Setting up a new computer isn’t as difficult as many people imagine. In this guide, we’re going to go through the basic steps to getting your new PC up and running.
Obviously, this is only going to be a broad guide, since I’ve no way of knowing what exactly you’re looking at. But if you read through it you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
- Getting Started – Setup A New Computer.
- Setting Up Windows 10 On A New PC.
- Your New Computer Is Setup.
- Final Steps – Setting Up A New Computer.
Getting Started – Setup A New Computer.
So you’ve unboxed your new computer. If it’s a Desktop machine, connect the mouse, keyboard, monitor and power cables. Nothing else.
And for a new Laptop, plug in the power charger. Nothing else.
Don’t connect your printer, external hard drives, USB sticks or anything else.
And the one thing we’re definitely not going to do is to plug in the Internet cable.
We’ll do this later.
It’s so much easier to set up a new computer when it’s NOT connected to the ‘net.
If you’re planning on connecting to the Internet wirelessly, probably with a laptop, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you. We’re not going to connect with that either.
Not just yet. We’ll setup up the Internet later.
Power on your computer.
What you see next will vary depending on the manufacturer.
You might see a registration form of some kind.
If you do, don’t fill it in.
We’ll register our product later. It’s easy to do, you’re not going to miss out on your warranty.
Look for an option or a button to skip, or do it later, or not now or simply next. Words to that effect. They’re usually quite small, so you’ll have to look carefully, but they will be there.
When you find them, click on them to move on.
Setting Up Windows 10 On A New PC.
Whether you saw a registration form or not, the next thing to happen will be Windows 10 installing itself on your computer.
Surprisingly for many people, Windows isn’t actually installed on a brand new computer. It’s there, it’s on your machine, but it has to set itself up. It has to install itself.
And that’s what we’re going to deal with next.
You’ll see something similar to this.
You’ll probably see a dotted circle going round and round.
Check your language, time zone and keyboard.
You can use the drop-down arrows to the right of each box open a list of all the supported regions.
It’s a lot easier if you take your time here and set them correctly.
Double-check and click the NEXT button when ready.
With your region set, click the INSTALL NOW button.
Accept the license terms.
You may have to accept several of these, depending on your computer manufacturer and what software has been included with your new PC.
Click in the box (boxes) to accept and then click the NEXT button.
Windows will install and set itself up on your computer.
Have a short break, relax, there’s nothing to do for a few minutes.
After a restart or two, your computer might begin talking to you.
“A little sign in here, a touch of Wi-Fi there” etc.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t, it just does when setting up some new computers.
The next 3 screens you’ll see are just confirming your region.
Check that it’s set correctly for whichever country you’re in and click the button.
Let’s Connect You To A Network.
Keep an eye out for this next screen. It’s titled “Let’s connect you to a network“.
Don’t connect. Not yet. We’ll sort that out a little later. Connecting at this stage will force you into setting your new computer up with a Microsoft Account.
You can read more about the types of accounts by clicking About Windows User Accounts.
If you have WiFi on your computer, you’ll see a list of the available networks.
Or if you’re not connecting to the Internet wirelessly, you’ll see this screen.
Whichever you see, click “I don’t have Internet” in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
The next screen will inform you of the benefits of connecting to the Internet.
Click “Continue with limited setup”.
That sounds bad, but don’t worry, it’ll sort itself out later.
To use your new computer, you’ll have to have what’s called an “account”.
In the box, type a name for your account.
You can use your own name, a made up name, or just something generic, like User.
It’s entirely up to you.
Click NEXT when ready.
Oh, don’t we just love a good password?
Look, if you want to create a password now, go ahead, type it in.
But if you’ll take my advice, don’t. Most likely you’ll have forgotten what it was by the time you need it.
Just leave the box blank and click the NEXT button.
You may or may not want a password on this computer, but whichever, for now, I’d leave it blank.
Later in the guide, I’ll show you how to quickly add a password if you want one.
Services Setup – New Computer.
Next, you’ll see a succession of screens asking you to make a choice.
I generally advise taking the bottom choice on each screen (you’ll see what I mean). And that’s simply because I think that some of these options encroach on your personal privacy.
Another thing to note is that none of these options are turned off for good. If you ever need them turned back on, that’ll just happen automatically.
So your not going to have to do without anything, it’ll all just work for you.
I know that it seems that I’m telling you to turn everything off, or at least down to the minimum, but as I said earlier, all this stuff is easily turned back on, as and when you actually want it.
