Windows 10 For Seniors For Dummies book cover

Windows 10 For Seniors For Dummies

By: Peter Weverka Published: 08-25-2020

The easy way to get up and running with Windows 10!

With Windows 10 For Seniors For Dummies, becoming familiarized with Windows 10 is a painless process. If you’re interested in learning the basics of this operating system without having to dig through confusing computer jargon, look no further.

This book offers a step-by-step approach that is specifically designed to assist first time Windows 10 users who are over-50, providing easy-to-understand language, large-print text, and an abundance of helpful images along the way! 

  • Protect your computer
  • Follow friends and family online
  • Use Windows 10 to play games and enjoy media
  • Check your security and maintenance status 

Step-by-step instructions are provided to ensure that you don't get lost at any point along the way.

Articles From Windows 10 For Seniors For Dummies

7 results
7 results
See All Devices Connected to Your Windows 10 Computer

Article / Updated 10-06-2021

In Windows 10, you can use the Devices window to view all the devices connected to your computer. Some, but not all, devices display information below the device name. A network device may display Offline (not accessible) or it may display nothing if it is accessible. A printer may display Ready or it may display nothing if the printer isn't ready. To see all your devices Choose Settings on the Start menu. The Settings window opens. Choose Devices to open the Printers & Scanners category of the Devices window, as shown in the top of the figure. Note the printers and scanners (if any) that are connected to your computer. Select the Connected Devices category (or Bluetooth & other devices) in the Devices window, as shown in the bottom of the figure, and scroll down the screen to see all your devices. Devices listed may include your monitor, speakers, headphones, keyboard, mouse, and more. Devices shared through your homegroup or network also appear here. You are unlikely to need the Add a Device button because most devices are added automagically (that's a word nerds like to use). However, if you select Add a Device, Windows 10 scans for additional hardware. No harm in doing so.

