CompTIA® A+ Certification Prep 2: Software

The CompTIA A+ Certification Prep 2: Software course teaches you about working with many different operating systems, virtual machines, and various software. In part two of our three-step series, you will learn how to operate and maintain these items on our systems.

According to CompTIA, getting your A+ certification can lead to a rewarding IT career—with average salaries ranging from $45,000-$60,000, depending on the role you pursue.

Note: Students should previously have completed the CompTIA A+...

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
Starting  October 18, 2023
Offered in partnership with your preferred school


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Learning method

Course code: ac2

The CompTIA A+ Certification Prep 2: Software course picks up where the CompTIA A+ Certification Prep 1: Hardware course left off and dives into Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Throughout the CompTIA A+ prep training, you will learn about operating systems from installation to operations, maintenance to troubleshooting. Our computer software training course teaches you about virtualization and virtual machines, plus it goes in-depth on printer and multifunction device technologies.

This CompTIA A+ prep course takes you through the second of three prep courses you need to become both a highly competent computer tech and a CompTIA A+ certified technician, using the 1101 and 1102 competencies.

What you will learn

  • Learn how to install, organize, maintain, and troubleshoot three different versions of Windows (explore similar features in MacOS and Linux)
  • Examine and compare the features and structures of Windows Vista, 7, and 8/8.1
  • Get a deeper understanding of how we use virtualization and virtual machines in modern networks
  • Learn about printers and multifunction devices, from the various technologies in use to installing and troubleshooting

How you will benefit

  • Master many of the techniques covered on the certification exam and feel confident on test day
  • Become an integral part of any organization as you learn to install and troubleshoot new hardware, software, and MFDs
  • Open the door to new opportunities as a technician once certification is achieved

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-led or self-paced online course
  • 6 Weeks or 3 Months access
  • 24 course hours

In this lesson, you'll learn basic operating system concepts and the various operating systems (and versions) covered on the CompTIA A+ exams. You'll explore common OS functions that enable users, software, and hardware to interact with each other. We'll also look at the primary user interfaces—the graphic user interface and the command line interface—and how the GUI manifests in recent versions of Windows, macOS, and Linux. We'll also look at basic OS security features that protect the system by authenticating users and requiring proper authorization to take certain actions.

This lesson is all about Microsoft Windows. You'll learn how to prepare for installing or upgrading Windows, install the OS, and apply the post-installation finishing touches. You'll also learn how to troubleshoot any problems that might pop up during installation.

What do you do after installing Windows? Start it up, of course! Here you'll learn about sign-in options and security, and the different kinds of user accounts available and how to manage them. Then you'll discover the various ways that Windows controls access to files and other resources based on the permissions assigned to user accounts and groups.

This lesson focuses on the two main Windows utilities that you can use to customize and configure its settings: the Settings app and the Control Panel. We'll compare the two utilities and then review how to make the most common system changes, such as changing desktop appearance settings, disabling a webcam, modifying default apps for certain file types, and more.

Windows includes dozens of helpful special-purpose utilities you can use to configure and troubleshoot a system. Here you'll learn about the Task Manager and its role in shutting down unresponsive apps and correcting slow startup and sluggish performance issues. Then we'll look at the Microsoft Management Console and explore some of its most popular snap-ins. You'll finish up by learning how to access, back up, and make changes to the Registry and understand the Registry's structure.

CompTIA A+ exam 220-1102 includes several objectives that deal with macOS and Linux, and this lesson prepares you for that by explaining the macOS desktop and how to use it to manage files, install and run apps, and access popular utilities such as Keychain and Boot Camp. You'll learn how to customize the desktop and protect your disks, files, and accounts. We'll round out this lesson by explaining the basics of the Linux OS, including distros, the (optional) desktop GUI, file systems, startup apps, and software updates.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the text-based command-line interface in each of the "big three" operating systems: Windows, macOS, and Linux. You'll explore the command prompt and find out how to use it to navigate the folder structure. You'll learn about basic commands for listing files and creating new directories, and we'll discuss advanced commands for moving and copying files. This lesson will finish up by explaining the basics of scripting using text commands.

