Windows 10 – Finding Help

Category: Windows-10

What should you do when you have a problem with Windows 10? Today I was surprised (or perhaps reminded) to learn that Windows 10 has a built-in app to help you learn more about using it, and connect you with Microsoft when you need help from a real person. Read on to learn about the Help app...

Getting Help With Windows 10

Do you need help with Windows, Microsoft Office, or Office 365? Do you have a problem with your, OneDrive, Skype, or Microsoft Account? Do you have questions about Microsoft Teams, or Windows privacy? Are you having a technical issue with your Xbox, Surface, or other PC accessories?

Microsoft wants to help! To that end, they’ve included an app called Help in Windows 10, to direct you to online resources and even real live humans who stand ready to answer your questions and connect you to technical support agents.

To open the Help app, click the Windows key, type HELP and press Enter. A Microsoft Virtual Agent will ask you to briefly describe your issue below. The software-based Virtual Agent can help with questions pertaining to Windows activation and licensing, password resets, downloading and installing software, Windows setup and updates, networking and connectivity, devices and drivers, protecting your PC, and xBox gaming.

Windows 10 Help app

It also handles common queries about Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365, such as installing, activation errors, product keys, billing, and canceling your subscription. The automaton can also help with Microsoft Account issues, including password reset and recovery, forgotten username, issues signing in, account security, and closing your account.

In my testing, certain queries like “how do I reset my password?” or “fix windows update problems” resulted in helpful responses that lead to online help for those questions. If your query baffles the Virtual Agent (or you persist in answering “no” or “none of the above” to all the followup questions) you’ll be given the option to talk to a person.

After selecting your product and issue, you’ll be given options that may include Chat with a Windows Advisor, Ask the Community, Email Support, or get a call back. I selected PC Accessories from the Product dropdown menu, and was happily surprised to see that I could “Talk to a person” by clicking the “Call me back” link. The screen said my estimated wait time was 1 minute, but when I entered my phone number and clicked the Confirm button, my phone rang almost right away.

I was on hold for just a few seconds before a real person came on the line, and asked how she could help. I told her my wireless mouse was not working and asked for advice. She asked me what kind of mouse I had, and then offered to transfer me to a hardware tech support agent.

I thought she might suggest checking the batteries, or some other basic troubleshooting measures before handing me off to a specialist, but maybe that’s her job. Since I was just kicking the tires, I didn’t want to waste any more of their time, so I politely ended the call. Overall, I was impressed at the speed of getting connected to a live agent who was polite and spoke good English.

Other Sources of Windows 10 Help

Of course, you don’t have to go groveling to the folks at Microsoft for help with your Windows questions or problems. You might prefer to start by just entering your question into your favorite search engine. Chances are, you’ll find a helpful article that addresses the issue.

Here on Ask Bob Rankin I’ve written quite a few articles on how to use Windows 10. Some recent ones are listed below:

Do be wary of search results that direct you to download a diagnostic tool, or call a number for help. Most of these are traps that will empty your wallet and fill your computer with malware. And if you get an unsolicited phone call from someone who claims to be from Microsoft tech support, do not engage – even if they tell you they’ve detected a virus or some other critical problem on your computer. These are all scams, hang up immediately.

Where do you turn for help with Windows 10? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Windows 10 – Finding Help"

Posted by:

Ernest N. Wilcox Jr.
03 Nov 2020

My default web browser is Microsoft Edge with the default Bing search engine. I also use Mozilla Firefox (with DuckDuck-Go search engine).

I search the web for help when I need it, then when/if I find a good help item, I save it's link to a folder on my desktop (named 'Windows') so I can easily find it again if I need it. I NEVER click links that say they can help me with in 30 seconds, or any other links that appear to be advertisements. If I get to an add site that has sufficiently disguised itself, I close the tab and move on.


Posted by:

03 Nov 2020

My Win key + V wouldn't work on my newish laptop (tried everything) so finally went to MS real help. Had to give the charming Indian woman control of my laptop (yes my heart pumped up a bit). She analysed my system and found the problem which needed a reinstall of Win 10.
The whole operation took 2 hours or so with phone calls but job done and very well. A very satisfactory experience. Well done MS and that helper.

Posted by:

John Tyler
03 Nov 2020

They should have brought Clippy back.

Posted by:

Michael Tomasek
03 Nov 2020

I used the help function on an elderly friends Win 10 box. It told me to fix the issue through recovery. In recovery I was sent in circles. I ended up tossing Win 10 and installing Cloudready, given all her adventures were on line.

Posted by:

Charles J Swoboda
03 Nov 2020

I tried to access the help function after clicking on the Windows key and typing HELP, only to find that it took me directly to the AVG Driver window.

Posted by:

John T
03 Nov 2020

I have never really had any problems with 10! Knock on wood.

Posted by:

Wild Bill
04 Nov 2020

A couple of options in Win 10 involve running "sfc /scannow" and/or DISM. These will repair issues with the installed operating system.

Posted by:

04 Nov 2020

@CharlesJSwoboda - I am one up on you: My results after typing HELP is that I am told "There’s a problem with Get Help. Reinstall the application from its original install location or contact your administrator." Even a reinstall keeps telling me to contact myself (who happens to be the "admin" on the machine".)

Does the word "App" in Windows-speak make a differentiation between an installed application and an app that you fetch from a download store?

Posted by:

04 Nov 2020

To my regret I cannot recall ever finding Microsoft any help at all (? bad memory ?). The last times I tried was to get a refund - no response, and to help with entering the windows key for a reinstallation, when neither of the two genuine, personally purchased W7 Ultimate discs numbers were accepted by M-s**t, and no help was forthcoming.

The most useful sites AFIK are W7 and W10 forums, Ask Woody/Windows Secrets, sometimes Windows Club. Also Sysinternals forum, bleeping computer and

Posted by:

20 Nov 2020

Many years of experience indicates that the last place to get help for a Microsoft product is Microsoft. But the absolutely, positively, very last place is a real human at Microsoft.

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