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How to Open Windows 10 Apps

Article / Updated 08-26-2021

The Windows 10 Start screen is home to numerous programs, or apps (short for applications). An app performs a function or displays information. For example, the Weather app offers weather reports (surprise!) and the Maps app helps you map a route between two places. Apps can be simple or complex. Apps appear on the Start screen as tiles. A tile, which may be square or rectangular, displays the app’s name and symbol or icon. A tile that displays changing information is called a live tile. An open app typically covers the screen, hiding other apps that are open. However, some apps can be displayed side-by-side with a function called snap. Two categories of apps are available: Windows 10 apps are modern looking and rich with information. They are designed to work with touchscreens as well as with a mouse. Weather and Edge are the first two such apps you use in this chapter. (The Maps and Calendar apps function similarly to the Weather app, each with a unique focus.) Desktop apps always open with the desktop behind them. Most desktop apps don’t have the look or consistent functions of Windows 10 apps. Desktop apps may not respond to touch as reliably as Windows 10 apps. You select an app to use in one of two ways: Mouse: Move the mouse pointer over an app tile. Click the left mouse button to select the tile and open the app. Touchscreen: Tap the app tile with one of your fingers. In this chapter, you open, close, and use some of the apps that come with Windows 10. You also switch between apps and the Start screen, and switch directly between two apps. You find out how to search for apps not shown on the Start screen. Finally, you discover how to organize the Start screen by rearranging tiles into groups. Although some steps are specific to one app, most of the steps you follow here can be repeated in any app. Open Windows 10 apps Select the Start button, as shown. Selecting this button opens the Start screen, also shown. You can also open the Start screen by pressing the Command key. Use the mouse or a finger to select the Weather tile. (If you’ve used Weather before, the tile shows a temperature reading in a certain location.) The Weather app opens to the Forecast screen, as shown. It shows the current temperature and weather forecast for your default location. Select the Show Options button. As do most apps, Weather has a Show Options button in the upper-left corner. Select this button to expand the app bar and see the names of options on the app bar. Select the button again to collapse options on the app bar. The first time you open the Weather app, a Welcome screen appears. It asks whether you want to show temperatures in Fahrenheit or Celsius and what your location is. By location, the Weather app wants to know where you live, or, if you’re a vagabond, where you spend the majority of your time. Choose Detect My Location or enter a city or town name in the Search box, and from the menu that appears as you type, select the name of the town or city that you call home. You can always change these settings by selecting the Settings button in the app bar and choosing options on the Settings screen. Switch back to the Start screen using one of these methods: Tap or click the Start button. Press the Command key. Focus on the method you think is easiest. However, keep in mind that alternative methods of controlling your computer are always available. On the Start screen, check to see whether the Weather tile displays current weather information, as shown. The Weather app has a live tile, meaning that its tile on the Start screen displays changing information. Switch back to the Weather app by selecting its tile with the mouse or your finger. The Weather app reappears. Switch back to the Start screen. Select the Microsoft Edge tile (look for a blue icon). The Edge screen appears, as shown. If the Edge tile doesn’t appear on your Start screen, scroll in the alphabetical list of apps to the Edge app tile and select it. Edge is a browser, which is an Internet application for exploring the web. Scroll downward to see all that is on the web page you are visiting. Use these techniques to scroll: Mouse: Drag the scroll box on the right side of the screen up or down. If your mouse has a wheel, you can also turn the mouse wheel to scroll. Touchscreen: Swipe the screen up or down. Switch to the Start screen by selecting the Windows button or pressing the Command key. On the Start screen, select the Weather tile. Switch back and forth between the Weather app and the Start screen a few times to get comfortable with switching between an app and the Start screen. Switch among open apps Open the Weather app. Switch to the Start screen and open the Edge app. Switch to Task view, as shown. In Task view, thumbnail versions of all open apps appear on the screen. You can switch to Task view with one of these methods: Mouse: Click the Task View button on the taskbar. Touchscreen: Swipe from the left edge of the screen or tap the Task View button. Keyboard: Press Command  + Tab. Select the Weather app to switch to it. Task view offers one way of switching between apps. Use the Task View method to switch between apps when many apps are open onscreen. Seeing tiles for all open apps makes switching from one app to another easy. Besides offering thumbnail versions of open apps in Task View, Windows 10 also gives you the opportunity to backtrack and open apps you used in days past. Scroll down the screen or drag the slider to see thumbnail pictures of your past activities. Selecting a thumbnail picture opens the app you were using in the past. You can open a second desktop on the screen and in so doing keep some of your open apps on one screen and some of your open apps on another. When you’re running many apps, opening a second desktop is a great way to be able to switch quickly from one app to another. Select the Edge app icon on the taskbar to switch to the Edge app. The taskbar is located along the bottom of the screen. Whenever you open an app, Windows 10 places that app’s icon on the taskbar. You can select an icon on the taskbar to switch to an open app. Some icons appear permanently on the taskbar. For example, the File Explorer icon is always on the taskbar regardless of whether File Explorer is running. You can pin your favorite apps to the taskbar. Pinning an app to the taskbar places an icon there so that you can open an app quickly. Press Alt+Tab and continue to hold down the Alt key after you press Tab. A window showing thumbnails of all open apps appears onscreen, as shown. While holding down the Alt key, press the left- or right-arrow key to select the Weather thumbnail, and then release the Alt key. The Weather app appears onscreen. Pressing Alt+Tab is yet another way to switch between open applications.

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Windows 10 For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-09-2021

Here are some tips and tricks for making better use of the Windows 10 operating system. Discover how to minimize all but the active window, schedule events in the Calendar app without opening the Calendar app, see filename extensions in File Explorer, and take a screenshot.

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How to Check Your Security and Maintenance Status in Windows 10

