The Initial Setup for Windows 10 Computers
Assumption: Unit is bought retail side and not custom built and has Windows 10 operating system preinstalled.
Step 1: The Unboxing
- Unbox your unit and set aside the box until return policy is over (in case you need to return the item)
Step 2: Power!
- If it isn’t straightforward follow the limited instructions in the manual to plug your new computer into an outlet and power on the unit. Most computers will power on with a simple press of the power button but in rare cases hold the power button for 3 seconds to initiate boot.
- For Desktop units, also attach any peripherals such as monitors, a mouse, a keyboard, speakers and a mic, to name a few.
Step 3: Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the initial setup.
- (some of these steps may be out of order slightly due to different manufactures contracts with Microsoft.)
- Choose your location, Keyboard, Language, and Time Zone
- Here’s the Legal Stuff: Hit Accept
- If your computer came with a pen it will most likely ask you to connect it now following on-screen instructions
- Let’s get connected: Choose your wifi network that matches the router you are using and have your password ready. you may also skip this step but you will need the internet connection later on anyway.
- Get Going Fast: you may choose to use express settings or customize settings. Express will leave it in default settings but customize will let you turn off any unneeded features.
- At this point, if you have connected your computer to the internet through Wi-Fi or Ethernet, Windows will start downloading any critical updates.
- Make it yours: You will be asked to sign in using a Microsoft account, create a Microsoft account, or you can skip this step to create a Local Account. One major benefit of using a Microsoft Account is that it will let you reset your password within the OS if you forget it, a local account would require an extra tool.
- Meet Cortana: Hit Next or Not Now, no major settings can be changed for Cortana at this stage.
- At this point, it should leave you on a changing screen that says something to the effect of Please wait while we get your PC ready.
Recommended: Create a restore point
- Restore points will help you revert back to known good settings in case something goes wrong.
- Navigate to start or hit the windows key and type System Restore
- Click Create a restore point or System Restore
- Follow the dialogs box’s instructions to create a new Restore point. (note: you can add another at any time throughout this process.)
Step 4: Update your system
- Click on start and navigate to settings again, and then Update and Security.
- Click Check for updates.
- After that finishes(there may be none), check the manufacturer updates, some models will come with software running in the background.
- Dells and HPs at the least might come with some “Support” software, I.E. HP Support Assistant, Dell Update, Etc. They will usually be the default place for updating Firmware(BIOS) or other Manufacturer software, instead of searching for these online later on down the road.
- To access these, they will usually have an icon on the desktop or an icon in the popup menu on the far right of the taskbar. Follow the app’s instructions by hitting update.
Optional: Remove any Bloatware
- Bloatware is unwanted extra software installed by the manufacturer in the hopes that you will buy their software.
- Right Click on the start button and click Apps and features
- For more details choose Programs and Features on the right.
- Uninstall any programs that you recognize as unnecessary. If you are not sure, it’s better to leave the program alone until you know what it does.
- Many manufacturers will preinstall 3-5 games that are not needed.
Optional: Add any extra users
- If you would like your own login separate from others using the computer, Navigate to start and type in Settings and hit enter, navigate to Account, then Family and Other people.
- Under Other People, Add someone else to this PC.
- You may add another Microsoft user or follow the blue prompts to make another Local Account.
Recommended: Anti-Virus Software
- Install your preferred anti-virus software, if you don’t have one, there is a default built-in called Windows Defender and it will suffice until you either purchase one or decide to go without a third-party AV software.
- If you choose to install one, be sure to uninstall any that came partnered with windows (Usually McAfee) the same way you’d uninstall bloatware.
- Windows Defender should remain installed as it will not interfere with any others you choose to install.
Optional: Install all new software you plan to use on the computer
- I’d recommend using Ninite’s tool to get your basics out of the way.
- I’d at least install the browser of your choice as well as an Office program if you choose not to purchase Microsoft Office.
- If Google Chrome is your choice of browser, I’d recommend adding the extension uBlock Origin and also logging into Google Chrome to have any saved data (bookmarks, form data) sync to your new computer.
Recommended: Set a backup plan
- Backups can be online or external near the computer.
- Either purchase a backup software or copy any important files onto a separate drive.
- You can never have too many backups.
- In case your hard drive crashes in the future you will be prepared. Data recovery is not cheap.