Computers have made our lives a lot easier in many ways. When things go wrong, however, it can be incredibly frustrating and make your life pretty difficult.
Luckily, if your computer is operating on Windows, there is no shortage of tools you can use to help you. These range from general tips and tricks to specific and personalized solutions to the problems you are experiencing.
Below, we have put together a list of the best avenues of support available to help you navigate Windows.
8 Different Ways To Get Help In Windows
1. The ‘Get Help’ App
Windows 11 comes with an application that is specifically designed to assist you if you need help. It is pretty easy to use and can provide solutions to a number of different problems you might encounter.
You can find the ‘Get Help’ app in your Start menu. The easiest way to access it is to type ‘Get Help’ into the search bar in the Start menu or on the taskbar and then click enter or click on the shortcut to the ‘Get Help’ app.
Alternatively, you can find the ‘Get Help’ app on the left side of your Start menu amongst the list of installed applications. Simply scroll through these applications until you come across the ‘Get Help’ shortcut and then click on that.
This will take you to a screen that will ask you to state the product and problem you need help with. The default response is essentially a virtual agent. If the virtual agent cannot help you, however, you have the option to connect with a Microsoft representative.
You will be asked whether the virtual agent was able to solve your problem. If you click on ‘No’, you will be given the option to talk to a person. This allows you to schedule a call with a Microsoft representative, have them call you back within an estimated time, or chat with the representative through text messages.
2. Ask Cortana
If you prefer talking to typing, then Cortana is a tool you can use to get help in Windows. Cortana is Microsoft’s Digital Assistant that you can interact with verbally.
Cortana is generally better at providing answers to simple questions and dealing with basic issues. It will be able to tell you the steps you need to take to fix your problem or explain how to navigate a part of Windows that is foreign to you.
Cortana might not be able to provide you with definitive steps on how to fix some of the more complex problems you might be facing. However, it is pretty good at showing you where you can find more help. For example, Cortana can provide you with links to sites that may give you the help you need and can recommend helpful videos to watch.
You can activate Cortana by clicking on the little microphone or circle icon that is next to your search bar. Alternatively, you can activate Cortana by saying “Hey Cortana” if you have enabled this feature.
3. The F1 Button
Computers running on Microsoft software usually have function keys. These are the keys on your keyboard with an “F” on them followed by a number. The F1 key is the function key that is dedicated to providing you with support.
If you have an application open that has a support page and you click F1, you will be taken to that application’s support page. For example, if you have Microsoft Office open and you click F1, Microsoft Office’s support page will open. If you have Google Chrome open, tapping F1 will direct you to Google Chrome’s support page in a new tab.
The usefulness of the F1 button depends on the strength of the application’s support page. Unfortunately, when it comes to Windows itself, not a specific app, clicking F1 will simply do a Bing Search for ‘how to get help in windows 11’ which is not particularly helpful. However, some applications have incredibly useful support pages, and using the F1 key is an easy way to see if they can help you with your issue.
Windows 11 comes with various built-in troubleshooters to help you diagnose and solve certain issues. There are two main ways you can access these troubleshooters.
The first is through settings. Click on ‘Settings’, and then ‘Update & Security’, and then ‘Troubleshoot.’ Alternatively, you can click on the search bar, type in “Troubleshoot Settings” and then open the settings.
Depending on your system and the issue you are facing, Windows may recommend certain troubleshooters for you to run. If Windows does not recommend any troubleshooters, you can select a relevant troubleshooter from the list of troubleshooters.
For example, if you are having issues with your internet connection, Windows might recommend that you run the ‘Internet Connections’ Troubleshooter. If it does not, you can select the ‘Internet Connections’ Troubleshooter from the list of troubleshooters.
Once you run the relevant troubleshooters, Windows will try to find and resolve the issues that are causing you problems.
5. Settings In The Start Menu
If you are experiencing an issue with Microsoft, it may be a result of your settings. Sometimes, to resolve an issue, all you need to do is check your setting and change something.
You can access ‘Settings’ through the Start menu. Just click on ‘Start’ and you should see ‘Settings’ or the gear icon somewhere on the left-hand side. Look through your settings and see if there is anything you could change that could help resolve the issue you are facing.
Alternatively, if you are experiencing issues with a particular application, you can search for that application in your Start menu to access that application’s settings. For example, if you are experiencing issues with your VPN, simply search for VPN in your Start menu and you will be given a variety of settings options.
6. Search Online For Answers
The internet is many people’s go-to for finding solutions to their computer problems, and for good reason. It is full of websites that are dedicated to helping you identify and solve computer issues, including those for different Windows versions.
In fact, Windows itself has an online database of problems and solutions that is incredibly helpful. You can use their search function or try and find your problem and its solution by navigating the categories of issues. You can even look through their list of “Trending Questions.”
If you can’t find the solution to your problem on a website dedicated to computer issues, it is worth your while to look at online forums, like Reddit or Quora. Chances are, someone has already experienced the same problem as you and has asked for help on an online forum. Often, the answers to questions on these online forums can be incredibly helpful.
Don’t be scared to get specific in your online search. If you see a specific error code or message, type that into your browser’s search bar.
The more specific your question is, the more specific your answer will be. You will be surprised at the level of detail of many of these online answers. Try and search for your exact issue. If you cannot find a good solution, only then you should try a broader question and see if you can narrow down the problem from there.
7. Microsoft Support
If you want to interact directly with a Microsoft representative but would prefer written correspondence to a phone or video call, then Microsoft Support is the tool for you. Note that this is not the only way to chat with a Microsoft representative. You can also chat with one through the Get Help application.
Microsoft Support is a built-in app that allows you to message a Microsoft representative. To access Microsoft Support, go to your start menu then type ‘Contact Support’ into your search bar. Or, you can find it by scrolling through the Start menu.
You will have to wait for the representative to respond. This means that Microsoft Support can be a bit more time-consuming than other, more immediate, avenues of help. However, it is a great tool to use if you just can’t seem to find a solution to your problem anywhere else.
8. The Tips App
The Tips app, which is built into Windows 10 and 11, is another tool you can use to get help in Windows. This app is useful for finding some general tips that will help you navigate and make the most of Windows. It’s also great for finding out about new features included in recent updates.
It is less helpful, however, at finding solutions for specific issues you might be experiencing. If you need help with a specific problem, it is better to use some of the other avenues of help previously mentioned.
We’ve all experienced problems with our computers, and trying to resolve these problems can feel incredibly frustrating. Nowadays, there are so many ways you can get help with Windows. So, finding a solution to your problem has never been easier. If you’re having trouble with Windows, try some of the help features listed above and you’ll be able to resolve it in no time.