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How to set up your new computer

So you have a new computer. Brilliant! This modest metal box is the key to a big world of possibilities. It can help you with everything from financial combination to contact with your family and blowing off steam, steam, steam.

However, a new PC is not like a new car. You can not just turn a key and put the pedal on the metal. Okay, maybe you can – but you should not do it. Performing a few simple activities the first time you turn it on can be safer, faster, and better for the future. How to properly set up a new laptop or desktop computer step by step.

Run Windows Update on Your New PC

The first step is by far the most tedious step. You should not be on the Web unless your Windows version is fully patched and up to date. Now for the bad news: depending on how long your PC has been on the store shelf, it can take minutes or hours. Either way, it has to be done.

  Windows Update Brad Chacos / IDG

First, make sure your PC is connected to the Internet. In Windows 10, open the Start menu and go to Settings > Update and Security > Check for Updates . Your system is looking for updates and finds some. Download it, install it, restart your computer, and try again … and again … and again … until the update check returns no new entries. Hopefully it will not take but in the worst case, updating a new computer may take an hour or more.

On the good side, Windows downloads 10 new updates and installs them in the future. You just have to overcome this first hump!

Install your favorite browser

If you're surfing the web with a foreign browser, try tangoing while wearing someone else's shoes. It can be done, but it is not pretty. Here are direct links for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, if Edge is not your thing.

Chrome has been our first choice for years, but a revived Opera user has used Firefox for second place in our last web round. If your taste is more exotic, you can try one of these 10 obscure, highly specialized browsers.

Set up the security of your new PC

Now that you've got yourself into a more comfortable area, it's time to do so Bring your security decisions in line.

  Windows Security Brad Chacos / IDG

Windows Security in Windows 10.

Windows 10 ships with Windows security is enabled by default unless your laptop or desktop contains a third-party antivirus trial. Safety is a solid, if not too detailed, solution that is easy to use and probably good enough for most people. However, it is not the most comprehensive anti-malware solution on the market. You can not even schedule scans. PCWorld's best antivirus software for Windows PCs guide helps you find the right tools to protect your PC.

We also have instructions on how to build a solid, free security suite, but it takes more time and effort than premium antivirus options.

Clean Your Computer's Bloatware

When your defenses are over, it's time to shovel the crap out of your PC.

You can skip this step if you have built your own Windows PC. Straight Windows installations will not cause excessive waste on your hard drive. Boxed PCs from well-known PC manufacturers, however, are clearly filled with bloatware. Fortunately, there is PC Decrapifier, a directly named tool that scans your PC for known bloatware and then allows you to delete everything at once. It's far far faster than browsing the Control Panels, which eradicates the Crapware piece by piece. Better still, it's free. PC Decrapifier ” width=”700″ height=”525″ data-imageid=”100737310″/> PC Decrapifier

PC Decrapifier.

Most people should adhere to PC Decrapifier, but there is only an even more thorough cleaning for people who feel comfortable when they reinstall their entire operating system.

If you want to give up everything from above, Microsoft also offers a downloadable tool that installs a clean copy of the latest version of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, however Any apps that are not standard Setup of Windows 10 by Microsoft. In the description of the tool, Microsoft does not state that Microsoft is driving home: "Using this tool removes all apps that are not shipped by default with Windows, including other Microsoft apps, such as Office. Most preinstalled apps, including vendor apps, support apps, and drivers, are also removed.

This tool also deletes all product keys or digital licenses associated with this software. So if you have some of the software that is being washed away (such as Office), make a note of the product key before using Microsoft's Restart Tool. For example, use Belarc Advisor to find it.

Fill your new computer with software.

Why do we scrape out all the trash? To make room for your own things, stupid. New hardware only asks for matching software!

Equipping your rig is a very personal matter, but if you're looking for suggestions, PCWorld offers guidance on the best free programs that are so helpful. so practical, so direct useful that they would be welcome on just about any PC. These reviews may lead you to some of the best software out there:

Go to Ninite when it's time to install all the software. Ninite is something of an anti-PC decrapifier. With this program, you can install numerous free applications at once, and even automatically disable the bundled Crapware that creeps in many free programs during the installation process. It's a wonderfully handy tool that makes loading a new PC easier.

Secure Your New Computer

After all this, your PC is finally ready to rock: it's safe, up-to-date, job-free junk and full of software tailored to your specific needs. The end is in sight! But we are not finished yet juuuuuust yet.

  isbackupdatasafe2 primary

Now that your PC is in combat mode, this is an ideal time to create a clone or image of your primary hard drive – the Windows boot from – and save it to another hard drive , A clone or image will take a snapshot of your drive that you can use to start Windows when the primary drive gives up. If you have an image of your system in its currently updated, bloat-free, custom state, you can not do all the work again if you need to reinstall Windows for some reason.

So what's the difference between a clone and a picture? Essentially, one clone creates an exact copy of your hard drive on another drive – files, master boot record and all others. The clone consumes the entire hard drive, but is Plug & Play if you ever need it. On the other hand, you create a single mammoth file that contains all the information on your PC. It takes a bit more work to roll up an image backup after a disaster. However, they have more flexibility in storage, because it's basically just a big, big file. Lincoln Spector has a more detailed comparison if you are interested.

There are excellent backup tools that you can use to create clones and images, which we discuss in detail in PCWorld's summaries of the best Windows backup software and the best online backup services. You do not want to pay for privacy? We've also put together the best free backup options. If you do not mind doing more technical work to save money, we'll tell you how to use the Windows native imaging tool step-by-step in the PCWorld Manual for Creating a Free Backup, Foolproof Backup System. However, use slightly . Regular backups are the only protection of your data in the event of an emergency.

Optional: Update the drivers of your new PC

. This step is not for everyone. Few things can introduce annoying ghosting into your machine, faster than a driver who does not play nice for some reason. If your desktop PC works well from the box, and you only plan basic tasks such as surfing the Internet, working with Office, and the like, you can forget about your computer, even though has drivers and keep it up. Windows Update should have secured some new drivers for your hardware anyway.

  Device Manager Update

If you've built your own PC and need to manually update your drivers, you'll spend some time staring at the Device Manager. [19659028] However, if you've assembled a DIY device or rocked a slot machine, you should check for newer drivers for your hardware. Windows Update is not always at the forefront of driver updates, and new drivers for your motherboard or network card can provide useful feature and performance updates. Players need to update their video card drivers quite often to ensure optimal performance in the latest games.

The PCWorld guide for updating your Windows drivers contains all the information you need to proceed. It was written for Windows 8, but if you search for Device Manager in Windows 10, all the steps in this article will still apply. If a driver somehow manages to bury your PC, do not be afraid because Windows automatically creates a system restore point, if you install new device drivers a bizarre, extreme case, you have a backup image that you have created – correctly ?

Optional: Learn More About Your New Computer

Now Everything's Done, Take Time To get to know all the angles and angles of Windows 10, there are a lot of surprisingly powerful, helpful helpful tools and tricks hidden in its depths. Read the PCWorld Handbook for the best tips, tools, and tricks on Windows 10, which we update with each major, twice-yearly Windows Update. You will gather a lot of helpful information.


At this point, you're pretty much ready to roll. Sure, there are some other tasks that you should do, such as: For example, moving files from your old PC and storing the product keys for Windows and your other installed software (again, Belarc Advisor suggests for that), but you can do all this on your computer free time. At the moment enjoy the glory of owning a new PC and ensure that it is fully optimized, protected against attacks and recoverable in the event of a disaster.

Have fun!

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