The Complete Guide That Makes Setting up a Brand New Laptop Simple

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Depending on your luck and specific needs, you’re probably looking at a laptop replacement every three to five years. That’s generally a good thing. It lets you upgrade to a better processor, more RAM, and lock in some extra storage. If you were still rocking a traditional HDD, it’s also a chance to get a solid-state drive instead.

While the IT industry does its best to ship out ready-to-go computers, a brand new laptop can sit on a shelf for months or even a year before someone buys it. The means you have some setup to do.

Can’t recall everything you need to do to set up that new laptop? Keep reading for our guide that will help you hit the major steps.

OS Updates

The operating system is the nervous system of your laptop. If your new laptop sat on a shelf for even a few months, a lot of updates rolled out since the OS on the machine was initially installed. Many of those updates include patches for exposed security issues.

That makes updating the OS the very first order of business for you. This rule holds true for all types of laptops, whether they’re Windows machines, Chromebooks, or MacBooks.

On top of that, new features roll out periodically. You’ll need those updates if you want all the latest and greatest features.

Ditch the Bloatware

The companies writing your operating system are rarely the manufacturers who made your laptop. Unfortunately, those manufacturers routinely load on a bunch of software that your laptop doesn’t need to actually function. Sometimes, the software is manufacturer-specific software, but just as often it’s third-party software you don’t need or want.

All of that bloatware soaks up system resources which can damage laptop performance, especially on machines with limited RAM. That reduced performance leaves you with a less than stellar experience as a laptop user.

You can typically remove this kind of bloatware from your system settings on Windows machines. You can typically uninstall unwanted apps on Chromebooks by right-clicking on the app and selecting uninstall.

Deleting bloatware on MacBooks is a little more complicated. You’ll need to adjust the read-write permissions for applications. Once you enable read-write permissions, you can remove unwanted applications.

If you’re looking for other ways to improve Mac performance, head over here for some Mac hacks.

Anti-Virus Software

When it comes to viruses and other kinds of malware, Windows remain the big target because it runs on so many systems. That means you’ll want a dedicated anti-virus suite of some kind for your system. There are several excellent options out there, such as:

  • McAfee Total Protection
  • Norton 360
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus

Most major anti-virus software companies also provide Mac versions of their software you can get for your MacBook. While most people don’t worry too much about their Chromebooks picking up viruses, there are some choices there as well. Some of the major options include:

  • Bitdefender Mobile Security
  • Norton Mobile Security
  • Malwarebytes

You should install your antivirus software after you do your OS updates, but before you load anything else onto your laptop. It helps ensure a quality laptop experience over time.

Power Settings

You can never know for sure how the manufacturer will adjust the power settings on your laptop. While some might default to an energy saver mode, others may set it for maximum performance. Maximum performance sounds great, but it’s also the mode that will drain your battery the fastest.

Windows laptops and MacBooks offer your power options that will maximize performance on one end and focus on energy preservation on the other end. If you know you’ll need your laptop to work for most of a working day without plugging it back in, opt for power saver modes.

Install Any Standalone Apps

Many software producers now offer web-based versions of their software or, in some cases, only offer web-based versions of their software. In some cases, you may need standalone apps or application suites locally installed on your computer.

For example, a writer might want a locally installed office suite on their laptop so they can keep working even if their Internet access goes down. A graphic artist might want locally installed graphic design applications for the same reason.

Installing them when setting up your laptop often proves more efficient than installing them piecemeal as you discover you need them.

You should also take this opportunity to pick and install your primary web browser. While some people stick with the browser installed with the operating system, not everyone likes the native browsers.

Configure the Display

The right time for you to configure your display is before you start using the laptop all the time. Things that seem mildly annoying right out of the box can become major frustrations over time.

Transfer Your Files

Transferring files between laptops comes in a few flavors. If possible, use a dedicated migration assistant or tool. MacBooks and Windows laptops will typically facilitate these kinds of transfers, often wirelessly.

You can back up all of your key files from the old machine to a cloud storage service. Once you finish setting up the new machine, you can download the files from the same service.

If those options don’t strike your fancy, it’s back to the old-school method. You must transfer the files on your laptop to a removable drive, such as a USB stick or external hard drive. Then, you plug the drive into the new laptop and copy over the files.

Setting Up Your Brand New Laptop

Setting up your brand new laptop isn’t difficult, so much as it’s a time-consuming process. Waiting for operating system updates can take hours. Installing anti-virus software and apps and configuring them can also take a while.

Figuring out what software on your machine qualifies as bloatware can take some research. Configuring things like power and display settings can prove quick or take a while. File transfers are often a lengthy wait, depending on the size and number of files.

Looking for more tech tips? Check out our Technology section or Tips & Tricks section.



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