Get Help application showing the Virtual Agent on Windows 10

Windows 10 has a built-in Get Help app that will offer solutions to problems and even connect you to a human support person. That’s just one of Windows 10’s convenient built-in support options.

Use the “Get Help” App

Windows 10 includes a Get Help application that can provide solutions to many problems. You’ll find it in your Start menu. Click the Start button, type “Get Help,” and click the “Get Help” shortcut that appears or press Enter. You can also scroll through the list of applications at the left side of the Start menu and click the “Get Help” shortcut.

Searching for Get Help in Windows 10's Start menu

By default, this connects you to a “virtual agent.” Type what you want support with, and it’ll try to find you some information. You can also skip this part and type something like “talk to a human” to get connected with a Microsoft support person.

Asking the virtual support agent for a human representative on Windows 10

Press F1 for Help in Many Applications

The F1 key is the traditional way of getting help. If you have the focus on the Windows desktop and tap the “F1” key, Windows will perform a Bing search for “how to get help in windows 10.”

That’s not super useful, but the F1 key can still be helpful in many other applications. For example, pressing F1 in Chrome will open Google’s Chrome Support site. Pressing F1 in Microsoft Office will open Microsoft’s Office support site. Try it in whatever application you’re using.

Find Settings With the Start Menu

We recommend using the Start menu’s search feature if you’re looking for a setting or application in particular. Let’s say you need to connect to a VPN—you can just press the Windows key on your keyboard or click the Start button and type “vpn.” You’ll see a variety of VPN options in Windows.

Searching Windows 10's Start menu for VPN settings

Try the Built-in Troubleshooters

If you’re experiencing a problem, Windows 10’s built-in troubleshooters may be able to help. To find them, head to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Or, search for “Troubleshoot” in the Start menu and select “Troubleshoot Settings.”

Windows may recommend you run certain troubleshooters here, depending on your system. However, you can also scroll through the list and click a relevant troubleshooter. For example, if you have problems printing, scroll down and then click the “Printer” troubleshooter. Windows 10 will try to automatically find issues that could cause printing problems and resolve them for you.

Troubleshooting tools in Windows 10's Settings app

RELATED: How to Make Windows Troubleshoot Your PC's Problems for You

Search the Web

The web is full of solutions to problems—both here on How-To Geek and other websites. Just head to a search engine like Google or Bing in your web browser and search for your issue to find more information. Be specific—if you see a specific error message or code, search for that.

Take Advantage of Microsoft’s Support Websites

Microsoft’s support website can be useful, too. You can search Microsoft’s Support website for solutions to many problems. Other solutions may be found on the Microsoft Community discussion forum. You can search the community to find questions and answers other people have posted. You can also click “Ask a question” at the top of the page if you’re signed in to ask your question and hope for a useful answer from a community member.

This is just one option, however—many solutions to Windows problems, especially issues with third-party software, are found on other websites. A wider web search will often be the smartest idea.

Asking a question on the Microsoft Community forums

Find Some Helpful Tips

If you’re just looking for helpful tips for using Windows 10 and information about new features in recent updates, try the included Tips app. Open the Start menu, search for “Tips,” and click the “Tips” shortcut to open it. You can also scroll through the list at the left side of the Start menu and click “Tips” to launch it.

Windows 10's Tips app

If you don’t like the F1 key searching Bing for help, you can disable it by remapping your F1 key to function as another key. This is the only way we’ve found to disable this. It’s not the best solution—it will stop the F1 key from functioning as an F1 key in every application on your system.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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