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Laptops For Seniors For Dummies®

To view this book's Cheat Sheet, simply go to and search for “Laptops For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet” in the Search box.


Computers for consumers have come a long way in just 35 years or so. They’re now at the heart of the way many people communicate, shop, and learn. They provide useful tools for tracking information, organizing finances, and being creative. And, they’ve become far more portable with all sizes and weights of laptops available.

During the rapid growth of the personal computer, you might have been too busy to jump in and learn the ropes, but you now realize how useful and fun working with a computer can be. In fact, for seniors, the computer opens up a world of activities and contacts that they never had before.

This book can help you get going with your laptop quickly and painlessly.

About This Book

This book is specifically written for mature people like you — folks who are relatively new to using a computer and want to discover the basics of buying a laptop, working with software, and getting on the Internet. In writing this book, I’ve tried to take into account the types of activities that might interest a 55-plus-year-old who’s discovering the full potential of computers for the first time.

Foolish Assumptions

This book is organized by sets of tasks. These tasks start from the very beginning, assuming you know little about computers, and guide you through the most basic steps in easy-to-understand language. Because I assume you’re new to computers, the book provides explanations or definitions of technical terms to help you out.

All computers are run by software called an operating system, such as Windows. The latest version is Windows 10, Creators Update. This book covers features in the original release of Windows 10 and modifications to those features, as well as new features in the Anniversary Update released in 2016 and the Creators Update released in 2017. Because Microsoft Windows–based personal computers (PCs) — including laptops — are the most common type of computer, this book focuses on Windows 10 functionality.

Beyond the Book

In addition to the material in the print or e-book you’re reading right now, this product comes with some access-anywhere goodies on the web. Check out the free Cheat Sheet for a checklist for buying a laptop, computer care and maintenance tips, and Windows keystroke shortcuts. To get this Cheat Sheet, simply go to and type Laptops For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet in the Search box.

Where to Go from Here

Whether you need to start from square one and buy yourself a laptop or you’re ready to just start enjoying the tools and toys your current laptop makes available, it’s time to get going, get online, and get computer savvy.

Part 1

Get Going!


Buy a laptop.

Find your way around Windows 10.

Manage your laptop’s power.

Set up your display.

Get help with accessibility features.

Set up your printer and scanner.

Chapter 1

Buying a Laptop


check Understanding what you can do with a laptop

check Getting an overview of the hardware

check Appreciating software

check Understanding the difference between desktops and laptops

check Choosing a laptop

check Selecting a version of Windows

check Determining your price range

check Understanding displays

check Getting more out of your battery life

check Using USB ports for storage or DVDs

check Choosing features for faster performance

check Determining how you’ll connect to the Internet

If you’ve never owned a laptop and now face purchasing one for the first time, choosing a laptop can be a somewhat daunting experience. There are lots of technical terms to figure out and various pieces of hardware (the physical parts of your laptop such as the monitor and keyboard) and software (the programs that allow you to use the computer to get things done, such as creating documents and playing games, for example).

In this chapter, I introduce you to the world of activities your new laptop makes available to you, and I provide the information you need to choose just the right laptop for you. Remember as you read through this chapter that figuring out what you want to do with your laptop is an important step in determining which laptop you should buy. You have to consider how much money you want to spend, how you’ll connect your laptop to the Internet, and how much power and performance you need from your laptop.