Essentials When Setting Up A New Computer
Setting up a new computer may seem like a daunting task. But, when it’s done properly, a computer will generally maintain peak performance for a longer time and stay secure from malware attacks. If you’ve just picked up a new PC running on Windows, there are a few adjustments that you should make before you start using it as your daily driver.
Some people recommend using a new PC as-is, but it is always wise to make the few initial changes that you may forget in the future. In this article, we will walk you through all the steps necessary to take while setting up your PC or laptop for the first time. This process can take a while, but overall, it is quite simple and can be done by anyone, even if they have been out of touch with computers for some time.
Setting Up the Peripherals
The first thing that you need to do for any type of computer, whether it’s a laptop or a PC, is to make the appropriate hardware connections. For a laptop, the process is as simple as connecting the laptop to the power outlet with the included adapter. But for PCs, the process is more extensive and needs to be done properly for everything to work.
You will need to connect the appropriate cables to the ports, according to your needs. These include display connectors (HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, DVI, etc.), USB or PS/2 (obsolete) for connecting your mouse and keyboard, IEC power connectors to the power supply, ethernet cables, and a few others. Note that we have only listed the most essential connections to set up a new PC, and there are several other ports available on a computer that you can use, according to your needs.
Once you’ve hooked up all the required peripherals, you can move on to the next steps that elaborate upon the options that you need to change in the operating system during the initial setup.
Initial Windows Setup
When you turn on your computer for the first time, make sure that you have an active internet connection to make things easier. You should be presented with the Windows initial feature setup. Here, you will set your timezone and date, language, and more.
You will also be presented with the option for either logging in or creating a new Microsoft account for your PC. Once done, you get access to all Microsoft services like OneDrive, Office, Xbox, and more. But, in case you want to skip creating or logging in to a Microsoft account, you always have the option to create a local account.
This process can be a little complicated if you’re connected to the internet, as it doesn’t show the options right away. Just disconnect from your network connection before creating an account to get the local account options directly.
Remove Preinstalled Bloatware
Most OEM Windows installations that come with prebuilt PCs or laptops have some sort of bloatware installed on them. Generally, these are harmless as they are included by the manufacturer themselves, but these can lead to unnecessarily long boot times, and overall degradation of performance in the future.
Uninstalling each extra piece of software yourself is not practical as it can take a lot of time, depending on the number of bloatware applications installed. This is where Microsoft's Fresh Start tool (obsolete) comes in handy. It is in-built in Windows 10 with the “Reset” feature, and you can access it and complete the process in the following steps (Note that these steps are meant for Windows 10 versions with a build number of 2004 or higher).
● Press “Windows key + I” on your keyboard to open Settings on Windows 10.
● Locate and navigate to “Update & Security”.
● Tap on “Recovery” from the left navigation panel.
● Select “Reset this PC”, then “Get Started”.
● If you have any files on your storage, select “Keep my files”, and if not, just continue with the other option.
● Toggle “Restore preinstalled apps?” to ‘NO”.
The process should begin, and Windows should be reinstalled on your PC, minus all the bloatware that shipped with it. You can uninstall any remaining bloatware like the games that come with Windows 10 manually as these are generally few.
Turn on Security Features
The next step to ensure that your new computer stays at its top performance, and keeps your data secure is to keep it safe from malware. The in-built security system of Windows 10 has come a long way and can go head-to-head in terms of security with some of the competition. The firewall solution in Windows 10 is also quite effective and should protect your internet activity if you keep it turned on.
Another great feature of Windows is that it has great compatibility features to ensure that Windows Defender Security does not clash with other third-party antivirus or firewall solutions if you plan on installing them. Upon installing a third-party antivirus solution, Windows security gets overridden with it, and only activates again when it is disabled.
Overall, if you plan on light usage, you can just keep the Windows security features on and not worry about malware. But, if you plan on browsing the internet and using your computer for extra work, it is recommended to get a third-party antivirus and firewall solution.
Download & Install Updates
Soon after setting up the basics, you should get notifications for Windows updates. Keeping your new PC updated helps to maintain your driver versions, and keeps Windows security up-to-date with the latest malware databases. There are also a few full feature updates that include brand new features, tweaked UI elements, and general performance improvements.
Major updates pop up only about twice a year, but completing the other updates regularly can keep your hardware drivers working at their full potential and your security consistent. You should also check for updates again after the download and installation of the current ones are done, as new updates tend to pop up after completing the older ones.
Using a new computer right out of the box can seem like the normal choice, but it always pays off to go the extra mile to tweak a few things. Making the appropriate changes to your computer while setting it up enhances your overall speed and security, and can be done quite easily by following this extensive guide on how to do so. We hope the methods listed above help you to get the most out of your new Windows PC or Laptop.
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