Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

Windows 10 desktop with Windows 10 Tips icons and lifebuoy

If you're a complete beginner to Windows, or you're just getting started with Windows 10, here are some Windows 10 beginner tips to help you. If you're looking for something specific, try pressing F3 or Ctrl F on your keyboard and search for words on the page. There are more Windows 10 tips to come.

1. Hover the mouse to read what it says

When learning your way around Windows 10 for the first time, be sure to hover your mouse over buttons and icons to learn what they are. Often a tooltip or label will appear to help guide you.

Mouse over buttons to get tooltips and labels

divider

2. How to open the Start Menu

Many apps, functions, and shortcuts are available via the Windows Start Menu. To open the Start Menu do one of the following:

Click or press the Start button on the bottom left of your screen, or press the Windows key on your keyboard.

Windows Start button Windows key (Windows 10)

divider

3. Tips app

You can learn more about Windows 10 with the included and easy-to-use Tips app. So, for more tips open the Start Menu and search for or type Tips.

Get Started app icon

Windows 10 Tips app - Browse tips

4. How to Update Windows

Windows 10 will keep itself updated automatically, but to check that it is up to date, and therefore safe and secure, do the following:

a. Press the Windows key, keep your finger on it and then press the I key (I for Information). This opens the Settings screen.

Windows + I - Settings
Windows key (Windows 10)plusIWindows key + I - Settings

b. Then click on Update & security:

Update & security choice in Windows 10 Settings - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

c. Then click on Check for updates:
Check for updates button - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

Windows will download and install any important or available updates. These include security updates, too.

Another way to find the Update & security option is to simply open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key, and then type update. Then press Enter on the keyboard or click the first option which is highlighted at the top of the list.

Search list via the Windows Start menu - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

5. How to switch off your PC (or device)

a. Click on the Start button:

Windows Start button

b. Click on the Power button:

Windows Power button - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

c. And the Power options are right there:

Windows power options - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

divider

6. Notification icons

What do these icons in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen mean?

Notification icons - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

This area near the clock, at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, is called the notification area. Here you will see various notification icons.

To learn more about these icons, hover your mouse over each one and a tooltip or label will appear.

To access the programs or functions associated with them, you can single-click or double-click them (depending on the icon) and you can right-click each one for other options, too.

You will notice that some notification area icons change depending on their status:

alternative Notification icons - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

If this icon Image showing no new notifications changes to this Image showing new notifications it means you have a new notification or notifications. If you click on it - the Action Centre panel will open up, and you can see any messages or actions awaiting your attention.

divider

7. Text is too small to read

Magnifying glass

If the text and icons on your device are too small to read, you can increase their sizes.

If you want to do this for the long term, then use the following method:

a. Press the Windows key, keep your finger on it and then press the I key (I for Information). This opens the Settings screen.

Windows + I - Settings
Windows key (Windows 10)plusIWindows key + I - Settings

b. Then click on System:

System choice in Windows 10 Settings - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

c. Then adjust the slider:

Slider to adjust the size of text, icons and apps - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

d. Or if you have installed Windows 10 Creators Update, select a scale from the Scale and layout menu:

System choice in Windows 10 Settings - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

Option 2

If you want to do this on the fly instead, then press Ctrl on the keyboard and scroll the mouse wheel up or down.

Ctrl + Mouse wheel - Zoom in/out on the fly
Ctrl keyplusMouse wheelCtrl key + Mouse Wheel to Zoom in or Zoom out

Note. To get Desktop icon sizes back to normal (if using this on-the-fly method), right-click the desktop and choose View - Large, Medium, or Small icons.

divider

8. How do I find apps and things on my PC?

Windows 10 has a few ways for you to find apps and things.

If you know the name of the app you want, open the Start Menu by pressing the Start button or Windows key and simply type in the name of the app you are looking for. Then if it shows up in the menu list, you can click it to open it.

Another way to look for apps is to:

a. Open the Start Menu - by pressing the Start button on the screen or Windows key on the keyboard:

Windows key (Windows 10)

b. Then click on All apps:
Windows 10 All Apps hamburger menu - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

c. Then you can see a list of the apps on your PC:
Windows 10 All apps list - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

Don't worry if the apps on your PC are different from the ones shown here.

divider

9. Pointy arrows

You can click on pointy arrows to open a drop-down menu to see items within folders. Clicking again will close the drop-down menu.

Drop down menu arrows - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

divider

10. Scrollbars

Scrollbars are there to help you scroll up and down in vertical menus or windows.
You can click on the top or bottom arrows to go up and down in very small increments, or better yet - click and drag the handle. You can also use the scroll wheel on your mouse.

Windows 10 scrollbars how to image - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

divider

11. Arrow keys

Arrow keys - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

You can also use the arrow keys to move around inside menus, or move a web page up and down.

divider

12. Right mouse button - and context menus

We usually use the left mouse button to start apps and make things work. But if you press the right mouse button with different things (right-clicking), you will notice that context menus pop up - giving you more options, or shortcuts to different actions.

For example:

Right-clicking on the desktop brings up this menu where you can quickly create a new folder or text document, etc.: (Your menu might look a little different.)

Windows 10 right-click menu on desktop - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

If you right-click on text within a document or some apps, you will see options to Copy and Paste, too.

Windows 10 right-click menu on text for Copy and Paste options - Windows 10 Tips for beginners

divider

13. Settings / Options

Settings icon - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

Many apps, including Windows, have an option called 'Settings' or 'Options'. You can access an app's settings or options to change different settings within that app.

In some apps, this option is called 'Preferences' and can be found within the 'Edit' menu.

divider

14. On-Screen Keyboard

On-screen keyboard icon

If you need an on-screen keyboard, open the Start Menu and type onscreen. Then click on the On-Screen Keyboard Desktop app shown in the list:

On-screen keyboard desktop app option - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

This will open the on-screen keyboard, which you can use with other apps like a regular keyboard.

On-screen keyboard - thumbnail shortcut to screenshot - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

divider

15. Resize windows

Double arrow drag to resize window - Windows 10 Tips for Beginners

To resize a window and make it larger or smaller, hover over a side or corner of a window until the mouse pointer changes into a double-ended arrow. Then click and drag the window to change its size.

divider

16. Cortana

Cortana tile from Windows 10 Start menu

Cortana is the name of the interactive personal assistant in Windows 10. To learn how to use Cortana, see the Cortana - Introduction page.

divider

17. Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts for PCs

To make life easier, there are many keyboard shortcuts you can use in Windows 10. To learn some of them, see the Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts page.

divider

18. Character Map (£$¥¢©)

Character Map

If you need to type special characters which you can't find on the keyboard, such as £, $, ¥, ©, ½, etc., then press Start and type Character Map. Then hit enter to open the Character Map. From there you can find the character you are looking for, choose a font, learn the keystroke to type that character, or more simply, double-click the character to select it, then copy and paste the character into your document or app you are using.

divider

19. Quick Assist

Quick Assist is Windows 10's easy and safe way to help someone with their computer over the internet. Hit the Windows key and search for Quick Assist.

Quick Assist

divider

Help and How To

For more Windows 10 help and how-to information, visit the popular sites below.

Microsoft

Windows Sites

Windows 10 Forums

divider

GrantBarker.com - Comment icon

This page covers some of the basic questions that Windows newcomers ask when using their Windows 10 devices for the first time.

More Windows 10 tips for beginners will be added.

Let me know in the comments if you have any Windows tips or suggestions.

©2017 GrantBarker.com | About | Contact