How to Play Minesweeper on Windows 10

Find and download the popular classic Windows game

Minesweeper on Windows 10

Minesweeper is one of the most famous time-wasters known to Windows users. It used to come standard with the Windows operating system, but that hasn't been the case since Windows 8. However, Windows 10 users who would rather solve logic puzzles than work can still get their Minesweeper fix. They just have a few more steps to go through. Here's how to play Microsoft Minesweeper on Windows 10.

Get the Minesweeper Download From the Microsoft Store

Microsoft still hosts an "official" version of Minesweeper in its digital storefront. Here's how to find and install it.

  1. Open the Microsoft Store.

    A Windows 10 desktop with the Microsoft Store icon highlighted
  2. Search for "Minesweeper" using the search box.

    The Microsoft Store with a search for Minesweeper
  3. Many versions of Minesweeper exist. To download the official, Microsoft edition, select Microsoft Minesweeper.

  4. Select Get.

    Microsoft Minesweeper in the Microsoft Store with the Get button highlighted

    Minesweeper is free to download and play. You may choose to pay a monthly or annual fee to remove ads.

  5. Minesweeper will download to your computer.

    Microsoft Minesweeper downloading from the Store
  6. To play Minesweeper after it downloads, open your Start Menu and find it under Recently added.

    The Start menu in Windows 10 with Microsoft Minesweeper highlighted under
  7. Minesweeper will open, and you can start playing.

How to Play Minesweeper Online for Free

If you're using a computer that doesn't let you download games or programs (e.g., if your employer doesn't allow it), you can still play Minesweeper during your downtime.

A quick internet search will turn up plenty of sites where you can play it for free. Some of the online versions may even have the classic graphics instead of the Microsoft Store's more polished, updated version.

An internet search for Minesweeper using Bing

Use your best judgment when going to unfamiliar websites. Never install a program from an unknown source. You should be able to play Minesweeper online without downloading anything to your computer.

Basic Rules of Minesweeper

If you're new to playing this classic game (or want a refresher before you get back into it), here's a quick rundown of how to play Minesweeper.

  1. Each game starts with a blank grid of squares that varies in size based on the difficulty you've selected.

    • Easy: 9x9
    • Medium: 16x16
    • Expert: 30x16
    The main menu of Microsoft Minesweeper

    You can also set a Custom board size and number of mines.

  2. The number at the top shows how many mines are hidden in the board. Your goal is to deduce where they are.

    Microsoft Minesweeper board with the mine counter highlighted
  3. Select any box to start playing. The board will reveal information based on where you clicked.

    • If the box you select is not adjacent to a mine, the board will reveal all of the squares around it that also aren't next to mines.
    • If the box you selected is adjacent to a mine, the board will reveal a number showing how many mines are in surrounding squares (including diagonals).
    • If the first box you selected contains a mine, the game automatically marks it and reveals other squares according to the previous two rules.
    A Minesweeper board after the first turn

    Your first turn is always safe. If you select a box containing a mine in future rounds, you will lose.

  4. Based on the numbers you can see, deduce where the mines are. For example, in this board, the two blue squares in the middle row definitely contain mines because all of the boxes around them contain 1's.

    A Minesweeper board with two squares highlighted that definitely contain mines
  5. Once you know for sure where a mine is, right-click the box to plant a flag.

    A Minesweeper board with a flag and the Mine Counter highlighted

    The mine counter at the top of the screen will decrease with each flag you place, even if your guesses are incorrect.

  6. Keep selecting squares and marking mines until you've revealed every part of the grid or selected a mine. Whichever comes first.