Learn Basic Computer Skills Online for Free

In our age, it is essential for people to have basic computer literacy (the essential skills to use computers and related technology). Nowadays, even school and university programs in non-IT fields require students to complete some basic computer training. Not to mention that most employers don’t have a good perception of job applicants who don’t possess at least some elementary computer abilities. To make it easier for those who don’t want to pay a fee to improve their computer knowledge, we have reviewed and rated various websites and e-learning platforms that allow you to learn basic computer skills online for free.

1) ALISON ABC IT – Computer Training Suite

COURSE TYPE:

Audio lessons + Visual and written aids

DURATION:

15-20 hours

REQUIREMENTS:

Free Alison account + Adobe Flash Player

CERTIFICATION:

Yes

ADDITIONAL FREE TOOLS:

Notes and reminders

OUR RATING:

4.6 out of 5

Alison is a website that offers online courses in several fields. Most of its teachings are workplace-oriented. This platform has helped over 14 million learners worldwide and has hundreds of free courses. It offers a very solid basic course for those who need an introduction to computer skills.

This course starts by covering essential computing concepts and techniques. It then teaches you how to use basic Microsoft applications before moving on to more advanced concepts.

Besides understanding a computer’s basic functions, you will learn about IT safety and how to get rid of computer parts in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

There are 4 modules in this course, each one with various sub-modules:

– Module 1: Introduction
– Module 2: Basic Concepts
– Lesson 3: Software Applications
– Lesson 4: Practical IT Skills

Throughout the course, you will encounter several tests to check your progress before moving on to the next part of the training.

This course’s duration is between 15 and 20 hours. Teachings are in the form of audio lessons, with the aid of interactive images and written aids. There is also an online tool to write notes for each module and sub-module and save them to your computer. You can set “study reminders” and give Alison permission to email you at specific times to remind you to study.

Alison ABC IT Course
A passage from ALISON ABC IT course

Below each lesson, you will also find a comment section where you can read other learners’ thoughts and write your own.

Once you complete the course, you can request a certification (ideal if you want to share your progress with potential employers). This certification is available in both paper and digital format but, unlike the actual course, it’s not for free. The price of the certification varies depending on your location and currency, so check Alison’s website for further information.

To gain instant access to this course, you only need a free Alison account and to have Adobe Flash Player installed on your browser.

We recommend this course if you are a total beginner and you are looking for a free alternative to paid online courses.

WHAT LEARNERS SAY ABOUT IT:

“The course was good. I have gained real skills and knowledge for my profession.”

“Special thanks to Alison. As a beginner, I learned a lot. Keep the fire burning. Best module for beginners.”

2) GCF Global Computer Tutorials

COURSE TYPE:

Written lessons + YouTube videos

DURATION:

Variable (self-paced training)

REQUIREMENTS:

None

CERTIFICATION:

No

ADDITIONAL FREE TOOLS:

None

OUR RATING:

4.4 out of 5

GCF Global is a free online learning platform that helps people from all over the world to develop basic abilities in many technical areas. It is a great website for both beginners and intermediate learners.

It offers six main tutorials for people who want to improve their computer skills. There are several sections in each of these tutorials. Here’s a summary:

  • Computer Basics 
      • Introduction
      • Hardware Basics
      • Software Basics
      • Using a Computer
      • Using the Internet
      • Safety and Maintenance
      • Extras
      • Quiz
  • Basic Computer Skills 
      • Basic Skills
      • Setup and Maintenance
      • Installing and Uninstalling Software
  • Mouse Tutorial
  • Typing Tutorial
  • Computer Science
  • Tech Saavy Tips and Tricks
      • Tech Skills
      • Safety and Security
      • Shortcuts

These tutorials are a combination of written lessons and YouTube videos. They are very easy to understand. They start by explaining very simple concepts. Then, they walk you through more advanced aspects of computer skills.

GCF Global's Computer Skills Tutorials
An excerpt from GCF Global’s computer skills tutorials

After completing each tutorial, you can take a free quiz to test your progress and check whether you have grasped all fundamental concepts.

While completing this online training does not lead to any diploma or certification, the teachings included in these courses are very helpful and can make a difference in your career.

WHAT LEARNERS SAY ABOUT IT:

“Amazing! I can’t thank you enough! I can’t recommend your superb video tutorials and fantastic website enough! Full marks!”

“This is a valuable and cool site. Love it.”

