Set up a new computer in 7 easy steps

When you buy a new computer, it seems that everything is perfect. Surely go faster than the previous one, have more storage capacity and have an updated version of Windows. What can go wrong?

When configuring a new Windows PC or laptop, it is important that you take into account a number of factors and thus not lose anything when transferring all your data from one device to another.

At the same time, this will help you clean your old computer from files and programs that have accumulated over the years but that no longer have any utility. In fact, restoring a PC from scratch is relatively easy.

In addition to transferring all your images, videos and documents, we will also show you how to transfer your installed programs from one PC to another, how to copy the values ​​that you had configured on your old computer and to make a backup copy.

1. Initial setup process when turning on the computer

The first time you turn on your newly purchased computer, you will soon realize that the experience with a Windows 10 is a bit different from Windows 7 or earlier. Anyway, the first thing to do is the initial configuration.

Specifically, you must go through the following steps:

  • Configure region and language
  • Accept the license terms
  • Customize your color range
  • Choose a name for your computer
  • Select a Wi-Fi network
  • Accept or customize quick settings
  • Enter your Microsoft account, create a new one or skip this step

You see that the initial configuration process is not very complicated and is totally intuitive. It has no loss.

On the other hand, we recommend linking a Microsoft account to your new device, although it can be used without. The reason is that, if you do, you can use OneDrive as cloud storage service.

That means that all your preferences and settings will be saved in the cloud and can easily be retrieved from another computer when, for example, you decide to buy another one or have to format the current one.

In addition, this step also allows you to access your computer from any other by simply connecting to your Microsoft account. All the settings you have saved will be automatically applied to that other PC.

2. Remove preinstalled applications that you don't need

Most devices come with several padding programs: software preinstalled that you don't need. Some of them may serve you, but most of them are just trial versions that all they do is take up space and slow down your computer.

That is why it is useful to take a look at the applications already installed in the factory and eliminate those that you consider that you will not use. To do this, follow the five steps that we indicate below.

one. Click on Start icon: the logo you will find in the lower left corner of your screen, in the toolbar.

two. Then click on the gear shaped icon to go to the panel of Windows settings.

3. Once there, select the section Applications.

4. Low Applications and features, you should see the list of preinstalled programs. Simply click on the one you want to delete and select the button Uninstall.

5. Alternatively, you can uninstall the programs by going to Control Panel and click on Uninstall a program. From the list, select the application you want to remove and finally click on Uninstall.

We recommend that you think about it and get rid of the applications that you are not going to need. On the other hand, if you are not entirely sure about a particular program, it is always better to leave it installed.

It is likely that there is some trial version of an antivirus. Surely it will not help you much, so it is better to install, for example, the Vipre Antivirus, the free Avast or the free AVG Antivirus, as we will show you in the next section.

3. Install applications with Ninite

After uninstalling the default applications, it is time to install those that you are interested in using. A good way to do it is by using Ninite, a very popular package management system.

This tool allows you to install several free programs and packages at the same time. In fact, you can choose from more than 80 packages divided into 13 categories: web browsers, media players, antivirus, the OpenOffice office suite, etc.

To download these programs, you should go to the official website of Ninite, select the boxes corresponding to each program you want to install and give Get Your Ninite to download the installer.

Next, you should open the installation program and follow the steps indicated to finally allow Ninite to install the applications you have selected. The same installer will serve you later to install the latest updates.

As a tip, it is better to use Ninite with caution, especially if you just bought a computer, since the last thing you want is to fill your new PC with programs that you will not use, which will have an impact on its performance without need.

4. Install applications individually

Apart from the free applications that you will easily find in Ninite, you might have installed other programs on your old computer for which you paid a large amount of money, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop.

You should not find it too difficult to reinstall these applications on your new device, as long as you uninstall it first on your old PC. Simply recover the CD or the link Download and also your license number.

If, for one reason or another, you don't have your license number on hand, you can still use it on your newly purchased PC thanks to tools like The Magical Jelly Bean or Belarc Advisor, with which you will easily obtain a new password.

Then you can proceed to install other free programs that will be very useful for the day. For example, you can try the editor on-line Picmonkey, with which your photos look professional.

On the other hand, if you don't have a license for the Office package, you can try the word processor of LibreOffice, compatible with the previous one, or even the platform Google Docs Available in the cloud.

Moreover, the new version of the Windows system has an application store, the Windows Store, from which you can download programs of all kinds: from video games like Candy Crush to social networks like Instagram or Twitter.

5. Configure the system values ​​your way

Like any other operating system, Windows 10 also has certain programs set as default, be it the music player, the browser or the image display system.

At PCWorld, we have a tutorial dedicated exclusively to how to change a default browser, but then we will explain how to do the same with any other program. To do this, follow these steps:

one. Go to the panel of Windows settings and click on Applications.

two. Now, click on Default applications from the menu on the left hand side.

3. You must individually select the programs you want to set as default. For example, click on Groove Music and select Windows Media Player from the drop-down menu to change the default values.

6. Pass files from one device to another

Once you have recovered the configuration settings and the programs that you had installed on the old computer, you should also copy all the documents, audio files, videos and images.

The easiest way to do this is to use Windows Easy Transfer, a tool that you should find in both computers if both one and work with Windows 7 or higher. In any case, you can download it for free.

This application allows you to transfer all your data with a special cable, a network or an external memory. We recommend betting on the third option, as it is the easiest and you can also use it to make backup copies.

It may be tempting to copy all the files you have saved on your old computer to the new one, but we believe it is not a good idea. Take the opportunity to get rid of files that you no longer use and that only take up space.

Thus, copy only the folders you really need and even delete files that you no longer want to keep. Remember to also check the Downloads folder, as you may find some file you still need.

Of course, avoid copying temporary files or so-called garbage at all costs, such as installation programs for older versions of software that you downloaded at the time.

7. Make a backup

At this point, you have already managed to configure your new computer, but it will be a shame to lose all these settings, programs and files that you have transferred. This is why it is necessary to learn how to make a backup.

We discuss the subject in more detail in this tutorial on how to create a backup in Windows 10 But, in short, what you have to do is copy your device to a USB stick, an external hard drive or a DVD, in order to recover it later.

There are several external programs to do so, such as Acronis True Image, although you can also use System Image, a tool included in Windows 10, that copies documents, programs and settings.

To access it, you must access the Control Panel and select Backup and restore (Windows 7) of the section Security system. On the left, see the option of Create a system image.

When you need to recover the state of your computer at a specific point of time, you just have to restore that created image. Files created at a date after the creation of the image will not be copied.

That is the reason why you should create system images on a regular basis. You can also use the File History tool periodically to copy the files from your new computer to an external memory.

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