How to Set Up Your New Windows Computer


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A brand-new Windows PC, fully updated and unsullied by crapware, is a wonderful thing. Sadly, very few people ever get to experience it, because so many PC manufacturers bundle loads of junk software with the computers they sell. Instead of the high-performance machine you thought you were getting, you get a computer bogged-down by stuff you don’t need or want. If you bought a high-end computer, you may not notice right away. Speedy hardware generally covers up the drain on system resources. But sooner than it should, that extra baggage will make your high-end PC feel underpowered.

Don’t let that happen to you. The next time you buy a new computer, clean out the crap and set it up properly right from the start. This 28-page guide will walk you through the process.

(We do not have a similar guide for Macs because most of the important things you need to do to set up a Mac are covered in our 4-Step Security Upgrade. You should absolutely get that guide if you own a Mac or a Windows PC.)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Remove Everything You Don’t Need
    • De-Crapify
    • Remove Surplus Windows Features
    • Removing Norton and McAfee
  • Update Everything
    • Windows Update and Microsoft Update
    • Windows Store Apps
    • Third-Party Software
  • Scan for Viruses
  • Encrypt Your Hard Drive
  • Create a System Restore Point
  • Install Software
    • Make a List
    • Gather the Installation Media, Files, and Codes
    • Find Something to Do
    • Install One Thing at a Time
    • Try Some New Things
  • Transfer Your Files
  • Back Up Your Files
  • Wipe Your Old Computer’s Hard Drive
  • Next Steps
  • More on Computer Security

Additional information

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