Article / Updated 08-26-2020

Windows 10 uses the Security and Maintenance screen to keep you informed of issues that pertain to your computer's health. The screen divides issues into Security and Maintenance sections. The Reliability Monitor can help you pinpoint problems with hardware and software. In the System window, select Security and Maintenance in the lower-left corner. The Security and Maintenance window appears, as shown. Another way to open the Security and Maintenance window is to type Security and Maintenance in the Search box on the Windows taskbar. Note any message displayed under Review Recent Messages and Resolve Problems. Ideally, you see No issues have been detected by Security and Maintenance. If you see a message concerning a specific problem, select that message for more information. Select the Security heading in the Security and Maintenance window. That section expands to detail security functions. Every option should display On or OK. Here's a brief description of each item under Security: Network Firewall: The firewall scans Internet traffic and blocks activity from programs that don't have explicit permission to use Internet access. When you install a program that uses the Internet, you may be asked to approve the connection the first time. The safest practice is to reject online connections that you don't initiate or recognize. Virus Protection: Having virus protection for your computer is essential. Windows Defender provides antivirus protection, although you can install some other antivirus program. Internet Security Settings: These settings pertain to your browser. The default settings may be adequate. To learn more, see the following tip. User Account Control (UAC): This function notifies you of programs that try to make changes to your system and requires that you confirm any such changes. In particular, UAC lets you know when a program tries to run or install software that may be malicious. When in doubt, say No or Cancel to UAC messages. Select the Maintenance heading to see what that section includes. Functions under Maintenance consist of the following: Report problems: This setting is on, allowing Windows 10 to regularly check for solutions to problems it uncovers. (In Step 5, you run the Reliability History report from this part of the screen.) Automatic Maintenance: Your computer automatically performs critical updates, security scans, and diagnostics each day. If your computer is in a guest room or bedroom, you may want to change the Automatic Maintenance setting to run maintenance tasks at some time other than the default 3:00 a.m. Your computer may actually wake up at that hour for maintenance (although, if your computer is connected to a power strip, you can turn off the power strip and prevent your computer from turning on automatically in the middle of the night). If the computer can't run maintenance at the appointed hour, it will do so at the next opportunity. File History: File History is off by default. Drive status: Drives are hard disks inside or attached to your computer. Your documents, photos, and Windows 10 itself are stored on one or more drives. Ideally, the drive status is All drives are working properly. Device software: If a device on your computer needs a driver or other type of software to run properly, you are alerted here. Select Install Device Software to install the software. The Security and Maintenance window is a troubleshooting tool, so you should check it if you have problems running Windows 10. Under Report Problems, select View Reliability History. As shown, the Reliability Monitor screen graphs your computer's stability and indicates hardware and software problems, including those you may not be aware of. On this screen, red circles indicate critical events such as computer crashes; blue circles are information about software installation and updates; and yellow triangles indicate warnings about noncritical events (something that didn't crash the computer). Select a day in the graph to display details in the lower portion of the screen. Reviewing the Reliability Monitor screen helps you distinguish between a one-time glitch and a recurring or worsening problem.

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How to Block Web Ads on Your Windows 10 Device

Article / Updated 08-26-2020

Many Windows 10 users also use Microsoft Edge as their web browser. As you soon find out if you spend any time on the web, web pages are full of cumbersome advertisements. They often get in the way. How would you like to strip the ads from the web pages you visit? You can do that by installing an app from the Microsoft Store called Adblock Plus. Edge is by no means the only browser. Microsoft invented Edge to coincide with the release of Windows 10. You are hereby encouraged to test-drive other, more established browsers, namely Mozilla Firefox and Chrome. Close Edge, go to the Microsoft Store, and install Adblock Plus now.Installing takes only half a minute. The first time you open Edge after Adblock Plus is installed, you see the message screen. Select the Turn It On button. Then go to a web page of your choice. This figure shows the same web page before and after Adblock Plus was installed. Notice the large ad at the top of the first Edge screen. This ad is absent from the same screen on the bottom of the figure. After you install Adblock Plus, the Adblock Plus button (with the letters ABP) appears in the upper-right corner of the screen. A number next to the button tells you how many ads were blocked on the web page you’re visiting. Click the ABP button.You see the drop-down menu shown on the left. It also tells you how many ads were blocked. Occasionally, you run into a web page that can’t be viewed when ads are blocked. In cases like that, you can turn off Adblock Plus. To do so, click the APB button, drag the slider on the drop-down menu to the left, and select the Refresh button (refer to the right side of the figure). Click or tap anywhere on the web page to close the Adblock Plus drop-down menu.

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How to Create Microsoft and Local Accounts in Windows 10

