More and more senior citizens are discovering just how beneficial computers can be.
While computers can be a pain to set up and get accustomed to, the rewards—such as access to online shopping, social media, video conferencing, and maintaining mental agility through games, are so worth it.
After reading all those benefits, you’re probably ready to shop for a computer for seniors.
Keep in mind, a computer’s operating system (the software it runs on) is just as important as the hardware (the computer itself).
The Windows 10 operating system has some great features that senior citizens love, such as excellent virus protection and various ways to customize settings to be more accessible.
How to set up Windows 10 for seniors
Most seniors are interested in carrying out basic tasks like checking email, video conferencing with family, or googling things, so it shouldn’t be too tricky for them to navigate Windows 10.
However, you can do your part with a few simple steps to keep viruses and technical difficulties at bay.
Install anti-virus software and review internet safety
Installing anti-virus software is the first thing you should do because seniors are highly susceptible to online scams and fall prey to various fishing tactics that younger people would flag right away.
While you should have confidence in the default Windows Defender & Firewall, it’s always good to have an added protection layer by installing anti-virus software. Some are free, and others will cost you.
Be sure to go over Internet safety tips with seniors who have access to the Internet, such as never giving out banking information or answering strangers’ emails.
Customize display settings
If the person using the computer is visually impaired, you will want to update the Ease of Access settings to magnify the screen’s content. You can change the font size and mouse pointer size to make the screen brighter.
Many seniors—and people of all ages—rely on the narration feature to navigate the cybersphere.
You can also change the contrast by using Cortana’s search bar and typing “calibrate display color.” From there, a window should pop up where you can make your selection.
Uninstall unwanted apps
Having clutter on a senior’s computer is just a recipe for frustration and ultimately slows down the computer. To uninstall unwanted apps, go to Settings > Privacy > Background Apps > and use the toggle button to make your selections.
Make sure Windows 10 is up-to-date
To ensure everything runs smoothly, make sure Windows 10 is up-to-date and that it’s compatible with the computer. Some older computers have trouble running new operating systems—causing lag, crashes, and other problems.
Disable sleep login
Every time the computer falls asleep, it will automatically ask for the password when you wake it up. This feature can become a nuisance for technologically-inept seniors—especially if they often forget their passwords.
To disable this feature, go to Settings > Accounts > Sign in options > and under Require sign in, select Never.
Customize the Start Menu
You can customize the Start Menu with a program called Open Shell. It is a free software tool used by many seniors that shows you recent files, lets you use different styles in your Start Menu, and search for documents with ease.
Before you go
While letting your elderly loved one roam the cybersphere unsupervised may be tempting, you’ll want to take the necessary precautions. With a few easy steps, your senior can step into the Digital Age without tumbling down the rabbit hole of online predators (infamous for preying on senior citizens).