ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guide to setting up a computer for Grandma & Grandpa

Updated on December 30, 2010

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)

See results

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

(Instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7, and Internet Explorer.)

-- 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!

Using the Computer is a Fun Family Activity!
Using the Computer is a Fun Family Activity!
Email Me Button
Email Me Button

Email for Grandma & Grandpa

They will love staying in touch!

To get your grandparent started with email, I recommend that you help them set up a free email account. I would try Yahoo Mail or Google Mail.

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.

You can also put a shortcut onto the desktop that goes directly to the email website.

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

Change this reality by getting them some more games!!

Change this reality by getting them some more games!!
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.

Tell me about how your grandparents use the computer - or just say hi!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: No, you would NOT want a server edition. You need to disable automatic updates, and then you can just update it for her every once and a while. just google it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Grandma is 95. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are scattered around the country. Skype is the ONLY thing she wants to do with a computer, and really the only thing she COULD do. The problem is setting a computer up so that Skype is the ONLY desktop icon she has to deal with. But Windows XX always pops up WARNINGS in the tray and/or security updates she can't read or respond to. Do I have to buy/install a "server edition" to get a system that just runs 24/7?? (Maybe that's the answer, but it's an expensive one...)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm deighted to find this Lens, I'm adding a link to it on my Computers for Seniors Lens, perfect! Thank you for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I would love to get my Mom online, but she's afraid on computers. She does visit some of my lenses though when she's at my sister's visiting, with her daughter steering...lol.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 7 years ago

      Great idea for grandparents- it's something I suggested when my grandfather was in a care home.

    • rwoman profile image

      rwoman 7 years ago

      Oh dear, my parents do OK (perhaps because they are under 70) but my in-laws make us crazy because they don't know how to do anything and frequently get themselves into trouble.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)