Essential basic computer skills for beginners to learn


Basic computer skills are core or primary computer skills. Which is from learning to turn on the computer to the use of a computer to achieve personal and professional goals. In the shortest and simplest way, we can define it like this “From computer basics to Tech savvy or Tech Pro”.

You can also think of basic computer skills as life skills. These days it is almost essential to learn basic computer skills. The benefit of learning basics is that you understand the vocabulary or terminologies used in various technology devices and software such as mobile, computer, smart TV, banking apps, accounts software, and almost everything. My point is that once you understand the WORDS and meaning behind their use, then you can learn to operate any tech device or app confidently and more effectively.

List of essential basic computer skills that you need to learn

1. Turn on and Turn Off the Computer

Those even do not know how to turn on or turn off the computer can start from this. After learning basic computer skills, you will be able to use your computer and laptop for personal and business work. Watch one of my videos in Hindi about “How to Turn On and Turn Off Computer“.

2. Basics of Operating System

Learn to do basic work in Windows or macOS on your own. After learning basic operating system operations (works) you will be able to manage your personal and business data effectively such as you can create, organize, and manage files and folders. Here you can learn more about the operating system.

3. Computer Typing Practice

Learn to type. English and Hindi typing skills. After this, you will be able to type without watching the computer keyboard. More importantly, you will be able to get the job done faster. Please watch here top 3 basic typing lessons.

4. Keyboard Short Keys

Learn to use common keyboard shortcuts used in the Windows 10, and 11 operating systems or in macOS. Computer keyboard short keys help us to work faster and more effectively on a computer.

5. Word Processing

Learn to use word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs to create and format personal, academic, and business documents such as resumes, letters, applications, forms, reports, and newsletters.

6. Spreadsheets

Learn to use spreadsheet software such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel for data entry, simple calculations, and charts. These days with the use of Python programming language, Microsoft Excel is a very powerful tool for data analysis and visualization.

7. Internet Browsing

Learning to use web, search engines like Google, and Bing, and understand URLs, various messages on websites, and sharing, privacy, and security settings are essential these days for beginners. Learn More: 14 Online Privacy Protection Tips – Best for Beginners

8. Email Management

Mastering email communication is crucial for effective interaction, from personal matters to official dealings, especially for adults, seniors, housewives, and students.  Writing, Sending, receiving, and organizing emails using email clients, Gmail, and Outlook are very basic things that are now part of our daily life. In this module also learn about email scams or phishing attempts. Learn more: What is an Email Account? Know the Basics of Email Account

9. Basics of Cyber Security

Most people start accessing websites and using apps, and software on their computers without understanding and recognizing the privacy and security concerns. For example, a kid can install any harmful app or game on his mom’s or dad’s phone unintentionally. While both parents are not familiar much with technology.

But they also use mobile banking and do various online transactions daily. Everyone has personal data on his/her mobile phone. Using or giving access to a phone or computer to an unauthorized or unknown publisher or app is not considered the best practice.

This is just an example, here you can learn more: 14 most effective methods to get rid of the top 10 types of Internet Scams

So, learning about phishing, awareness about online scams, using strong passwords, and recognizing online threats is more than essential.

10. Software Installation

Learn to Install, use, and update software applications. Learning software installation is essential as it enables individuals to seamlessly set up and maintain applications, ensuring access to the latest features and security enhancements. Proficiency in this skill streamlines workflows and optimizes productivity by efficiently managing software tools that facilitate various tasks. Learn More: How to install any Software in Computer: Basics of Installation

11. Antivirus and Firewall

Learn to understand the importance of antivirus and firewall software. Learn to install and configure antivirus or firewall effectively on the computer to secure your personal and business data and workplace. Learn MoreWhy is it important to install antivirus software on a computer?

12. Basic Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Identifying and resolving common computer, and software web issues such as overheating problems, restarts, slow speeds etc. When you can troubleshoot and fix problems on your own, you can avoid the need for costly professional assistance or time-consuming visits to repair shops. No matter if you do it by watching free video tutorials or searching for the problem on the web. At least you need to learn how to do things on your own. Here you can learn more: Basic parts of computers and their role in functioning

RelatedHow to learn computer hardware repair: Tips and Skills

13. Copying and Pasting

Utilizing copy and paste functions to transfer data and information from one source to another such as one folder to another folder, WhatsApp to computer, computer to WhatsApp, social media to computer, computer to social media, email to computer, and computer to email, google drive to computer and computer to google drive.

