If you have little computer experience and have just bought your first machine, here are 10 things you need to do to set it up properly.
Have you just unpacked your new laptop or desktop computer? We are sure that the first thing you want to do is turn it on and use it immediately in various applications. But we do not recommend that you do so. There are some things you need to do before you start actually using your new computer.
The ten steps we suggest can save you time and effort. In the long run, they will make your machine safer, faster and better prepared for the future. Complete these adjustments in Windows before you start working on your new computer.
Of course you mean that your machine is already running Windows 10 and fully set up, ready to boot with administrator privileges. Even if the following steps are not installed, they are understood after their complete installation. After all, how could you start working with your machine without an operating system installed?
1. Check for updates
Microsoft releases periodic updates to Windows 10. Quality updates and feature updates. Quality updates consist of bugs and security fixes. They are delivered at least once a month and sometimes once a week. Feature updates are major upgrades and are usually given every six months.
To avoid confusion, Microsoft has modified its release schedule so that version H1 is a major upgrade, while version H2 is a quality update. Windows Update is available through the Settings application. From there, go to Update and Security> Windows Update.
Click "Change Active Hours" to prevent Windows from restarting your computer automatically. "Update history view" categorizes updates that are installed on your system. If an update causes a problem, click Uninstall Updates, and follow the instructions in Windows.
In older versions, you can postpone feature (up to one year) and quality (up to 30 days) updates. Starting with the 2004 version of Windows 10, Microsoft has removed the "Select when installing updates" feature on the "Advanced Options" page. Regardless of the version of the product, you can postpone updates for up to 35 days.
If you wish to continue to take advantage of the deferrals, you can use the Local Group Policy. Open Local Group Policy Settings by simultaneously pressing Win + R and in the execution window that appears type gpedit.msc. In the new window on the left go to Computer Settings> Management Templates> Windows Components> Windows Update> Windows Update for Business. Double-click the "Select the time to download previews and feature updates" and customize the program to suit your needs.
When your device receives optional updates, you can manage them through Settings> Windows Update> View optional updates. This means that you no longer need to use Device Manager to search for driver updates.
2. Check the power plan
If you have purchased a laptop you should pay close attention to power management settings to extend battery life and balance resource usage while doing intensive work on your computer.
Open the Settings app and go to System> Power Supply and Suspension. Set the idle time before the screen goes dark and the time before the shutdown.
Click the "Additional Power Settings" link to open the Power Options page in Control Panel. You can create a custom action plan Windows according to your needs.
If you want to improve it further, click on "Change advanced power settings". The options in this dialog provide very detailed control of energy-related events. You can tailor them to your hardware and software needs.
3. Health and calibration of your battery
Most people are usually less informed and indifferent to the health of their laptop battery. When buying a new laptop, it is important to monitor the health of the battery from the beginning. Over time, the capacity of any battery decreases.
The battery stops charging and shows fluctuating readings. Periodic monitoring of battery health will tell you when to calibrate it and take corrective action.
Visit your laptop manufacturer's website for details on the calibration process.
4. Rename your computer
The default Windows setting creates a silly name for the computer. Although you may not think it matters much, you will see your computer name in OneDrive, Microsoft services, the Web and elsewhere.
Press Win + X and select System. On the Info page, click Rename Computer and enter a name that represents you. Restart your computer.
5. Create a recovery unit
When your computer is having problems and stubbornly refuses to start, a USB recovery drive can help you troubleshoot and fix these problems. The recovery drive starts your computer in a Windows recovery environment, which consists of many useful utilities.
To create a recovery drive, type "Recovery" (or Recovery if you have Windows English) in the search box and select the "Recovery Drive" application from the results window. Make sure you select "Back up system files on the recovery drive".
If you select it, you will be able to use Reset this PC and access the Windows Recovery Environment tools from the drive. For best results, choose a 16 GB USB drive.
6. Uninstall bloatware and turn off ads
Bloatware is an application that is preinstalled on your computer. It may include trial versions of viruses, games, or even Microsoft Office. Pre-installed applications consume disk space. Here is our guide to Easy removal of bloatware in Windows 10 and use uninstall third-party utilities to remove defective applications.
As for reporting the deactivation of ads in the Start menu, do the following: Go to Settings> Personalization> Start and turn off in "Occasionally show suggestions at Start".
Lock screen ads : Sometimes, you may see ads for Microsoft products through Windows Spotlight. To avoid them go to Settings> Personalization> Lock screen and set the background to Image or Slideshow.
Taskbar pop-ups : You may receive persistent notifications about product suggestions in the Windows 10 Advice area. Settings> System> Notifications and actions and turn off "Get tips, tricks, and suggestions when using Windows."
Also turn off "Show the Windows hosting experience after updates and occasionally when I log in, to highlight new features and suggestions".
Advertising in File Explorer : You may see ads in File Explorer if you use the free OneDrive software. Open File Explorer, go to View> Options. In the Folder Options window, go to the View tab and turn off the "Show sync service alerts" view.
7. Create a standard user account with a password
When you configure Windows 10 for the first time, the installer creates a profile for the administrator account. With it, you can change settings throughout the system, run all installed applications, install new hardware, and do almost anything on your computer.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional, we always recommend starting with a standard user account. These restricted accounts can run applications and change settings that do not affect other users.
An administrator has the ability to add a user account. Go to Settings> Accounts> Family & other users . Click "Add another person to this computer".
Follow the steps and click Add User without Microsoft Account. Specify a username and password. You will also need to select and answer three security questions. When you are finally prompted for the account type, select Standard User.
8. Create a system restore point
System Restore allows you to undo any recent hardware or software changes. Useful when a recently updated driver, defective device, or application is causing problems.
Go to Settings> System> Information . Right-click System Information (if you do not see it open the settings window a bit).
In the Control Panel - System window that opens, right-click on "System Protection" and in the small window that appears, make sure the restore point for the C: \ drive is enabled.
9. Set up Windows security
Many people ignore setting up Windows Security Option before using a new computer. Since Windows 10 1809, all options have been transferred to the Windows Security application. To set up, go to the section Setup> Update & Security> Windows Security .
Protection against viruses and threats
In the Antivirus and Threats Settings section, select Manage settings. From here, you can configure basic Windows security settings, such as cloud protection or automatic real-time blocking of virus and malware. If you have a third-party antivirus program installed, then most likely Windows will tell you that no action is required.
Check applications and browser
You can manage the behavior of Windows when downloading potentially unsafe applications from the Web, or encounter malicious websites or configure how the Edge browser should behave in unprotected situations (such as at an airport Wi-Fi ) for data protection.
Built-in settings include SmartScreen for Edge, installed applications and files. Also, the exploit protection feature protects your system from tampering. Includes DEP, ASLR and SEHOP settings.
Windows 10 has built-in security based on virtualization to prevent malicious code attacks.
10. Set up a scheduled backup routine
No one can guarantee safe computer maintenance so that it never fails or even the hard drive is stolen. Any potential disaster could threaten your computer and data. To keep your data safe, you need to get regular backups. Here is our backup guide and best practices in hardware and software:
- Buy one or two external hard drives (at least 1 TB) and decide whether to connect it to your computer (RAID) or via the network (NAS). You can split the drive and use one for system backups and another for data.
- Select an application to back up your data automatically to a static program. Cloud storage works best for syncing your files, but for backup, consider Backblaze, Backblaze B2, Amazon S3, or Glacier.
Best Time To Buy A New Computer
Getting a new computer is an exciting time. Although at first glance, these tips may seem mountainous, they are not difficult. Your computer will be safer, faster and better equipped for your tasks.