How to use a computer

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

On this page, we cover and link to pages that help you with setting up your computer, how to use your computer, and everything we believe every computer user should know.

Different types of computers

Today, many devices are classified as a computer, but this document is primarily designed for users using a desktop, laptop, netbook, and hybrid computer.


Understanding the computer

The computer is a fantastic device and knowing how the computer works and how everything works together can help you get a better understanding of the computer.

Setup computer

If you've recently purchased or received a computer before anything can be done, it must be connected and set up. If you need help setting up and turning on your computer, follow the steps in the link below.

Keyboard and mouse basics

Computer Mouse

With the exception of a tablet and smartphone, all computers have a keyboard and either a mouse or touchpad as input devices. If you are new to the computer and need steps on how to properly use these devices or want to become more proficient at using the devices, review the below documents.

Understanding the operating system

Every computer requires an operating system, which is what allows the software and hardware to communicate with a computer. Understanding what operating system is running on your computer helps you in finding help and know what is compatible with your computer. Become familiar with the operating system and version that is running on your computer.

Create user account

Every computer today can have multiple user accounts. During the initial setup, your computer may have created an account for you. If you have other users in the home, you may want to create additional accounts for them, so they can use the computer.

Installing, Running, and uninstalling a program

All computers come pre-installed with programs, games, and other software that can be used. For example, the browser you are using to read this page is a program.

Saving and opening files

Computer file

While using a computer one of the most common tasks you perform is opening, viewing, and saving files. Below are links to pages that relate to these tasks and steps you can do to perform them.

How to manipulate the text within a file

While working in a file it may be necessary to manipulate any text that is created. Below are pages with help in manipulating the text within a file.

How to highlight, copy, and move files

After a file is created it may need to be copied, moved, or renamed. Below are the steps on how to do all of these tasks on your computer.

Changing settings

There are millions of settings that can be changed on the computer to make it work better for you. For most computers, the majority of these settings may be modified in the Control Panel.

Connecting peripherals


A peripheral is hardware input device or output device that gives a computer additional functionality. For example, you may want to connect a printer to the computer so you can print hard copies of documents. Steps to install these devices is found on the links below.

Connecting to the Internet

Today, the Internet is the most used feature on the computer and is becoming an essential necessity for everyone. If your computer is not yet connected to the Internet see the link below for further information on connecting to the Internet.

Using Internet

The Internet contains an endless amount of information and possibilities below are a few pages that can help with finding information and things to do on the Internet.

Computer safety

Computer security

After connecting to the Internet, it is also important to be aware of all the potential security threats to you and your computer. Below are links to help inform you of dangers and how to keep safe on the Internet.

Cleaning computer

Cleaning and maintaining the computer is also another important step in keeping your computer running. See the links below for further information about cleaning a computer and its components.