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Home / Tips and Tricks / Everything you need to know about setting up a new PC

Everything you need to know about setting up a new PC

Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a new Windows PC! Maybe you decided to upgrade your gaming setup, finally dumped that old college laptop, or maybe you want to start over with a clean install of Windows 10. Whatever your reason, desktop setup or laptop setup with a new one pc is easier than you might think

We've compiled a codex of everything you need to know and do to get your new pc up to speed. Here's how to set up a new computer quickly and easily.

How to set up a Microsoft account ̵
1; or not

Whether it's a sleek new laptop or a specially designed gaming desktop with RGB lighting and advanced cooling systems, your PC starts asking you all kinds of questions when you for the first time. One of the first decisions you need to make when setting up a new PC is crucial: a local account or a Microsoft account? When you first booted your new PC or laptop, Windows 10 probably asked you to sign in, and it's now plaguing you about setting up a Microsoft account!

Before you decide to create a new Microsoft account, be aware that you may already have one. If you have an Xbox Live account, an Outlook email account, a OneDrive account, or even a Skype account, you already have a Microsoft account. While you can use these accounts to set up your new PC, it won't make a huge difference to your Windows 10 experience if you don't.

Using a Microsoft account is slightly more secure because it allows you to receive notifications related to your PC. It is also much more accessible in the long run. If you forget your password, you can always reset it online or from another device.

If you do not want to use a Microsoft account, open your Start menu and click Settings (the gear icon at the top right and the power icon at the bottom left)

  Picture of Windows Start Menu Settings
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

Click Accounts and then select Log in with a local account .

To use a Microsoft account, select Sign in with a Microsoft account from the same menu.

  Image from Windows 10 Settings Home
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

Once you are logged into your Microsoft account and have chosen to use one, you can adjust your security settings by clicking Manage my Microsoft account. Select Security & Privacy from the navigation bar of the web page that appears.

  Picture of Manage My Microsoft Account Window
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

How to Personalize Windows 10 with Personalization [19659018] Before we get to any of the other essential security and driver updates, make sure that you can tolerate tolerance to your new PC. That means choosing a background and adjusting your display scale. Windows 10 comes with a default set of wallpapers and for this step we'll just use one of the default settings.

Right click on your desktop and click Personalize . In the window that appears, choose one of the available wallpapers or click Browse to open one you downloaded – then select an image at least as large as your monitor's native resolution.

  Picture of Windows 10 Background Menu
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Don't worry if it's not exactly the same resolution. At the bottom where it says Choose a fit you can decide how Windows should fit the image you have chosen on your screen – stretching may look a little weird, but at least it fits your screen.

Now that if you've selected a background, it's time to check your display scale. Right-click on your desktop as before, but this time click Display Settings . If your text and icons seem a little too large and stretched, you may want to scale down. Likewise, if everything is small and hard to see, the winding up should take care of it. The default options for text, apps and other items are 100% and 125% magnification, although custom settings and switching between auto-scaling apps in Windows can be found under Advanced Scaling Settings . However, it's worth noting that this scaling feature only works with apps that have been updated to take advantage of it, while older applications may not change the size.

  Picture of the advanced settings menu for Windows 10
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

Then click Advanced display settings and make sure your resolution is set to the maximum available for your display. If not, your text, windows, and pretty much everything will look grainy and weird.

  Picture of Windows 10 Advanced Display Settings menu
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

After increasing your screen resolution, it can be difficult to read smaller text on your screen which can be a problem if you have a large (1440p or 4K) screen. In that case, it is best to increase your display scale to compensate for this. That way, images, videos and multimedia are displayed correctly, but you can also keep your text and display elements nice and big.

Note your screen resolution while you are there. That's the song you want to keep in mind when looking for wallpapers in the future.

Using Windows Update to get the latest PC security features

Now you need to decide how often you want your PC to check for updates, download and install them. You need to keep Windows up to date to keep your PC running safely and properly, and make time to keep your PC up to date is the first step.

In the Settings menu, click Update & Security . From here you can manually check for updates and decide when your PC will download and install updates yourself. Under Change active hours you can tell your PC what times of the day you usually use it, so Windows Update will download and install updates outside of those hours.

  Image from Windows 10 Update & Security Menu
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

So if you let your PC know that your active hours are from 9am to 5pm, it will only download and install updates outside of those hours. Under Restart Options you can also control when your PC restarts itself to install updates, instead of bothering you when trying to work.

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Likewise, you can decide whether or not Windows Update should update other apps and whether you want Windows Update to log in to complete the installation process under Advanced options

If you are a little discouraged by all the options and settings here, set them as follows:

  • Set active hours to 8 AM and 23:00 [19659040] Under Advanced Options check both boxes.
  Picture of Windows 10 Active Hours Menu wi jzigen
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

That's all. Windows Update should take care of itself from now on.

Securing Your Windows 10 PC

Another way that your PC will take care of itself is to scan for malware periodically, and Windows Security does an admirable job protecting your PC.

Let's make sure it's turned on. Open your settings menu and click through to Update and security . Left click on Windows Security, and the Security Areas menu will open with a series of buttons and switches to change your security settings. Make sure that Limited Periodic Scanning Real-time Protection Cloud-based Protection and Automatic Sample Send are all enabled. [19659049] Image of the Windows 10 security areas menu “/>

Daniel Martin / Screenshot

It is also a good idea to install a separate anti-malware solution. These are some of our favorite free options.

