Computer Skills Checklist

Sometimes when you are learning to use the computer, you aren’t sure what there is to know. In fact, you may not want or need to learn everything. Here is a computer skills checklist that I’ve created. You can pick and choose which of the things on the list you are interested in pursuing. And I’ve even got a printable list for you at the bottom of this post.

General Computer Info:

  • Know the parts of a computer
  • Know what to look for in a new computer
  • Check your system’s specs, see how much room is left on your hard drive
  • Turn the computer off and on
  • Change views
  • Change power options, such as standby and hibernate
  • Know how to install and remove software
  • Know how to add a hardware device, such as a printer or camera
  • Know what peripherals are
  • Safely remove an external device, such as a flash drive
  • Copy data or pictures to a flash drive
  • Create a shortcut icon on the desktop
  • Arrange desktop icons
  • Create a folder
  • Change the name of a folder or file
  • Empty or retrieve from the recycle bin
  • Burn a cd or DVD
  • Use virus protection
  • Change the background
  • Change the screensaver, even use your own photo
  • Manipulate windows: minimize, maximize, close, drag, resize
  • Find a file
  • Do a backup to a cd or external hard drive
  • Perform a defrag
  • Update windows

The Mouse:

  • Mouse controls: left-click, right-click, scroll, drag
  • Change mouse options (especially if you are left-handed)
  • Play solitaire to practice mouse movements


  • Use the calculator
  • Set the clock
  • Use the help files
  • Use Wordpad and Notepad, when to use Notepad instead of Word.
  • Type capital letters
  • Type numbers
  • Use the paint program
  • Chat on Skype, send a file
  • Play an online game
  • Use Moviemaker (not available in all versions of Windows)


  • Know what Word Wrap is and when to hit enter instead
  • Select text by dragging or clicking
  • Copy text
  • Delete text
  • Use undo and redo
  • Use shortcuts such as control C and control V
  • Align left, right, or center
  • Change font type and size
  • Change font colour
  • Type special characters such as copyright symbol (Tip: shortcut for copyright is to hold down your ALT key and hit 0169 on your number pad)
  • Use bold, italics, and underline
  • Use numbering and bullets
  • Insert date
  • Indent
  • Change line spacing
  • Create a letterhead
  • Use WordArt function
  • Add columns
  • Insert a table
  • Use the paintbrush tool
  • Use spelling and grammar check
  • Insert pictures and move them over
  • Wrap text around graphics
  • Use print preview
  • Change margins
  • Using Save and Save As
  • Create a database and sort files alphabetically
  • Create a newsletter
  • Create address labels
  • Perform a mail merge
  • Create a flyer or greeting card
  • Create a Table of Contents
  • Print your work: all of it or just specific pages
  • Email from Word
  • Add a signature to the Word email


  • Create and send an email
  • Use the Drafts folder
  • Use CC and BCC and know when to use each
  • Don’t shout
  • Add a signature
  • Receive an email and read it
  • Reply and reply all, know when to use each
  • Forward an email
  • Request a read receipt
  • Save email on your computer as a text file, save photo attachments
  • Virus scan an attachment and then open it
  • Add another email address (of yours) to your account
  • Create folders to organize received emails
  • Send an email with an attachment
  • Send an email to a group (first, create the group)
  • Set your email options, such as empty deleted items
  • Block senders
  • Add new contacts
  • Add senders to your address book
  • Create a webmail account, such as Hotmail or Gmail


  • Get onto the Internet
  • Know what a browser is and which one you use
  • Know what a URL is and the different extensions, such as .com
  • Use hyperlinks
  • Go back to a website
  • Save or print an image from a webpage using Google Images
  • Switch between Internet windows
  • Bookmark favourite sites
  • Shop online
  • Play games online
  • Do research online
  • Bank online
  • Read a PDF file, save it
  • Create a PDF file of your own
  • Find driving directions to a specific location
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Watch a Youtube video
  • Upload your own Youtube video and set the privacy options that are best for you
  • Shop or browse on eBay (even sell)
  • Know what a blog is
  • Create a free blog
  • Create a simple free website
  • Have a Skype conversation
  • Upload songs from your computer to an mp3 player

Photos and Graphics:

  • Connect a digital camera and download photos to computer
  • Manipulate pictures and photos
  • Select more than one photo at a time, using either the Shift or Control key (when to use which)
  • Scan an image and print it out
  • Rename images

Which of the above list are you interested in learning? What have I missed?

If you want to learn more, there are many tutorials on Youtube. Plus I found a site with free tutorials for beginners in Microsoft Office, basic computers, web design, and programming. It’s called Home and Learn. I just had a quick look since no time right now for a lesson, but they seem fairly detailed. You can also take a free exam and if you pass, and pay (in British pounds) to have a certificate sent. also has some great tutorials under ‘Online Courses and Tutorials’ for computer tasks and internet lessons, or ‘Personal Computing Center’ for scanning, digital cameras, and HTML help.

If you want to gain skills for possible employment, you might want to take a look at LinkedIn and their new learning courses. There is a small fee, but the courses are short and easy to consume, you receive a certificate when you finish a course, and then the certification is displayed on your LinkedIn profile for prospective employers to see.

If you’d like to have this checklist in printed form, there’s a PDF for you to print out and use. Just click the button below this post.

Enjoy technology and let me know if you have any questions,


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