Got a New Computer? How to Set It Up Like a Pro

You have unboxed your new computer. What’s next? Setting up a new PC or laptop takes more than pressing the power button and jumping online. Your new computer requires attention to its operating system and security before use. If you are not as tech savvy, or like the idea of a professional setup, an IT technician can provide a fully functioning professional setup for your new device. If you are more hands-on and prefer to do it yourself, preparing a new computer for use is not difficult, however, it takes time. We recommend setting aside at least an hour or two to get your computer ready, depending on your desired settings and customizations.

If you plan on setting up your new computer yourself, take these steps to set it up like a pro.

Before You Get Started...

There are several things you’ll want to do before jumping in and there are a few tools you’ll want to have on hand when setting up your new PC.

  • If your computer is a laptop, check the battery level and charge it if necessary. New laptops often come with a low battery. Manufacturers do not fully charge laptops before boxing and shipping them to stores and their current charge level will depend on how long it has been stored.
  • Whether you are setting up a laptop or a desktop PC, grab a notepad and pen to jot down passwords, product keys, or other tidbits of important information. You can transfer this information to a file on your computer later. However, we recommend storing this information offline should your system ever go down completely.
  • If you have an external hard drive or USB drive, you’ll want to keep this nearby for a few reasons.
    • You may want to create a backup of your new computer when you’re done setting it up to be sure you have a way to return it to its like-new state.
    • You may need to access important software, documents, files, etc. that you might want to transfer to your new computer.
  • Be sure you have unboxed any additional peripherals you have purchased to use with your new PC such as a wireless keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. and connect them via USB. If you’re using wireless devices, you will want to finish connecting them after you have established an Internet connection and are prompted to start setting up.
  • You will need access to a secured and reliable Internet connection to complete the steps to set up your new PC. After you’ve powered on your laptop or desktop and walked through the initial startup of your new device, go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet and connect to the Internet. You will be prompted for a password.

Update Your Operating System

Although you might assume the computer has the latest version of Windows because it is new, keep in mind that Windows releases updates monthly. The time your device has sat dormant between leaving the manufacturer’s facilities and your purchase, several months could have passed. You’ll want to confirm your device has the most updated operating system (OS) because running an outdated version of your OS can cause your device to become sluggish and make it prone to security breaches.

To run an OS update on Windows computers, you will need to go to Settings > Updates & Security > Check for Updates > Download and Install. After installation, you’ll be prompted to reboot your computer – do not skip this step.

Install an Antivirus

The most important step to safeguard your computer is to install an antivirus program because thousands suffer from malware and virus attacks daily and you never want to be among those numbers. Most computers come with basic antivirus software installed such as Windows Defender that will suffice for everyday PC usage. If you use your new device for work, gaming, or accessing sensitive information, installing a third-party antivirus will increase your computer’s security. At Geeks on Site, we recommend Avast as a trusted third-party antivirus software option.

Set Your Default Browser

New computers come with a standard browser (i.e., Microsoft Edge) preinstalled. However, many users prefer to use familiar browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox. To change your default browser, go to Settings > Apps > Default Apps, and scroll to the Web browser option. Click on the current browser pictured to bring up a list of additional browser options available and select whatever your preferred browser is.

Uninstall Bloatware

Many PCs are preinstalled with apps and trial versions of software you don’t need, called bloatware. Bloatware can take up memory or bog down your computer. You can easily uninstall unwanted software manually by going to Start > Settings> Apps and viewing the list of preinstalled apps. Click uninstall for the ones you wish to remove.

Install Desired Software

You will want to take the time to install software and apps you expect to use regularly. If you are purchasing subscription-based software such as Microsoft Office, etc., you will want to jot down the password or product key. If you have saved downloads from your previous computer on a USB or external hard drive, plug that in and follow the prompts to install them.

Backup Your Computer

Now that you have your new computer fully set up and brimming with your essential software, you will want to back up your system. This is an important step in the event your computer ever crashes in the future. A backup can be used to restore your custom settings and software downloads, so you don’t have to start from scratch. You can back up your system physically with an external hard drive or using Cloud storage such as Carbonite.

A new computer is an investment and setting up your new computer like a pro can be the difference between years of efficient usage and frustration. It is important to take the proper steps to get the most out of your device – you can do it yourself or save time and eliminate the guesswork by having a professional do the work for you. Geeks on Site offers on-site new PC set up. Whether for personal or business use, our services include training you on how to optimize your computer so you get the best out of your new investment.

Contact Geeks on Site today to get your new computer set up like a pro by a pro.