How to set up your new computer

Most computers nowadays are almost just plug in and play, but if you make a small tweak here and there when you first set up your new computer, it will make the world of difference in ease of and enjoyment of use.

If you are a bit weary or are not that tech savvy, it is best to get a professional to do it for you. If you are feeling brave and know your way around tech, here are a few essential steps to follow when setting up your new computer.

Adjust your display settings

When you start up your PC for the first time, you will see that your display might not be optimal for your computer screen’s dimensions. You can adjust this by right clicking on your desktop and selecting Display Settings. You can play around here to see what suits you best. If you are using more than one monitor, you can also set it up here.

Update Windows & Your Device Drivers

Once you have adjusted your display settings and you have connected your computer to the internet, update Windows. Depending on how long your PC has been on the shelf before purchase and which update was installed last, this can take a few minutes up to a couple of hours. It is pretty easy to do. In Windows 10, open the Start menu and head to Settings – Update and Security – Check for Updates. Sometimes, even though you have updated Windows, some device drivers would not have updated. You can do so manually in your Device Manager in the Control Panel. Right click on each driver and select Update Driver. Windows will guide you through the steps.

Install your favourite browser

All Windows PCs come with Microsoft Edge, but it is not everyone’s first choice when it comes to preferred browsers. You might also consider trying Chrome, Firefox or Opera. It is good to always have a secondary browser, for not all online applications are optimised for all browser types. You can set your preferred browser as your default, so that all links you open, automatically opens up in it. You can do so by going to Settings – Apps – Default apps.

Uninstall the Fluff!

Your new computer will have trial versions of software that just clutter your pc which you don’t need. Getting rid of this unwanted bloatware is quite easy. Go to Start-Settings-Apps. You will see a list of all the applications on your computer. Uninstall everything that you don’t want.

Set Up your PC’s security

Windows do come standard with its own security package which is quite reliable and good enough for most people. It is limited though when it comes to more advanced features, like setting scheduled scans! If you want security software that offers more features, speak to us, we are able to advise on the best additional security software to use. While we are on the subject of security, it is advisable that you password protect your computer so that only you have access to it by setting up a password when you sign into your computer.

Install your most used software

You’ve now followed the first basic steps in setting up your computer. Now you can install your favourite software. Even though Windows does have quite a good media player, we have found that VLC player to be a brilliant add on. We are yet to find a media file format that it is not compatible with and the best of all, it is free!

Set up your email

Windows’ standard mail software is Outlook. You can even set up your Gmail account in Outlook! It is advisable that you set up your email with IMAP. The biggest single practical difference between IMAP and the older POP3 is that with IMAP, your email is always left on your email service provider’s server. If your email provider has a limit to how many emails can be kept, and you get a lot of email, then IMAP may not be for you, so first find out from your email host what your limit is before setting up your mail.

Restore your data files

You’re now almost all set. The basic structure is now in place, all you need now is to restore your data files. If your files are cloud-based, it is as easy as signing into your storage services, otherwise you’ll have to manually restore it from the backup you made from your previous computer.

Set up Regular Backups

There is no bigger frustration than losing important data. Please ensure that you do daily backups of all your data either onto a cloud based server or to an external hard drive. Cloud storage is the saver route to take, for if your hard-drive becomes faulty, you might not be able to retrieve your data from it. You can set up your daily backup and go to the Control Panel – System & Security – Backup. Windows will guide you through the process.

You’re now all set and ready to use your fabulous new computer!