Users' questions

How to Set Up a New Computer

You’ve just bought a new computer and you’ve brought it home. Now you’re ready to set it up. But exactly where do you start, and how do you proceed from there? For some, the answers are obvious. But if computing doesn’t come easily to you, then you might feel a little bit of uncertainty.

Let’s run through the process, and help you to get up and running. We’ll assume that you aren’t assembling a computer from base components, and you’ve bought one ready-assembled.

Unpack the Computer

Your first step should be to get the tower (that’s the box with the actual computer inside it), the monitor and any peripherals positioned where you’d like them to go. You don’t want to be trying to move things around once they’ve been connected uo.

Connect everything up

It’s time to connect everything together. Your peripherals like mice and keyboards will connect to the rear of the machine. This will allow you to leave any USB slots in the front for other devices, like thumb drives. It’s worth tidying up any cables with ties.

You’ll also need to supply both the tower unit and the monitor with power. In the former case, you’ll do this with three-pin IEC C13 power cords.

Install software

Before you can get started, you’ll need to install a few important pieces of software. In many cases, these will come pre-loaded – but it’s definitely worth checking where you stand before you get going. Make sure that your operating system is fully updated, and your anti-virus sofware too. This may be taken care of for you, provided that you’re connected to the internet.

As well as installing software of your own, you’ll want to ensure that any pre-installed software is gotten rid of. Software manufacturers pay computer companies to pre-load this stuff, but it often just clogs up your machine. You can simply do a reset by going to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC > Get Started. This way, you can be sure that you really are starting your machine from scratch.

Pick your favourite browser

Your choice of internet browser will probably matter to you. Use the one you have available (which is usually Microsoft Edge) to download the one you’d prefer. In Windows, type ‘default apps’ into the search bar and press enter. You’ll be presented with a list of programs which Windows is going to default to in certain cases. Under ‘web browser’, you can pick the one you prefer.

Back-Up

If disaster should strike, you want to be able to recover. In Windows, you’ll do this using something called a Recovery Drive. The exact method you’ll use to do this will vary depending on whether you’re using Windows 11 or 10. You can find detailed instructions on the Microsoft website.