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13 things to adjust when setting up a Windows 10 laptop



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The Acer Aspire 5.


Sarah Tew / CNET

If you recently purchased a new Windows 1

0 laptop (or finally an upgrade from your old now that support for Windows 7 has ended ) , you do not have to rely on default settings that may not make the most sense for how you actually want to use the device. By adapting your laptop to your needs as soon as you receive it, you save time and energy and prevent security problems.

Although some criticize Windows 10 for being too complex and buggy, NetMarketShare says it still has nearly 50% of the market share of laptop operating systems, meaning that more laptops and desktops work with Windows 10 than any other operating system.

Here are 13 things that you need to adjust when setting up your Windows 10 laptop. Be sure to view our guide to properly set up a new PC or laptop and the 11 best hidden Windows 10 tricks to know .

Checking for updates

Microsoft is releasing a steady stream of Windows updates. Your new laptop automatically checks for updates, but you can check manually by going to Settings (click on the gear icon above the Start button), choose Update & Security> Windows Update and then click on the button Check for updates . (Or type & # 39; updates & # 39; in the search box and click Check for updates .) This way you can update your laptop immediately instead of waiting for updates the next time you close your laptop.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Enable system recovery

It is a good idea to make sure that you have set a restore point if something goes sideways with your laptop on the road. To set a restore point, search for "restore" and then click Create a restore point . You will be taken to the System protection of the window System properties .

From there you can choose your main system drive (probably the C: drive) and then click on the Configure button. Click on the radio button for Enable system protection if it is not already switched on. And then you can choose how much disk space you want to reserve for your restore points. You do not need more than 2 or 3%.

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System restore.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Setting a default browser

If you want to use Chrome or a browser other than Microsoft's Edge browser, you must install it yourself. Of course, if you do that, you probably want to make your default browser. After you have installed Chrome for the first time, you will be asked if you want to set Chrome as the default browser. If you miss that offer, go to Settings> Apps> Standard apps and click Microsoft Edge in the "Web browser" section to make another selection.

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<h2>  Choose an energy plan </h2>
<p>  Your laptop does not always have to work at full capacity. If you want to extend the battery life, you can choose the energy plan <strong> Energy saving </strong>. Or you can choose the plan <strong> High performance </strong> when you are working on serious graphic work. In the center is the Goudlokje-exactly-rechts <strong> Balanced </strong> plan. To choose a plan, click the <strong> battery icon </strong> in the notification area at the bottom right of the desktop and click <strong> Energy and sleep settings </strong>. Then click on <strong> Additional energy settings </strong> to select an energy plan. </p>
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Matt Elliott / CNET

Connect your phone to your PC

Easily connect your Android or iPhone to your Windows 10 machine by going to Settings> Phone . Click on Add a telephone and follow the instructions to pair your telephone and PC. With this connection you can go from editing files on your phone to your PC, or send articles or other information from your phone to your laptop. There is also a way to place and receive Android phone calls on your Windows PC now.

Adjust the display settings

Congratulations on your laptop with a razor-sharp 1080p screen (or higher). Although your images will look incredibly sharp, text and icons may now be small and difficult to read or click. Decreasing the resolution doesn't help because the resulting image looks blurry. However, with Windows 10 you can scale the size of text, icons and apps.

Right-click on the desktop and select Display settings . For Change the size of text, apps and other items you can select a higher percentage to increase the text size in steps of 25% or click on Advanced scale settings in select your own percentage.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Setting rules for Focus assist

If you are trying to get work done but are still interrupted by notifications, you may want to enable Focus assist, a tool that Windows 10 added in the April 2018 update and that lets you check which notifications you receive at a certain time.

Set it up by going to Settings> System> Focus . Choose from three options: Off (receive all notifications from your apps and contacts), Priority (see only selected notifications from a priority list that you customize and send the rest to your action center) and Alarms only (hide all messages except alarms). You can also choose to turn this feature on automatically during certain hours or when you play a game.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Set rules for neighborhood sharing

The Share feature in Windows 10 allows you to share documents, photos & links to websites with nearby devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Like Focus assist, you can enable and disable nearby sharing in the Action Center, but you can set how wide you want to send and receive files and links in Settings. Go to Settings> System> Shared experiences and you can choose to send and receive content from Anyone nearby or My devices only .

Set app installation tolerance level

Microsoft has borrowed a page from Apple's book with the addition of a setting that allows you to determine which types of apps can be installed on your PC. Similar to telling your Mac to install apps only from the Mac App Store or beyond, you can find a similar option on your PC. Go to Settings> Apps> Apps and Functions and you can choose whether to allow apps from anywhere, only from the Windows Store or from any location, but with a warning if they are outside the Store.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Turn on your night light

& # 39; Staring at night at an unnatural blue screen can shift the natural clock of your body and make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. Your phone probably has a way to switch to warmer colors at night, and now Windows does too. There is a setting to decrease the blue light of your PC during the evening hours. Go to Settings> System> Display and switch on night light . You can schedule it to burn at sunset or set hours manually. You will also find a Night Light button in the Action Center to enable or disable the setting.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

View file name extensions

Is that image a JPEG or PNG file? A Word.doc or a Word.docx? Windows 10 hides the file name extension unless you are asked to display it. To do this, open File Explorer click on View in the main menu and then check the box for File name extensions .

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File name extensions.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Bloatware removal

Many PC vendors package a new laptop with trial apps, but fortunately Windows 10 offers an easy way to see which apps are installed on your new laptop and a quick way to get the apps to remove that you don't have & # 39; t want. Go to Settings> Apps> Apps & functions and view the list. If you do not want an app, click on it and then click on the Uninstall button.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Antiransomware protection

Windows Defender gets a new weapon in the fight against ransomware. Open the Windows Defender Security Center and go to Virus and threat protection> Virus and threat protection settings . Here you can enable a new option with the name Controlled access to folders . It protects you against ransomware attacks that can exclude you from your data. By default, the Desktop, Documents, Music, Images, and Videos folders are protected, but you can add others. If the setting is dimmed, you may need to remove the McAfee trial version or other security app pre-installed on your PC.

Get the most out of your Windows 10 device

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Originally published three years ago. Periodically updated with new information.


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