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Cheat Sheet

Laptops For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Laptops For Dummies, 6th Edition

By Dan Gookin

Nothing is more liberating than having a computer you can take with you. A laptop offers you full computer power, a decently sized keyboard, a nice-looking display, and the ability to go wireless — not to mention how cool you look checking email and Facebook at Starbucks.

My Laptop Info

Whether you’re talking to tech support or buying a new toy for your laptop, you should have the following details about your laptop on hand. Print this page and fill in the information.

Whether you’re talking to tech support or buying a new toy for your laptop, you should have the following details about your laptop on hand. Print this page and fill in the information.

Laptop Name: ____________   
(The name given in Windows or the Network name)

Brand name: ____________   
(The manufacturer, such as Asus or Lenovo)

Make: ____________   
(The model name or number)

Serial number: ____________   
(Look on the bottom of the laptop, or on the box)

My laptop battery’s make and model:    
(Look on the battery, providing it’s removable.)

RAM: ____________ MB

Hard drive capacity: ___________ GB

Important Laptop Info

You need to know some important information about your laptop in the event of a technological emergency. Print this page, fill in the blanks, and keep this information near your computer for those dire moments when things go wrong.

My laptop computer dealer: ____________   

Dealer’s number: ____________

Dealer’s email: ____________   

Tech support phone line: ____________   

Tech support e-mail: ____________

ISP name: ____________

ISP tech support line: ____________   

ISP’s web page: ____________

ISP email: ____________   

ISP’s domain name:  ____________  

ISP’s email POP3 server name: ____________   

ISP’s email SMTP name: ____________

My Internet login name: ____________

(Save Internet password elsewhere.)

My email address: ____________

(Save email password elsewhere.)

Your Laptop Keyboard Fn Keys

You laptop has lots of special Fn key combinations. Look on your laptop’s keyboard to match the Fn key with its various functions. Those other keys are color-coded with the Fn key. Their function may be marked with text or an icon. Write down the appropriate Fn key combination in this list:

    To activate Num Lock:     Fn + ________

    Volume Up:     Fn + ________

    Volume Down:     Fn +  ________   

    Mute:     Fn +  ________

    Activate external monitor:     Fn +  ________

    Hibernate:     Fn +  ________

    Standby:     Fn +  ________   

    Monitor brightness:     Fn +  ________   

    Monitor contrast:     Fn +  ________

Laptop Bag Checklist

Here’s a smattering of items you might want to stuff into your laptop case or backpack for any sticky situations you may encounter. Beware: the more you pack, the heavier the bag!

  • Laptop

  • Power cord and adapter

  • Extra battery

  • External mouse

  • Ethernet cable

  • Pens, paper, sticky notes

  • Screen wipes

  • Headphones

  • A copy of your presentation

  • Media cards and flash drive(s)

  • Lock or cable

  • Tiny toolkit

  • Cooling fan

  • Business cards

  • Snacks

  • Laptops For Dummies

Tips and Suggestions for Your Laptop

Nothing beats tips and suggestions, especially when you’re starting out with something new and different, like a laptop computer. Here are some things that are highly recommended:

  • Restart Windows. This fixes many common problems.

  • If it was working “yesterday,” try the Windows 10 feature Reset This PC.

  • Changes cause problems. Upgrading software or hardware or changing the settings in Windows usually causes whatever new problems your laptop encounters.

  • Activate and use antivirus software.

  • Put a personal label or asset-tracking sticker on your laptop.

  • Hunt down those AC power outlets when you’re out on the road!

Battery-Saving Tips for Your Laptop

Perhaps the most vital tips that will be of help with your laptop concern your battery. Here are some suggestions to make your laptop battery last as long as possible:

  • Dim the screen.

  • Mute the speaker.

  • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

  • Run only necessary programs.

  • Set a solid-color desktop.

  • Enable low-battery warnings.

  • Use a spare battery.

  • Close unused programs.

  • Customize the power management scheme.