Configure Windows 8 PC for Senior Citizens

Configure Windows 8 PC for Senior Citizens

By Dave Taylor

The Question: I’ve just bought my Mom a new PC desktop computer and it’s running Windows 8. So far she seems to like it, but she’s been complaining to me that everything’s too small. Is there a way to make things bigger in Win8 and otherwise configure it for a senior citizen?

Dave’s Answer:

I’m impressed with your Mom. A lot of senior computer users I talk with have nothing good to say about the jump from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Turning that start menu into a start page is a big deal if you’ve spent years learning how to navigate a regular Windows interface, for sure. Still, go Mom! 🙂

As with most modern graphical operating systems, Microsoft Windows 8 has a lot of things you can do to make the interface easier for people to navigate, whether the issue is that things are too small, lack contrast, or even that the cursor gets lost on the busy, vibrant background wallpapers. Heck, you can set it up so that the system reads out the labels of buttons on individual windows if you’d like. Might be a bit of overkill, though, and I know that the last thing I want is for my computer to be talking to me all the time.

The easiest change of all, however, is to simply lower the screen resolution. A lot of modern screens can run at 1280, 1600 or higher resolutions (I’m talking about the horizontal resolution of the screen, of course, with a commensurate vertical resolution. My Win8 system I have set to 1920 x 1200) and while that’s great for detail work, it generally makes everything smaller. Change it to 1280 x 768 or even 1024 x 768 and suddenly everything’s bigger, the windows, the buttons and even the cursor. Hardware geeks hate this solution, but it’s fast and easy and might just meet your Mom’s needs.

Failing that, let’s look at a few of the different settings available.
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This post is excerpted with permission from Dave Taylor.

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One thought on “Configure Windows 8 PC for Senior Citizens

  1. bad advice to lower resolution, just use Appearance and Personalization > Display and change the text size.

    while lowering the resolution will make the text bigger, it will also be lower quality, and fuzzier.

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