How to Set Up Your Windows 10 User Account Control

While we are here, let's take a look at the User Account Control or the UAC. The UAC is the system that opens those windows every time you try to install an app or game. While annoying, it keeps your system safe by preventing a program from installing itself in the background without permission. Open your Start menu and type User Account Control and select the first result.

  Picture of Windows 10 User Account Control
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

In this menu you can change how often the UAC system notifies you when apps try to change your PC. You should only mess with these settings if your apps or games are causing you problems. For the most part, it never hurts to get a pop-up when an app wants to make changes to your PC, so keep this setting in the second bar from the top. This way, your PC will let you know when apps are trying to make changes, but it won't annoy you when you try to make changes.

  Picture of Windows 10 User Account Control settings bar
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

How to enable Cortana on your Windows 10 PC

Before we start with fun things like installing apps and games, you have another important decision to make: do you want an AI to live in your computer?

Microsoft's A.I. Assistant, Cortana, is integrated into Windows 10 by default, and it's quite handy. It can control video and audio playback, set reminders, tell you the weather, answer questions and even tell jokes. When enabled, all you need to do is & # 39; Hey Cortana & # 39; and then tell them what to do.

When you have had enough of these so-called smart assistants, just move on. Voice feedback is turned off by default, so you don't necessarily have to worry. But if you want your PC to behave like Apple & # 39; s Siri and Amazon & # 39; s Alexa, read on.

First click on the small circle on your taskbar, the circle next to your Start menu. The circle is the button for accessing Cortana. Unlike Siri, you don't need to interact with your voice.

You can type questions and commands directly into the box that pops up, which is a nice little addition. But what we're looking for here is the gear icon on the left – click it and the settings menu will appear.

  Image of Windows 10's Cortana Settings button
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

There are many options here, but all we're going to worry about is Cortana making you heard. Click the little toggle button under Hey Cortana to make her respond to your voice when you & # 39; Hey Cortana & # 39; says. Ahead you'll find options for fine-tuning her performance, but for now, getting started is enough.

  Picture of the settings menu for Windows 10 Cortana
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

Even If you don't enable Cortana, you can use the Windows search bar to find files, websites and other information. This feature, although used by Cortana when enabled, is not part of Cortana. It is also one of the best ways to find files, applications and other information that you have lost.

How To Remove Your Windows 10 PC From Clutter And Bloatware

Okay, so we've got your basics set up, and we're almost ready to get started with the fun. But first, let's get rid of the trash. Click on your Start menu and type the word Delete . The first result that should pop up from your search is Add or Remove Programs . That's the one we want, so click on it and let's get started.

  Image of Windows 10 Add or Remove Programs
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The Windows 10 Uninstall or Change a Program window that appears, contains a list of all applications and games installed on your PC. What we're looking for here is & # 39; bloatware & # 39 ;, these are applications that serve no purpose, but manufacturers are among other things meant to promote their products and try to let you use their software – even if you don't need it. [19659002] The problem with bloatware is that it can slow down your PC, take up unnecessary amounts of space and in some cases even collect data about your usage habits without your express permission.

There are two ways to get rid of bloatware. You can do it manually if you're sure you can recognize bloatware and safely remove it, or you can do it automatically with tools like PC Decrapifier and Bulk Crap Uninstaller.

If you're going to do it manually, here are a few tips. In the Programs & Features window, sort the apps by name and search for anything beginning with the name of your PC manufacturer (Dell, Toshiba, Razer, etc.).

Standard Dell bloatware, includes, for example, applications such as Dell Stage, Dell Digital Delivery and Dell DataSafe. List these and open to see what each does. Sometimes the apps are useful. For example, gaming laptops usually have an app that controls customizable keyboard lighting, and if you delete it you can't change the brightness. But most apps are not widely used.

Let's disable hidden files while working in the settings. There will come a day when you have to dig into your PC's file structure to access the AppData or Windows files, and doing so will make it easier if your hidden files are easily accessible.

  Image of Windows 10 Show Hidden Files
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Click your Start menu and just type the word hidden . The setting we are looking for is displayed immediately. Click Show hidden files and folders and then in the window that appears click Show hidden files, folders and drives . Everything done!

How to Install Useful Apps on Your Windows 10 PC

Next, we are going to discuss some of the most useful apps that your PC should have, and that will match many of them directly. First of all, it is time to choose a browser. A year ago, we probably just told you to download Google Chrome and call it a day, but the browser landscape has changed. Not only do you have more options than ever, but a few are pretty good too.

We've compiled a detailed overview here, comparing the strengths and weaknesses of Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi and Microsoft Edge, and all of them through a series of tests. Chrome still came out on top, but if you're up for something different, there are plenty of solid, reliable options available to you.

You will also want to install an antivirus if you haven't already, and a good backup solution and password manager. Then you can play with the software you usually use. Messaging applications, image editing apps like GIMP or Photoshop, games via Steam, GOG and the Epic Games Store. It is entirely up to you. Install them from digital storefronts like Steam or the Microsoft store, or by downloading them directly from manufacturers' websites.

Did you miss something?

Before you go, check out Ninite for apps you have yet to download. There you will find Java runtimes, messaging apps and even some of the apps mentioned above. It's a great tool for getting popular software in a neat, tidy packaging without having to navigate a lot of shady websites with large download buttons everywhere.

Good luck with your new PC!

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