Article / Updated 08-26-2020

You need a Microsoft account to take full advantage of Windows 10 features such as the Microsoft Store for apps, OneDrive for online storage, and synchronized settings between computers. Learn how to create a Microsoft account, create a local account, and switch from a local account to a Microsoft account. If other people use your computer, you may want to create more than one local account. When each person who uses your computer has a separate account, you can keep data, apps, and settings tidy and private. Have only one administrator account for each computer. Create a new Microsoft account On the Start screen, select your picture on the left side of the screen. In the pop-up menu that appears, choose Change Account Settings, as shown. The Settings app opens to the Accounts screen. Your account information appears with the words Local Account under your name, as shown. If you see don’t see Local Account, you already have a Microsoft Account and don’t need to follow these steps: Select the Sign In with a Microsoft Account Instead link. The Sign In screen appears. To create a new account, select the Create One! link. On the Create Account screen, create the account with an email address or a phone number. Messages about your Microsoft Account will be sent to the email address or phone number you enter. Email address: Type the email address you want to use for this account in the Email Address box and select Next. Phone Number: Select the Use a Phone Number Instead link. Then enter your phone number and select Next. In the Create a Password box, type a password. Dots appear instead of what you type. Use at least eight characters, including at least two uppercase letters, two lowercase letters, two numbers, or two symbols. No spaces are allowed. Your password should be easy enough for you to remember and type, but not easy for someone else to guess. Don't use the names of any family members (including pets). A good password can be difficult to create, so try this trick: Think of a memorable phrase or lyric. Next, use the first letter from each word, capitalizing some of those letters. Then substitute some letters with numbers (for example, 3 for the letter E or the number 0 for the letter O). Don't put your password on a sticky note near your screen. Enter your first and last name; then select Next. In the What’s Your Birth Date? screen, enter your country or region if it is not already selected. Select the month, day, and year of your birth. (You can lie, but be sure to remember your response.) Review your entries and select the Next button. On the Verify screen, enter the code Microsoft sent to the email address or phone number you entered in Step 2. Select the Next button. The Sign In to This Device Using Your Microsoft Account screen appears. Enter the user name and password to your local account, if you had a password. Then click Next. Congratulations! You just created a Microsoft Account. Create a local account “Local account” is Microsoft’s name for your ability to start your computer without signing in to Microsoft. Before you create or sign in with a local account, save your work. Then select the Start button, select your picture on the Start menu, and in the pop-up menu that appears, choose Change Account Settings. You see the Accounts screen. If you see the words local account on this screen, you’re already signed in with a local account. You can’t download and install apps from the Microsoft Store without signing in with a Microsoft Account. Nor can you upload files to OneDrive. So why have a local account? If you’re concerned about privacy and security, if you don’t want Microsoft to peer over your shoulder and track your every move when you use your computer, consider creating a local account. You can always switch to your Microsoft Account when you want to install apps from the Microsoft Store, use OneDrive, or use Skype. To create a local account for someone else to use your computer: Choose the Sign In with a Local Account Instead link. You see the Are You Sure screen, shown. Select the Next button. Enter the password of your Microsoft Account in the Making Sure It’s You screen and select OK. In the next screen, shown, enter a user name, a password (twice), and a word or two to jar your memory if you forget your password; then select Next. Passwords are case sensitive. In other words, your computer recognizes uppercase letters and lowercase letters when you create and enter a password. Remember which letters in your password are upper- and lowercase. If you want to sign in to your local account without having to enter a password, leave the Password, Reenter Password, and Password Hint text boxes blank. Select the Sign Out and Finish button. Your Microsoft Account closes, Windows restarts, and you see the Windows 10 screen. Enter the password you created in Step 3. When you start your computer, Windows 10 assumes that you want to sign in with the account you were using when you last shut down your computer. If you shut down when signed in with your local account, you are asked to provide the password for your local account the next time you start your computer. When you start a computer with more than one account, account names appear in the lower-left corner of the Windows 10 screen. Select an account name in the lower-left corner to tell Windows which account to open. Switch from a local to an existing Microsoft account Follow these steps to sign in with your Microsoft Account when you are currently signed in with your local account. On the Start screen, select your name in the upper-left corner of the screen and then choose Change Account Settings from the pop-up menu that appears. The Accounts screen opens. Your account information appears with Local Account under your name. If you don’t see Local Account under your user account name, you’re already signed in with your Microsoft Account. Select the Sign In with a Microsoft Account Instead link. The screen shown appears. Type the email address or phone number of your Microsoft Account and select the Next button. Enter the password of your Microsoft Account and select the Sign In button. In the Current Windows Password text box, enter the password of your local account and select the Next button, as shown. The Accounts screen opens, where you see the user name and email address of your Microsoft account. Create a local account for someone in your household Consider creating a local account for each person who uses your computer. A local account is more than just a way to sign in. Each local account preserves the user’s settings and Internet browsing history. When you set up a local account, Windows 10 creates separate folders called Documents, Pictures, Videos, and Music for the account holder. Only the account holder can open and edit files in these special folders. To create a local account, select your name on the Start screen and choose Change Account Settings on the menu that appears. The Settings app opens to the Accounts screen. To create a local account, you must be your computer’s administrator. To see whether you’re the administer, look for the word Administrator below your name on the Your Info page of the Settings screen. On the left, select Family & Other Users. On the right, select Add Someone Else to This PC. The How Will This Person Sign In screen appears. At the bottom of the How Will This Person Sign In screen, select the link called I Don’t Have This Person’s Sign-In Information. On the next screen, select Add a User without a Microsoft Account. On the next screen (it’s called Create a User for This PC), enter the user name in the first box, as shown. Use the person's first name, last name, first and last name, initials, or nickname — something easy to remember and type. You are not required to use a password with a local account, which makes signing in easy. However, without a password, anyone can use the computer and access information that you might want to protect. In the Password box, enter a password (or skip to Step8 if you don’t care to create a password for your account). A dot will appear for each character you type. In the Reenter Password box, type the same password exactly. In the three drop-down menus, choose a security question and type the answer in the text box. If you forgot your password, you will be able to recover it by answering a security question correctly. After completing all the available boxes, choose the Next button. In the Accounts screen, the new user name appears under Other Users, as shown. Return to the Start screen and select your user name. Notice that the new user name appears on the drop-down menu. You can switch between accounts by selecting a user name on the drop-down menu. To sign out of an account, choose Sign Out. In the drop-down menu, select the new user name to switch to that account. A screen appears with the new user name. If you used a password on the new user account, type that password in the box and select the onscreen right arrow or press Enter. If you didn’t use a password, select the Sign In button. The first time you sign in as a new user, you have to wait a moment while apps are installed for the new user. Soon the generic Start screen appears. (Any settings you changed in your account do not transfer to other accounts.) When you start a computer for which you’ve created more than one user account, the users’ names appear in the lower-left corner of the Windows 10 screen. To tell Windows which user to sign in with, select a user name on the Windows 10 screen before signing in.

