UPDATE: 6 Steps to Setting up a New Computer

You would presume that the nice, shiny computer you just unboxed is ready to go, but when you ask IT Professionals, they would disagree. There are a few things you can do to make it run much better, both now and in the long run.

Back in 2011 I wrote an article about the first things I do with a brand new computer. This could be said for either a home or business environment. Of course, in the last 8 year A LOT has changed. It was time for an update. So here we go.

  1. REMOVE un-need software: anything you’re not going to use, trial, demo, vendor software, etc. Even down to Anti-Virus software! Clean up all of the unneeded software. This also includes any software that comes from the manufacturer. One difference between the “enterprise level” computers and everything else is the sheer number of junk/bloatware that comes installed on those other computers. For that, among other reasons, I always navigate to the manufacturer’s enterprise page for shopping, even for my own personal home computer.
  2. Run Microsoft Updates to ensure the operating system is fully patched. Even newly shipped computers can need 10’s to over 100 updates!
  3. Visit the hardware manufacturer’s website such as the Dell Support Website and check for updates for drivers and bios. As with #2 above, the vast majority of computer shipped directly from the manufacture is running old software and BIOS.
  4. Install your preferred web browser, currently Chrome for me. And while Microsoft Edge looked very promising, in late 2018 Microsoft stated that they’re rebuilding Edge atop of Chromium.
  5. Install a handful of standard apps every user needs — this list has undergone the most changes in the last several years:
    1. Adobe Acrobat Reader
    2. VLC (plays just about any media)
    3. Microsoft Office 365 or Open Office
    4. Any other line of business software (purchased or commercial software).
  6. Setup a non-administrative user account. If this is a domain-based workstation, then this is likely already taken care of but for small workgroups, friends or family personal computers, I always set up two accounts. Their “user” account and their “administrator account”. I have them always use the “user account”. And if appropriate setup the computer to auto login to that account.