For most common electronic devices, you only need to plug in to use immediately without having to adjust much. Unlike that, with computers – especially those running Windows – you need a few changes before you put it into daily use.
You need to ensure the safety of the system, personalize your computer according to your own preferences, remove redundant programs, and install a number of necessary utilities. The following article will introduce you to what to do after buying a new computer.
1. Update the operating system
After breaking the box, assembling and plugging in a new computer, the first thing you should do is update the Windows operating system. Of course, you will need to have an Internet connection when doing this job.
Step 1. On Windows, type updates in the search box.
Step 2. Click on Check for updates.
Windows will start searching for and downloading the update, you don’t need to wait for this process to complete before moving on to the next step as this process can take several hours. Once completed, restart the computer (refer 6 ways to restart computer) for the updates to take effect. This restart may take several times depending on the number of updates installed.
On Linux, updates are more likely to be used than security, so you can manage and update software packages and update the Linux kernel via the command line.
2. Uninstall Bloatware
Bloatware is Unwanted or unnecessary preloaded software for end users. These applications are rarely used, wasting valuable disk space. Windows computer manufacturers often preinstall software, while Mac, Linux, and Chromebook computers rarely do so.
To uninstall bloatware on Windows:
Step 1. Navigate to Settings.
Step 2. Select System.
Step 3. Select Apps & Features from the left menu. On some newer versions of Windows 10 Apps & Features have been included in Settings> Apps.
Step 4. Select an application you want to uninstall.
Step 5. Click Uninstall.
Step 6. Click the second Uninstall button that appears.
Alternatively, you can use uninstaller software to scan the system for all installed applications and allow you to uninstall it completely. However, you need to make sure to check the application before uninstalling to avoid deleting an important application.
3. Copy or synchronize data
There are several possible ways to move documents, photos, videos and other important files from your old computer.
– Copy files manually: Select all files in the Documents, Music, Videos and Photos library, copy them to an external drive and then copy them to the new device.
See also: Transfer data between computers
In addition to a hard copy, cloud storage will make your life easier if you work on multiple devices.
Cloud storage services, like Dropbox and Google Drive, sync everything you put inside them with your company’s servers. You can then access those files from any device that is logged in. That means you can easily get a file being edited on the desktop, while working with a laptop.
– OneDrive Sync: If your important files are stored in OneDrive, they will automatically download to your new computer after you log in to the new computer with your Microsoft account.
– Dropbox or Google Drive: These services work like OneDrive but are not preinstalled on Windows. If you are using these services to store files on your old computer, install them on your new computer.
Whether you use cloud storage as a backup or to avoid moving files using a flash drive (USB), this is a necessity today. Refer to the list of best free cloud storage providers to get started or review some cheap cloud storage services if you need more storage.
4. Set up automatic backup
To avoid important data being lost, you should set up system backups. Windows 10 has a number of built-in backup methods, such as System Restore, Backup and Restore, Recovery Drive Creator, etc.The Mac has a Time Machine feature, but if you don’t like it, you can choose other backup solutions instead. Linux also has a number of backup tools and utilities that help you save data conveniently.
5. Install anti-virus software
Antivirus software is essential when you accidentally click on the wrong link, visit a malicious website or download malware, adware, etc….Your entire system will be the victim of these viruses. Although Windows has built-in Windows Defender security software, you should install third-party antivirus software for additional security features such as real-time protection, ransomware protection, wiretapping software, etc …
Check out the best antivirus software lists for different operating systems:
6. Install anti-theft software
Stealing a laptop is one of the worst things that can happen, not just losing your device, but also losing all your important data. Luckily, Windows 10 has an integrated security feature called Find My Device that can locate a laptop if it is stolen or lost. If you don’t like that feature or if you use Mac or Linux, you can use the free version of Prey (which also supports mobile devices).
7. Install the basic software
This is a step dependent on your needs because we cannot decide what software you need to install. However, in our opinion, a new computer always needs the following basic programs: an office toolkit, a photo editing and management utility, an entertainment player for watching movies and listening to music. and an e-mail management software. You can easily find free software that fits most of the above criteria.
If you want the new system to have the full software like on the old system, check the Program Files folder in the C drive on the old system, then make a list of software names using a text management tool. Online versions like Google Docs so you can access data from other devices. Remember to also save your login details for your e-mail management software and IM chat account.
Search for important information such as software registration codes and save them in a safe and accessible place when needed. Such as writing directly to the software installation disc, or writing to a notebook. There will be times when you need this information so choose any methods you feel are safe to keep.
8. Set up Windows Hello or Face logins
Many current generation laptops come with fingerprint readers or infrared cameras for facial recognition. If you have either, you should set up Windows Hello, a feature that allows you to log in with one finger or wink. Refer to the article How to set up Windows Hello to recognize faces on Window 10 for usage.
9. Browser settings
Microsoft’s Edge browser is fast, lightweight, and definitely worth using, but if you’re familiar with Chrome and Firefox and already have an account or extension, you might want to use those browsers. To set a new browser as the default, follow the instructions in lesson 3 on how to change the default browser in Windows 10.
10. Configure or turn off Cortana
Microsoft’s built-in digital assistant offers a number of neat features, like the ability to set reminders, find semantic files, answer questions using Bing’s knowledge base, perform a number of commands Voice and provide you with weather and sports notifications. Refer to the following articles:
Read more: Use and configure Cortana on Windows 10
11. Disable the lock screen
Unless you like staring at a picture when you first start up or waking up your computer, the Windows lock screen is completely useless. Every time you boot, you have to swipe or click on the lock screen image before entering your name and password. Many users find this annoying, please refer to the article How to disable the Lock Screen lock screen on Windows 8, 10 to disable it.
