How to Find Out Technical Information about Your Computer in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

If you ever need to look under the Windows hood, heaven forbid, head for the desktop’s Control Panel by right-clicking your screen’s Start button and choosing Control Panel from the pop-up menu.


When the Control Panel appears, select the System and Security category and choose System. Shown in this figure, the System window offers an easily digestible technical briefing about your PC’s viscera:

Clicking the System icon brings up technical information about your PC.

Clicking the System icon brings up technical information about your PC.
  • Windows Edition: Windows comes in several versions. In this section, Windows lists the version that’s running on your particular computer.

  • System: This area lists your PC’s type of processor (its brains, so to speak) along with its amount of memory. You can upgrade memory fairly easy on a PC or laptop but not on a tablet.

  • Computer Name, Domain, and Workgroup Settings: This section identifies your computer’s name and workgroup, a technical term only needed by highly paid network technicians connecting to other computers in a business network. (Windows 10 automatically handles the workgroup name stuff on home networks.)

  • Windows Activation: To keep people from buying one copy of Windows and installing it on several PCs, Microsoft requires Windows to be activated, a process that chains it to a single PC.

The pane along the left also lists some more advanced tasks you may find handy during those panic-stricken times when something’s going wrong with your PC. Here’s the rundown:

  • Device Manager: This option lists all the parts inside your computer but not in a friendly manner. Parts with exclamation points next to them aren’t happy. Double-click them to see an explanation of why they’re not working correctly. (Sometimes a Troubleshoot button appears by the explanation, and you can click the button to diagnose the problem.)

  • Remote Settings: Rarely used, this complicated setup lets other people control your PC through the Internet and, with any luck, fix things. If you can find one of these helpful people, let him or her walk you through this procedure. (However, never trust someone who phones you unexpectedly and says she needs to use Remote Settings to “fix your computer.” That’s an old scam.)

  • System Protection: This option lets you create restore points. You can also come here and use a restore point to take your PC back to another point in time when it was in a better mood.

  • Advanced System Settings: Professional techies spend lots of time in here. Everybody else ignores it.

Most of the stuff listed in the System window is fairly complicated, so don’t mess with it unless you’re sure of what you’re doing or a technical support person tells you to change a specific setting.