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How to Make Windows 10 Easier to Use

Article / Updated 08-25-2020

The Ease of Access screen in Windows 10 offers many ways to make your computer, mouse, and monitor easier to use. These settings are organized into three categories: Vision, Hearing, and Interaction. On the Settings screen, select Ease of Access. The Ease of Access screen appears. Here’s a quick way to open the Ease of Access screen: Press Command +U (for usability). Vision options Under Vision, choose the Display settings. These settings make the screen easier to view and read. You find settings here for making text larger and brighter. You can choose the Mouse Pointer settings to change the size and color of the mouse pointer. As shown, Windows 10 offers mouse pointers of different sizes and colors. Choose the combination that tickles your fancy. You can choose Text Cursor settings to change the color and thickness of the text cursor. The text cursor is the vertical line that appears onscreen to show you where text will appear when you begin to type. Choose Magnifier settings to enlarge what is on your computer screen. These settings are for people who have difficulty seeing. When Magnifier is turned on, the Magnifier toolbar appears onscreen, as shown. (Click or tap the magnifying glass icon on the taskbar to see this toolbar, if necessary.) Click or tap the plus sign on the Magnifier toolbar to zoom a portion of the screen for easier viewing. Click or tap the minus sign to see the screen at normal size. Without turning the Magnifier switch on, you can magnify the screen. Press Command +plus key to zoom in using Magnifier. Press Command +minus key to zoom out using Magnifier. Choose a Color Filters setting if you are color blind. If you know which type of color blindness you have — deuteranopia, protanopia, tritanopia — you can choose its name on the Color Filters menu to make seeing items onscreen easier. Choose High Contrast settings to alter the screen in a way that might make seeing text easier. These settings are also for people who have difficulty seeing. After you choose a theme, you can choose a color for text, hyperlinks, disabled text, selected text, button text, and backgrounds. Click Apply after you make your choices. Choose None and click Apply if you want to return to the default Windows 10 contrast settings. Choose Narrator settings to have content on the screen read aloud. These settings are for people who have difficulty reading. After turning on the Narrator switch, you choose voice, speed, and pitch settings to determine what the narrator’s voice sounds like. Hearing options Under Hearing, choose Audio Settings to increase the default volume and control whether you hear stereo or mono sound on your computer. If you have poor-quality speakers, turning the Mono Audio option to On can improve the sound. Choose Closed Captions settings to control how subtitles appear in audio and video presentations. Choose Font settings to describe what you want the text in the captions to look like. Choose Background and Window settings to describe what the box where the captions appear looks like. The Preview box shows what your choices mean in real terms. Interaction options Under Interaction, choose Speech settings to dictate text instead of typing it and control your computer and device with voice commands. Choose Keyboard settings to type without using a physical keyboard. This onscreen keyboard uses the layout of a conventional keyboard. However, most people find that the standard Windows 10 virtual keyboard is more flexible. Again under Interaction, choose Mouse settings if, for some strange reason, you want to control the mouse with the keys on the numeric keypad.

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