12. Adjust the aspect ratio
Many laptops today come with sharp and colorful high-resolution screens, but having too many pixels makes your icons and fonts too small or too big. You can adjust the size of desktop icons using a Windows feature called Display scaling. If the content on the screen is too small, you can increase it to 125% or even 150%. To make adjustments refer to the article Resize icons in Windows 10.
13. Set shortcut keys for each application
You can save a lot of time by using keyboard shortcuts instead of moving the mouse on the desktop to open the menu or double-click the icon. In addition to remembering the built-in Windows shortcuts and some application-specific shortcuts, you can set hotkeys to open your favorite programs. Here’s how:
Step 1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R.
Step 2. Type “explorer shell: AppsFolder” into the box and click OK.
Step 3. Right-click the application you want to use the shortcut for and select Create Shortcut.
Step 4. Click Yes when prompted. A new icon appears on your screen.
Step 5. Right-click the new shortcut and select Properties.
Step 6. Enter the key combination with CTRL + ALT + characters in the Shortcut box. You can use letters, numbers or symbols.
Step 7. Click OK.
14. Unhide file extensions and hidden files
By default, Windows 10 hides the file extension and makes system files and folders completely hidden. But knowing the file extensions is especially important because they tell you exactly the type of file you’re looking for. To display the file extension, follow the steps below:
Step 1. Open File Explorer.
Step 3. Select the option File name extensions and Hidden items.
15. Change the desktop theme
If you like your computer’s default wallpaper and colors, you can keep it, but most people want to personalize the interface by changing the theme. Follow the instructions below:
Right-click on the desktop and select Personalize.
Personalization menu appears.
Change Desktop wallpaper
To change the computer wallpaper, refer to the article How to change the desktop wallpaper of Windows 10.
To change the color of the taskbar, window title bar, and Start menu:
Step 1. Click on Colors in the left navigation.
Step 2. Choose a color or turn on Automatically pick.
Step 3. Turn on Show color on Start, taskbar …
16. Optimize power settings
You often have to carry your laptop on a regular basis, so optimizing battery life is always a top priority. A few small tricks also make a difference. First, you should reduce the screen brightness, not so low as this can cause eye strain. On Windows you can adjust the power options to dim the screen when the laptop is not plugged in. On a Mac you can adjust the Energy Saver feature.
Read more: 8 ways to save battery for your MacBook
In addition, you should also consider using Sleep or Hibernate mode. Finally, stop using Chrome, which is considered one of the most battery-consuming applications. You can use an alternative browser like Opera.
17. Start using VPN
Virtual private networks (VPNs) may sound complicated, but in reality using a very simple VPN. You just need to download and run the application is done. The application will encrypt the connection, protect you against snoopers, allow you to access blocked content in the area and make tracking web activity to retrieve you back more difficult.
Refer to the article: Learn about Virtual Private Network – VPN and Tunneling for more important information. You should then sign up for one of the best VPN services to protect your browser on any platform.
Read more: 11 best VPN software today
18. Reduce heat for computers
Don’t forget that laptops are prone to hotter than desktops and tablets. The desktop case is large enough for good ventilation and the tablet does not accumulate dust, while the laptop has poor air circulation system and accumulates much dust.
Read more: Control computer fan speed
– Use a heat sink and don’t use a laptop on carpets, beds, sofas, or even your lap. You should leave it on a hard, flat surface to prevent the computer from overheating.
– Use a laptop cooler to improve airflow.
– Install temperature monitoring software so you can detect when the system is hot and turn off applications (e.g. games, video editors, passwords) immediately.
19. Review the hardware
The purchase of a new computer is a convenient opportunity for you to take a look at the equipment attached to the old system. Consider whether you can continue to take advantage of old things like photo scanners, inkjet printers, low-capacity hard drives, etc.?
If you decide to move your old devices onto the new system, you’ll need to update their drivers. WanDriver 7 can help you backup your drivers in case of need later. Refer to the article 5 basic ways to update, update drivers for computers to upgrade drivers.
For new systems, you also need to review the hardware, especially the mouse and keyboard. Computer vendors rarely bring you mouse sets and keyboards specifically designed to relax your wrists, which is very vulnerable for people working on multiple computers. Even if your new system is a laptop, you should still consider buying a separate set of mouse and keyboard like Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000.
20. What to do with your old computer?
You can usually continue using your old computer for some purpose. But sometimes, you want to get rid of that slow machine out of the house. Here are a few options for you to consider:
1. Revival. Think your old laptop is too slow to use now? Try installing it on a Linux-based operating system like Ubuntu. This operating system can turn your laptop into a perfect web surfing device, especially with the support of gOS 3.1 Gadgets.
2. Take it away. You can give away the old computer to an acquaintance or some charitable organization. As long as your device works, it will be useful to many people.
3. Final option: Throw away. If possible, you should go to an old electronics collection place for disposal. These centers have the ability to handle electronic waste to avoid environmental pollution.
However, you need to remember to wipe the data on the hard drive before sending the device to throw. At least format (format) the drive, at least, although this measure has not completely erased 100% of the data. You can use third party software but it will take hours. If you want peace of mind without wasting time, simply remove the hard drive and drill a hole through it.
Read more: 9 factors to consider when buying a laptop