If you’re one of my lucky CLNC® amigos who received a new PC for Christmas, congratulations! Santa seemed to have run out of MacBook® Airs when he dropped down our chimney, so maybe next year for me. But if you were lucky enough to get a new PC, there are some things you need to do before you put it to work.
First, plug in your accessories such as keyboard, mouse and monitors. Then add the electrical connections and your wired Ethernet/Internet connection (If your home is wireless skip this step).
Next, turn it on and create either a local or Microsoft® user account for yourself. User accounts allow you to set permissions, i.e., who can access which data and programs. If you’re a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant who is sharing a PC with your family, this is a must as you can wall off your data and programs. Local user accounts are specific to your computer – that’s the direction I lean in.
If instead you choose to create a so-called Microsoft User Account, it will carry your settings from computer to computer – so long as you log in on each computer. That’s nice, but how often do you use someone else’s computer? Not often. It’s probably safer to create a local user account which is particular to your PC. Here’s a tutorial explaining how to do this.
Once you’ve created your user account, the next thing you should do is install or activate an antivirus/antimalware/anti-everything package like AVG AntiVirus. This will protect your computer as you go through the rest of the steps. There are many antivirus packages out there and everyone has a favorite. Install the one you’re most familiar with. Make sure your Windows® firewall is on too – unless your antivirus software contains a firewall.
Now that we’re done with that, it’s time to update Windows. Microsoft updates its operating system constantly and your computer will need to be updated before its first real use. You can do this either from an icon in your system tray or from your Settings menu. This may take minutes, days or longer. It may also require multiple reboots.
My next recommended step, if you don’t plan on using Internet Explorer®, is to install a web browser of your choice – I’m partial to Chrome, but go with the one you like best and are most familiar with.
Finally, when your Windows operating system is updated, you can start the real work – installing the programs you need and uninstalling the so-called “bloatware” and “freeware” that you’ll never use and simply take up space. You can remove programs, games, etc., through your Control Panel. Be vicious. Installing programs is just as easy but remember to update them after each installation.
Your last steps are to create a back-up routine and to create an image of your brand new tailored-to-you PC. These two steps are beyond a simple Tech Tip, but you can search for instructions to do it on the web.
New computers are a joy – so long as you set it up right the first time.
Keep on Techin’,
P.S. Comment and share whether or not you received a new PC for Christmas!