How to Set Up a New Computer in Just 8 Steps

Fire up your new computer and let's get to it...

How to set up a new computer - feature

Before you start using your shiny new computer, you need to go through a few steps to get it ready. Be prepared to take a few hours to set up a new computer. Taking the time now ensures your computer works the way you want and is optimized for security before you start going online.

Set Up a New Computer in 8 Steps:

1) Use the Windows 10 Installation Wizard

The easiest way to set up a new computer is to use the Windows 10 installation wizard that starts when you start a new computer for the first time. It doesn’t cover every setting, but it’s a great start. You can use Express Settings, but it’s better to go through the longer Customize Settings option to turn off many privacy invasive settings, such as Location Services.

2) Install Any Important Apps First

The next step is to install all your important apps, such as anti-virus and Microsoft Office (or any alternative). Take a look at your old computer to see what your most used apps were. These should be the first installations on your to-do list. Always start with anti-virus before downloading anything else.

3) Customize Settings and Preferences for Privacy

If you used Express Settings or just want to further set up a new computer with better privacy settings, go to Start > Settings > Privacy. Go through each section and turn off or change anything you don’t like.

You can also change network privacy by going to Start > Settings > Network & Internet. Under Wi-Fi, check your Advanced options and Manage Wi-Fi settings sections to lock down your connection privacy.

4) Customize Cortana

Cortana serves as your personal assistant in Windows 10. To get the most from her, customize the settings. Click the Cortana button in the taskbar and go through the guided prompts to get started. Click the Settings icon on the left while in Cortana or Search to further customize Cortana.

5) Enable System Restore

System Restore may not be turned on by default, but it’s vital for rolling back your system if an update or program installation goes wrong. Right-click Start and choose Control Panel. Choose System and select System Protection on the left. Select your drive, click Configure (if System Restore isn’t already on) and select Turn on system protection.

6) Select Your Default Web Browser

Windows 10 wants you to choose the Edge browser as your default. If you don’t like Edge, you can change your default web browser. When you set up a new computer, download and install the browser of your choice, such as Chrome or Firefox. Go to Start > Settings > System > Default Apps. Scroll down to Web Browser and click the current browser. Choose an available browser from the list.

7) Move Your Files Over

If you have your files backed up, connect your backup drive or your cloud account to your new computer. Copy any files you want to your new PC. Windows 10 no longer supports the Windows Easy Transfer tool.

8) Uninstall Unwanted Pre-Installed Apps

New computers always come with extra apps you may not want. Go to Start > Settings > System > Apps & Features and select any app you don’t want. Click Uninstall and follow any prompts. Please note that some apps can’t be removed.

Related Read: How to Personalize the Windows 10 Lock Screen