14. Basic Image Editing

For beginners, learning to crop, resize, and edit images using online tools like Canva or Photoshop is important for creating visually appealing content, whether for personal projects, social media, or professional reasons. This skill enables quick customization of images to fit specific formats, improving visual communication and saving resources by reducing the need for external design assistance.

15. Online Communication

Learning or familiarity with the use of video conferencing and instant messaging applications such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet etc. will help you to communicate remotely, attend virtual meetings, work or teach or learn remotely, and online collaboration. It’s almost essential for those running home-based businesses, learning computer skills online, working remotely as freelancers or teachers or attending schools’ parents’ meetings online at home.

16. Cloud Storage

Learn to use cloud storage services to save and access your personal and business files remotely using any device such as a mobile or computer or tablet. Learn More: What is Cloud Storage? Explore the Advantages of Cloud Storage

17. Printing and Scanning

Learn the basics of connecting and using printers and scanners. This knowledge is crucial for producing physical copies of documents and digitizing paper-based content. This is one of the essential basic computer skills that is required in almost all types of data entry, secretarial, and office assistant work.

18. Multiple Device Connectivity 

Connecting and transferring data between devices like USB drives, external hard drives, and smartphones. This helps in data backup, data transfer, and accessibility, safeguarding valuable information from loss or damage.

19. Online Shopping

Online shopping is now part of the modern lifestyle. Most teenagers, schools, and college students can do it effectively. Especially those who have familiarity with computers and the internet. However, housewives and seniors also want to do it but still hesitate or are not confident for many reasons, and one reason is not having familiarity with shopping sites.

So, to be a smart and digital consumer online shopping skills allow you to access a wide range of products and services from home. Learning to use eCommerce websites, comparing prices, paying securely, and tracking orders are some basic things that are important to learn.

20. Learn to use social media safely and securely

Learning about social media websites or apps’ privacy settings, controlling what information is shared publicly, and recognizing potential scams and phishing attempts helps you to protect your personal data, and money and avoid being scammed.

21. Learn about online business

Learning about online business is very important. Why I added this in basic computer course. It’s because all online businesses are running only because of computers, the internet, websites, apps, and various other technical tools. You can also say online business as a computer or tech business.

If you want a more realistic answer from me, then listen – When someone turns on his/her computer – business begins. Everything that you do on the computer is part of someone’s business. Window 10 or 11 – Microsoft Company product, Google Chrome – Google Product, – Meta (Facebook Product). If they can earn billions of dollars with the use of technology, can’t you earn $100 or $1000 or $10000 monthly?

You can think about the opportunities you will have, once you learn the basics. Currently, you know what you know, but you don’t know what I know or what a teacher knows about online business or eCommerce.

So why not learn? if it can help us to improve our lives. At least even you know, you still need a mentor for group discussion and making good decisions.

So if you’re an individual such as a housewife, retired, small business owner, and a home-based entrepreneur then it is very important for you to learn about basic intro or overview about freelance opportunities, affiliate marketing, blogs, software, app development, and digital services.

Even if you don’t know all of the skills used in this such as website design, logo design, banner design, marketing, SEO, and advertising still you can start a business. Having computer skills is one thing. But monetizing these skills is another skill.

The simplest answer is that these days even if you’re not a software developer you can still start a software development company. Before skills we need will.

So, I think the above are the best basic computer skills that are essential for beginners to learn.

It’s possible I have missed many of these because each person’s requirements can be different. For example, a housewife’s tech requirement can be different than the person who wants to start an online business from home. In that case, I invite you to send your requirements or hesitations to me. I will cover them in upcoming posts or in my live sessions.

You can learn all the above basic computer skills at home, by buying an online course, by hiring a freelance computer instructor, or by joining a local computer institute. But the best to learn basic computer skills online at home is to hire or pay an experienced computer instructor to teach you in one-to-one live classes. And where you can ask questions and she/he can answer or train you to be the best.

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