In fact, since most of these options allow Microsoft to gather information about you in some way, they really don’t make it difficult to change your mind later.
If you didn’t get the registration form earlier, you’ll probably get it now.
If you do, just ignore it, don’t bother filling it in yet, just click next, skip, do it late etc.
Then you’ll see a series of screens informing you that your computer is being set up.
There’s not usually much for you to do right now except wait.
Your New Computer Is Setup.
Finally, you should end up at the Windows 10 desktop.
Yours will probably look very different to mine, but no matter, that’s just cosmetic.
You right see a registration form pop up, you might see an animation telling you how great your new PC is, or you might see some programs/apps being installed.
Either way, just leave the computer alone to get on with it.
Give your new computer around 10 to 15 minutes after all activity seems to have stopped.
Just let it sit there doing nothing.
After 10 minutes or so, check the clock on your computer has got the right time.
If your new computers time is about right, you can skip this. But if the time is wrong, it’s worth setting it correctly because it can sometimes cause issues when connecting to the Internet.
If you’re not sure how to set the time manually click here How to Set the Time on a Computer
Connect To The Internet – New Computer Setup.
With the time and date set correctly, restart your computer. It’s not strictly necessary, but worth doing at this point as it helps Windows adopt any new drivers that have been installed.
Once your computer has restarted, it’s time to connect to the Internet.
If you’re using a wire, plug it in now.
If you’re going wireless, click the Network icon on the Taskbar.
A menu will open displaying all the wireless networks your computer can “see”.
Left-click on your own network, then click the CONNECT button.
Type in the password for your wireless network and click the NEXT button.
If you’ve got everything correct, in a few moments you’ll be connected to the rest of the world.
If your not sure what your network is named or what your password is, then take a look at the back or bottom of your router.
Usually, if the router was supplied by your ISP, there’ll be a sticker there with the info you need.
One other thing, passwords are case sensitive, so use Capitals and lower case letters accordingly.
Whether you’re wired or wireless, after connecting you should see this notification appear.
Once you’re connected to the Internet, run Windows update.
Although your computer is new, it’s most likely been sitting on a shelf somewhere for several months.
And in that time, Microsoft will have released many updates for Windows. And you need to catch up.
If you’re not sure how to run Windows update, click here How to Update Windows 10
Final Steps – Setting Up A New Computer.
We are into the final furlong now, almost there.
Those registration/warranty forms that we skipped over earlier will pop up now as well.
So fill out the forms as you see fit.
Now would also be a good time to sort out your antivirus. Many new PCs come bundled with a trial version of an antivirus. So sign up or register with that.
Unfortunately, I can’t help you much with doing that because I don’t know exactly what’s on your computer. But you’ll probably see some pop up windows appearing to guide you through the process.
Microsoft Accounts & Passwords.
We’ve set your new computer up using a local account and without a password. But some of you will want to use an MS account and some of you will want or need a password.
So that’s the last things for me to show you.
Convert Account To An MS Account.
If you aren’t sure whether you want or need a Microsoft account, then you don’t.
Currently, you have what’s called a local account and that is absolutely fine. You’re not missing out and your new computer will do everything you want it to do.
To convert from a local account to an MS account, click the START button and then click your user account name.
On the menu that appears, click CHANGE ACCOUNT SETTINGS.
On the User Account Settings page, click “SIGN IN WITH A MICROSFT ACCOUNT INSTEAD”.
From there, you’ll simply follow the prompts to sign in with an existing MS account or create a new one.
Creating A Password.
One of the main advantages of using a local account is that you don’t have to have any sort of password set.
But some of you will either want or need a password.
Click the START button and then your User Account Name.
On the menu that appears, click CHANGE ACCOUNT SETTINGS.
On the User Account Settings page, click SIGN IN OPTIONS on the left-hand panel.
On the Sign-In Options page, click the PASSWORD section.
The section will expand.
Click the ADD button.
Type your chosen password into the top two boxes and then add a hint as to what it is in the bottom box.
When you’re done, click the NEXT button.
At this point, do I need to say it? Should I say it? I’m going to say it.
REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD.
There, I’ve said it.
Your New Computer Is Setup.
Setting up a new computer really isn’t difficult to do. There’s not much that you can do wrong as such, it’s more about having an idea of what’s happening.
There’s a lot of seemingly important choices to make early on, and then there’s the issue of signing into or creating an MS account.
But after that, it’s pretty much plain sailing.
More Guides From At Home Computer
Getting It Done, One Guide At A Time