This lesson looks at the various reasons a Windows system doesn't boot normally—or isn't stable after booting up—and how to fix them. You'll learn about the Windows Recovery Environment and its many tools and features, and explore the options on the Startup Settings menu, such as Safe Mode. Then you'll take your command prompt knowledge from Lesson 7 and put it to work to troubleshoot and repair boot problems at a command line interface. Finally, we'll look at the various causes of system instability and crashes and how to troubleshoot them.

This lesson continues our look at Windows troubleshooting. It tackles some common Windows performance problems from sluggish performance to services not starting, and demonstrates some of Windows' many tools and utilities for troubleshooting various problems. Here you'll put to work many of the utilities you learned about in earlier lessons in specific troubleshooting scenarios, and access the many troubleshooting tools and wizards that Windows provides for different kinds of hardware and connectivity issues.

In this lesson, we'll discuss virtualization—using special software to run a second operating system within your actual OS. We'll show you what virtualization is and explain its many benefits. You'll also learn about the types of virtualization and popular virtualization software. To finish up this lesson, you'll learn about technologies that enable technicians (and also end users) to control computers remotely.

The CompTIA A+ certification strongly stresses the area of multifunction devices (MFDs) and printing, so you'll need a high degree of technical knowledge about all types of printers. Here we'll begin our trip into printers and MFDs. You'll learn about the types of printers and scanners in common use today. We'll teach you how printers connect to PCs and networks, plus we'll talk about how they communicate with computers. Finally, we'll look at the laser printing process in detail so that you can troubleshoot like a printer technician.

In this course's final lesson, you'll learn the practical side of supporting printers and MFDs. You'll learn how to unbox and set up a printer, and how to install drivers for it to make it work in Windows. You'll then learn how to configure and maintain printers, and how to troubleshoot the many different problems that printers have, from general connectivity issues to print quality problems specific to certain printer technologies.

David Rush

David Rush has been an IT instructor and expert for over 35 years, with degrees in physics and electrical engineering. He has been the senior instructor for the industry leader in CompTIA certification books, videos, and learning tools for the past 11 years.

Dave has taught computer technology, A+, and Network+ to the FBI, DEA, CIA, and other federal law enforcement agencies. He creates train-the-trainer courses and materials for educational institutions. He also conducts weekly, live, online seminars on using Raspberry Pi computers and Linux as tools to foster studies toward CompTIA certifications.

In addition to his involvement in IT instruction, Dave has had a wide and varied career, including time as an airline pilot with U.S. and international airlines.

Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.


There are no prerequisites to take this course. However, you need to complete our CompTIA® A+ Certification Prep 1: Hardware course before beginning CompTIA® A+ Certification Prep 2: Software. Upon course completion, you should also prepare to enroll in our final prep course, CompTIA® A+ Certification Prep 3: Network Security, to successfully prepare for your A+ certification exam.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.
  • Access to a Mac running macOS (in addition to the PC) is recommended.
  • You should have access to a hard drive that you can install, format, and partition, and to a couple of Plug and Play devices that you can practice installing. Because of the dangers of electro-static discharge (to the machine), you are not required to tear apart your own primary computer.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge is also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.​

Self-Paced: Your course begins immediately after you enroll.​

Instructor-Led: Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends. You will interact with the instructor through the online discussion area. There are no live sessions or online meetings with the instructor.

Self-Paced: You have 3 months of access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period. You will have the opportunity to interact with other students in the online discussion area.

Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release. However, you will have access to all lessons from the time they are released until the course ends.​

Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons within the allotted access period. Discussion areas for each lesson are open for the entire duration of the course.

Instructor-Led: Students enrolled in a six-week online class benefit from a one-time, 10-day extension for each course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.​

Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.