Minesweeper is a deceptively simple game of memory and reasoning. The object of Minesweeper is to overturn blank squares and avoid those that conceal mines. If you click a mine, the game is over. Uncover all the blank squares as fast as possible for the highest score.

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To play Minesweeper

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Games, and then clicking Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Minesweeper.

    If Minesweeper is not available, you might need to turn on the Games feature. For more information about turning on the Games feature, see Where are my games?

    If you don't have a saved game, Minesweeper starts a new game. If you have a saved game, you can continue your previous game.

    The first time you play the game, you'll set a difficulty level. The fewer mines you select, the easier the game.

  3. To start the timer, click any square on the playing field.

    • You can uncover a square by clicking it. If you uncover a mine, you lose the game.

    • If a number appears on a square, it indicates how many total mines are in the eight squares that surround the numbered one. You can use this number to help deduce whether a square is safe to uncover.

    • To mark a square you suspect contains a mine, right-click it. This will add a flag to the square. If you're not sure, right-click it again, which will add a question mark to the square.

Tips

  • Try to mark all mines right away. If you know exactly where some mines are, take a second to mark them. Otherwise, you might forget them by the time you get back from another part of the board. This takes time, but it's worth it in the end.

  • Learn to recognize numerical patterns. If you see that three squares in a row display the numbers 2-3-2, then three mines are in a row next to one side of that row of squares. If a square displays an 8, then you know every square around it holds a mine.

  • Explore the unexplored. If a set of squares doesn't reveal a pattern and you're not sure where to click next, clear out some unexplored territory. You're better off clicking in the middle of unmarked squares than clicking in an area where you know some mines are located.

To adjust the game options

You can adjust the difficulty level and set other game options in the Options dialog box.

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Games, and then clicking Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Minesweeper.

    If Minesweeper is not available, you might need to turn on the Games feature. For more information about turning on the Games feature, see Where are my games?

  3. Click the Game menu, and then click Options.

  4. Select the check boxes for any options that you want to turn on, and then click OK.

To save games and continue saved games

  • If you need to finish a game later, just close the game and click Save. The next time you start a game, the game will ask you whether you want to continue your saved game. To do so, click Yes.