3) Udemy – Fundamental Computing Skills for the Digital Middle Age

COURSE TYPE:

Video lessons

DURATION:

3 hours

REQUIREMENTS:

Free Udemy account

CERTIFICATION:

No

ADDITIONAL FREE TOOLS:

None

OUR RATING:

4.3 out of 5

I offer this basic course on Udemy, an online learning platform. All you need to enroll in this course is a free Udemy account (everybody can sign up).

This course has helped over 7000 beginners in computer skills. After completing it you will know how to use Microsoft Office basic apps, safely surf the internet, name files, and folders connect multiple digital devices and offload and enhance digital photos and videos.

Here’s the course structure:

  • Section 1: Learning Objectives
  • Section 2: Anatomy of a Laptop
  • Section 3: Internet Best Practices
  • Section 4: Internet Applications
  • Section 5: Email Etiquette
  • Section 6: Word Processing
  • Section 7: Spreadsheets
  • Section 8: Presentation Software
  • Section 9: The File System
  • Section 10: Digital Photos and Videos
  • Section 11: Interconnectivity
  • Section 12: Summary

After completing each tutorial, you can take a free quiz to test your progress and check your knowledge of fundamental concepts.

Udemy - Fundamental Computing Skills for the Digital Age
A screenshot from Section 1 of  “Fundamental Computing Skills for the Digital Age”

The course’s guide is a very skilled professional with years of experience in the computer industry. His teaching style is very clear and entertaining and he often uses visual aids to help you understand fundamental concepts and notions. While we couldn’t find any direct learner experiences, this course has very good ratings on Udemy.

Please note that Udemy doesn’t provide a certificate of completion for its free courses.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you tried some of these courses and want to share your experience? Do you know other useful online free courses for people who want to improve their computer knowledge and skills? Then feel to leave a comment and share your thoughts with other readers. And don’t forget to check our other reviews of online courses, guides, and tutorials. 

20 thoughts on “Learn Basic Computer Skills Online for Free

  1. This site is great. Who knew that this much knowledge about computers was available for free on the internet.  Much praises to you for getting out this info to the masses. I will be checking out the Udemy course as soon as I can. I especially like the idea of learning some of the widely used Microsoft product teachings.

    Thank you.

  2. I am well versed in computer skills but I would really like it if my young ones are able to become computer savvy. From the name of the Alison Abc IT I really assumed that it would be really good to be able to teach kids how to use a computer but I don’t know if it is a little bit complicated for kids.

    What do you think? I know adults can learn from this but can kids also make use of it?

    1. Kids could find these courses beneficial if their parents are helping them to study but there are probably better courses to teach computer skills to kids. We will definitely review such courses in the future. 

  3. Hi, Friend.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on learning basic computer skills online for free. Out of Alison, GCF Global and Udemy, I liked the Alison best because it is more systematic and offers certification. Nowadays it is mandatory to have basic knowledge of computer and its operation. I am going to share Alison with my mother as she wants to learn the basics in COVID-19 lockdown period.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

  4. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way things have been running in the employment landscape, sending most non-essential tech workers to work from home and leaving many workers across all industries unemployed. These quarantines across the globe provide a great opportunity to train up on the latest basic computer skills, and good enough some are for free!
    What is important now is to check out their rating to help in choosing the right one and with your timely post, you have shared this information. I had not heard of ALISON ABC IT – Computer Training Suite, but its review shows that it is the platform for me.
    Thank you for sharing this useful information.

  5. Wow it’s really interesting to know that one can actually learn computer skills on line for free. Cash has been a major constrain on the other end for some out there. There is no longer excuses for computer illetracy. Thanks for giving us such wonderful information. I will surely recommend this program to a few friends of mine who will be interested.

  6. Some of these online platforms have been available for a very long time. alison for instance started a long time ago and have been offering free courses. it is necessary to be inclined with the knowledge of computer and we can do this absolutely free during this period of lock down. thank you

  7. Congratulations on your site! At my age and limited computer skills, this would give my group of seniors a place to go to take home on line training for computers and it is free! The best part about it is we do not need a certificate for our satisfaction of completing the course, only the course itself!  The other courses would help too!

  8. I am one of the 14 million who were helped by Alison ABC. I did not do a course in computer training suite but I benefited fully from it thought it was years ago. I also have an account with Udemy. I signed up with them but never studied there, I was comparing the material so I chose Alison. Thank you for the article, I identify with it.

  9. Thank you very much for this awesome article. we have the opportunity to learn at our own pace and now that we are stuck at home is the best time. GCF global computer tutorials is awesome but there is no certificate at the end. i would go with aiison. thank you very much for this information

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