Guide to setting up a computer for Grandma & Grandpa
Putting together a computer for my Grandparents
I'm a bit of a nerd and have always loved computers. In this guide, I point out the important steps in putting together a computer for an older person. Many grandparents want to use a computer, whether it is to download music for their MP3 player, play some games, write email, surf the web, or just about anything else.
Since no Grandparent is the same, the key is to think about what interest your Grandpa or Grandma enjoys and how they can use the computer for that.
Although this guide is tailored to grandparents, most of these steps could be followed to set up a computer for any first time computer user or beginner. I've set up computers for my parents and mother-in-law as well.
(Photo Credit: Thank you wordcat57 for this image.)
Let's take a vote - tell me about your grandparents, parents, or in-laws
Do the older people in your family use the computer? (Count them if they are over 70 years old)
Hints on Setting up a Computer for Grandma and Grandpa
get it ready for them
Setting up an older computer is OK, but try to at least get one running Windows XP or newer for the most compatibility. You might have an older computer sitting around the house that you can already use, or you can buy a complete used one on ebay for under $200, or a brand spanking new one for under $500. See some suggestions below.
My To-Do List
-- Increase the font size and icon size to make the screen easier to see
-- Install games and programs, and put shortcuts on the desktop
-- Put a family picture or other beautiful picture on the desktop
-- Set up a fun screensaver
Using the Computer is a Fun Family Activity!
Email for Grandma & Grandpa
They will love staying in touch!
Once you have the account set up, sign in, and hopefully your browser will ask if you want to save the password. If you say Yes, then they won't have to remember the password! The other option is to write it down for them.
Netbook for Grandma and Grandpa - if they are going to be mostly using email and surfing the internet, a netbook might be the most affordable option
Important Free Programs to Download and Install - these cover the basics
- Avast Antivirus Software (Free version)
Excellent anti-virus program. I highly recommend it from personal experience. It doesn't slow the computer down and it catches viruses! Remember to register it for your grandma or grandpa too! It is fairly easy and free to register but may be harder
- Open Office - Word Processing and more!
This is comparable to Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc). Works well!
Get the newest version of Java so that all websites will load correctly.
- Google Chrome Web Browser
Super fast web browser for Windows XP, Vista, & 7.
- Adobe Reader - Important for reading PDF files
Be sure to NOT download the McAfee too. In my opinion, McAfee causes computers to go way too slow. I prefer Avast Antivirus.
Change this reality by getting them some more games!!
Make things look bigger on their computer
Increase font size, icon size, and customize colors and settings for greatest accessibility.
Here's some instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7, and Internet Explorer.
I'd love to hear from everyone who visits.