Accessibility Wizard or Control Panel. Settings that you can make in both include Set Automatic Time-outs/Automatic Reset, and Default Accessibility Settings. However, you must use the Accessibility Wizard if you want to save settings to a file to be used on another computer.

Accessibility Reset (Time-out)

Another useful feature for computers that multiple users share is the Accessibility Reset time-out feature. This component of both the Accessibility Wizard and Control Panel turns off accessibility functionality after the computer has been idle for a specified period of time. It then returns the operating system to its default configuration.


The Automatic Reset (time-out) feature does not turn off the SerialKeys feature.

Active Desktop

With Active Desktop, the user can personalize nearly everything on the desktop, in addition to displaying intranet and Internet content. Windows 2000 Explorer lets the user navigate through desktop elements, such as taskbar icons, files and shortcut icons, and other objects that are on the network. This feature gives a consistent interface on all categories of objects and for some users, can be an easier way to navigate to objects on the desktop than to use the mouse.

Customizing the Desktop

Here are examples of ways that users can customize their desktop with Active Desktop:

  • Add Web pages containing active content to a desktop.

  • Put a toolbar in a handier place on a desktop or taskbar.

  • Rearrange frequently opened files and programs for quick access.

  • Add an address bar to the taskbar or the desktop. This addition gives users the ability to type an Internet address without opening the browser first.

Desktop Toolbars

Users can create their own desktop toolbars with commands they frequently use. This is most useful for people who prefer to use the mouse rather than the keyboard; users who prefer the keyboard usually want to add commands to their Start menu.

System Status Icons

The ability to tab to the status icons on the system status area of the taskbar (sometimes called the system tray) is new in Windows 2000. When a user activates status icons for certain commonly used accessibility features, they appear in the system status area. Additionally, when the user presses a keyboard shortcut, an icon fills in the corresponding rectangle to show which key is activated. These status icons replace the status indicator of earlier versions of Windows.

Utility Manager

New in Windows 2000, Utility Manager brings time-saving value to users. An administrator can designate which computers automatically open accessibility tools when Windows 2000 starts. Then users can stop or restart the tools to suit their needs. Immediate access to such features as Narrator, Magnifier, or On-Screen Keyboard is important to some users.

Users and administrators can also use Utility Manager to customize most of the accessibility programs available on the computer. Administrators can open a dialog box and view what Windows 2000 accessibility tools are installed and the status of the tools. Administrators can also set up additional applications or run programs that install an add-on device. Although you can open Utility Manager through the Start menu, a quicker way to open it is by using the following shortcut keys: WINDOWS LOGO+U.


The built-in programs that you can open from the Utility Manager are Magnifier, Narrator, and On-Screen Keyboard. In addition to applications that Microsoft has built into the operating system, third-party vendors can add applications to Utility Manager.

For more information about adding augmentative devices to Utility Manager, refer to the documentation for the specific third-party utility.