Help for new computer users

This page has been created to provide help for those that are new to computers or could do with some pointers to computer basics that are available on the internet.

If there is a subject or product that you would like us to add please email .

Free software - on the internet

Free email

Free email accounts are often provided by the company that supplies you broadband service. If this isn't the case, or if you want to consider a different account, have a look at the popular products listed below.

Some suppliers (e.g. Google and Microsoft Outlook.com) also provide additional services with your email account such as file storage, word processing, spreadsheets, photo albums etc.

Free software - on your computer

Free anti-virus software

It is extremely important that you have anti-virus software running on your computer and that it is up to date.

New computer packages sometime come with anti-virus software installed which is either a time-limited free version of a chargeable product or a full product that will typically include updates for 1 year. At the end of the initial period the updates will stop and as time passes the software will become more out of date and less effective.

Windows 10 will usually have Microsoft Security Essentials installed which is free, including updates.

The products listed below are free to download and updates are also free. You may also find your bank or broadband supplier offer a free anti-virus product.

Free word processing, spreadsheet etc

Microsoft Office has for many years been the standard software suite used by businesses, students and home computer users around the world.

The products below provide a free alternative which will cover the needs of most computer users. Office suites sometimes come in different versions which include different combinations of software. Those below will cover most of your needs, such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentations etc.

Free image editing software

Want a way to resize, crop or edit your photographs or create new images?

  • IrfanView Useful to quickly resize images and also has batch facilities that will enable you to, for instance, rename or resize a whole folder full of images.
  • Paint.net Lots of facilities.

Free web browsers

Your web browser is the software you use to view web pages on the internet, including this one. A lot of people use Microsoft's Internet Explorer (or Microsoft Edge in Windos 10) but others are available and may be preferable. You can have multiple browsers installed on your PC so why not try another?

Useful sites

Computer goods and services

Amazon Computer Section A household name providing a huge variety of computer and other goods at competitive prices.

Broadband price comparison

Try uSwitch or BroadbandChoices. Note it is often cheaper to get a broadband, telephone and TV package from a single supplier.

Information

Get Safe Online A Government backed source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.

Gransnet, technology section Gransnet is a social networking site for grandparents.

Mouse skills

The web site below provides an introduction and exercises to help you practice your mouse clicks; scrolling, dragging, dropping etc.

Free training

Sutton Library Service

FREE training courses for over 50 year-olds, including:

  • Word Processing
  • Introduction to the Internet
  • Getting started with email
  • Use of search engines

These are held at various libraries around the borough and assume you have no exisiting computer skills.

Check with staff at any Sutton library for details of forthcoming sessions.

Learn My Way

The Learn My Way web site provides free online training to help get you started or maybe fill in some gaps.

Computer users with disabilities

Some alternative products and services that might be of use for those with disabilities. The links are to examples of products but other makes and models are available.

  • Vertical computer mouse Changes your hand and wrist from the usual horizontal mouse holding position to a vertical handshake.
  • Touchpad Allows you to use an external mouse which is similar to the trackpad of a laptop.
  • MyStudyBar A free tool designed to support learners with literacy-related difficulties such as dyslexia. It may also provide benefits to others.

Please let us have any other suggestions for inclusion in this section.