If you got a new Desktop PC this holiday season, chances are you are pretty excited. You’ve probably already got it setup and ready to go. However, there are a few things you need to do first before you start using on a regular basis. Hopefully, you know what to do. But I’m guessing that many of you don’t realize what all you need to do before you start using your desktop day in and day out. Don’t worry, that’s why I am here.
I don’t expect everyone to be a computer expert. That’s why I am here to help. Believe it or not, I enjoy providing you with the information you need to help make your computer experience the best it can be. That’s why today I want to take a look at a few things you should do when you first setup a new desktop so you can be sure it runs great and continues to do so for years to come.
Are you ready to get started? Great! Let’s list out and discuss several things you should do with your desktop to keep it running great so you can use it for both work and play for a long time.
1. Unpack It Carefully
The very first thing you need to do is unpack your desktop. Now you want to do this carefully. While unpacking your computer, take note of every component in the box and make sure everything is there. If you are missing something, you may need to return it to the store to get a replacement or pick up the missing component yourself.
Any documentation that comes with your computer, place to the side to review it later and get ready to set it up. You may want to save the box, at least for a little while. If you do run into a problem, having the original box and documentation will make it easier to get the warranty help you will need, especially if you need to ship it back to the manufacturer for repair.
2. Check on Your Warranty
In the documentation, you will find information about the warranty of your desktop PC. Most computers come with a year warranty out of the box. If you purchased the extended warranty, you may have even more coverage. Take the time to read the information even though it is boring. If you do run into a problem, you will be glad you did. Knowing what the warranty covers and what you must do if there is a problem is vital to a quicker fix if you do have a problem. Once you have finished reading the warranty, take the documentation and put it all together and file it away someplace safe so you can it later if you do need it.
3. Setup Your PC the Right Way
Now for the fun part. Take your new desktop to your workstation and get ready to set it up. Break down your old computer and go ahead and clean the desk to get rid of any dust and dirt that has accumulated around the parts of your old computer. You may as well start with a clean area, after all.
Setup the computer carefully taking special care to run any cables neatly where they need to go. If you have any wire ties, consider using them to keep the cables tidy. While we do have many more wireless devices these days, there are still cables associated with a desktop. If you set your computer up the right way, they won’t be a problem for you or get in your way and you can still keep a very neat and tidy desk.
4. Create Your Account
Now that you have your computer setup, it is time to turn it on and configure it. Your first step will be to create your new account. If you are using Windows 10, I suggest creating a Microsoft account for your PC. It will make Windows 10 a much more enjoyable experience and it will make it easy for you to sync your life across multiple devices powered by Windows. If you already have a Microsoft account, go ahead and use that and watch as many of your settings instantly come to your new desktop after you sign in.
5. Remove Bloatware
Now that you have created your account and signed into the system, you are probably looking at a desktop with icons of applications that have already been included on your system. Many of these apps you probably don’t care a thing about or even want to bother using. So why keep them? Remember, we believe in keeping your hard drive as clean as possible. That means getting rid of files you don’t use and apps that you don’t need. This is especially important if you are running a cheaper desktop PC with limited hardware performance that will get bogged down by these apps easily.
Go to the Control Panel and visit the Programs menu. From there, you can remove any apps that you don’t want on your system. Be careful during this process as you don’t want to remove anything that is vital to the function of your computer. If you aren’t sure what to get rid of, ask your computer expert friend. We all know you have at least one.
Getting rid of this software will give you more space on your hard drive and it can even speed up your machine as it will run more efficiently without this junk software that you don’t want or need running in the background.
6. Install Antivirus and Antimalware Software
Now that you have gotten rid of everything you don’t need, it is time to setup your security software to make sure it is protected. Many computers come with antivirus software, but you probably don’t need it. In fact, the default antivirus software is usually not the best. I would recommend getting rid of it and using Windows Defender if you want something for free or something like Kaspersky if you prefer the commercial software. After that, I also recommend you install Malwarebytes to defend your system against malware that antivirus software may miss. The free version will allow you to scan your system but you will have to buy it if you want real time protection.
Once these are both installed, allow them both to do a scan of your system so you have a good starting point. Once this is done, make sure you run the software periodically to clean up your system and remove any adware or other malware and viruses that you may get when you surf the Internet.
7. Install Your Apps
Now that you have your security software in place, it’s time to put all the apps on your system that you are going to use on a regular basis. This is different for everyone. For some, they may only need what comes on the system. Others, may need other pieces of software such as Microsoft Office or even Adobe Creative Suite. If you play games, now is the time to install them as well.
Today, many applications are stored online so you don’t need install discs. However, in some cases you may still need the install discs. Make sure you find them and install the software you need to use your computer. Go through and install everything you need as this ensures that they live in the same place on the hard drive. After each install, run the applications to make sure they are all working and set any settings you need on them. This goes for your favorite games, as well.
8. Setup Your Backup Plan
Now that you have everything ready, I suggest that you create a backup plan. Now, I’m not saying that you need a fancy backup system, just something that will allow you restore your computer and your files with relative ease. This may be using the cloud to backup your files and creating restore points in Windows or it could be a fancier automatic system that will automatically backup your files periodically to an external hard drive. How complicated you go is up to you and what your needs are with your desktop PC. No matter what, I do believe that you need some type of system to ensure you don’t lose anything if you do suffer a computer crash.
9. Get to Work or Play
Okay I admit, this one isn’t something that really belongs on the list. But it’s the best part! Now that you have completed everything on this list, the time has come for you to enjoy your computer. Whether you use your desktop for work, play, or both, your machine should be in great shape and ready to tackle anything you throw at it. So pat yourself on back and enjoy your new desktop PC. You’ve earned it!
Well, there you have it. As you can see, there are several things you should do with your desktop to get it ready to be the workhorse or gaming machine of your dreams. If you follow this list, I guarantee that your desktop will be able to do what you need it to do for a long time without you having to worry about a thing. Of course, sometimes bad things happen. But for the average desktop, following this list should help you keep it in the best shape possible so you can get many hours of work and play out of it before you have to do any work on it.
Did I leave anything off of this list? If so, why don’t you let me know so I can add to this list. Comment below about anything I left off so we can create a master list of what everyone should do with their new desktop PC before they begin using it day in and day out. With your help, I’m sure we can make sure every computer user does what needs to be done to properly care for their computer.