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Alert! Alert!

Friday, April 14th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms

What is an alert box?

You come across alert boxes all the time. You probably do every single time you use your computer, but you just may not know what they are. You probably call them something else, like a popup box, dialog box, message box, etc. All of those terms are referring to an alert box; it’s just a more technical name for them.

An alert box is just a small box that comes up on your computer screen to let you know that your system is about to perform an operation or something similar to that. Some of the alert boxes are there to inform you that the procedure your computer is doing may have damaging consequences, so your system just wants to make sure you know what is going on.

An example of an alert box is when you delete something off of your desktop or when you delete files. A message always comes up asking you if you’re sure you want to remove the items, just so you’re sure of exactly what you’re doing.


Another example is the Recycle Bin alert message. It always says, “Are you sure you want to permanently remove these items”? It gives you one last chance to say OK or Cancel, depending on what you really want to do with the items you place in the bin.

The alert boxes act as little reminders for you so you don’t accidentally do something you didn’t mean to do. If you’re working on an important document and you for some reason forget to save it, an alert message will save you from deleting everything without even knowing it. A message will come up asking you if you want to save your changes before closing the program and I’m betting this message has saved several of you many times. I know it has for me.

The universal icon for the alert boxes is a triangle with an exclamation point in the middle. Other alert messages include illegal operations, shutting down your computer, any changes you make on your system and others. They’re there to save you, so be thankful for them!


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