1. A pointer to a pointer; that is, a variable that contains the address of another variable, which in turn contains the address of the desired object. In certain operating systems, the handle points to a pointer stored in a fixed location in memory, whereas that pointer points to a movable block. If programs start from the handle whenever they access the block, the operating system can perform memory-management tasks such as garbage collection without affecting the programs. See also pointer.
2. Any token that a program can use to identify and access an object such as a device, a file, a window, or a dialog box.
3. One of several small squares displayed around a graphical object in a drawing program. The user can move or reshape the object by clicking on a handle and dragging. See the illustration.
4. In online communication, such as chats and bulletin boards, the name a person uses to identify himself or herself. A handle is comparable to an alias or a nickname and is like those used with CB radio.
5. A unique alphanumeric identifier of up to 10 characters assigned by InterNIC to the domain names, contacts, and network records in its domain name database. The NIC handle is used as a shorthand means of finding records and ensuring accuracy in the database. Also called: NIC handle.