When using a new purchase for the first time, most consumers expect the product to be fully operational and working as intended from the first moment that the power is on. Unfortunately, this is not the case with a new PC. Once the peripherals are connected and the power is turned on for the first time, there are a number of steps that should be taken to make absolutely sure the new PC is ready, and safe, to use.
You can use your new PC as is, if you choose to, but following these simple steps can save you a lot of headaches on down the road.
Remove the unwanted programs
New store-bought PCs come with numerous pre-installed programs that many users do not want or will ever use. Get rid of them all, unless you are sure one of the pieces of bloatware might actually be useful.
To make this as easy as possible, and to save you from spending too much time scanning the Programs and Features screen, grab a third-party program designed to assist with removing the mess from your PC. Programs like PC Decrapifier make removing unwanted programs from your PC a quick and easy process.
Then, once you are done, head on over to the aforementioned Programs and Features interface and finish up the battle against unwanted programs by removing anything that you missed on the first pass.
Hours and hours of Windows Update
This is the necessary evil that accompanies the first power-up of any new Windows PC. Most of your system files will need a patch and often that patch leads to many more patches becoming available. Just go through the list and do as many updates as you can before having to restart.
And you will be restarting your system a lot. Keep at it until you work through the entire list. You can also configure your PC to automatically download and install future updates as they become available. Turn this on if you are not interested in keeping up with Microsoft's patch schedule yourself.
Apps and Programs
So far we have removed the unwanted bloatware and spent hours patching system files to keep Windows running strong and that leaves all the programs an apps that you want to use in your day to day PC life. It is best to leave this step until after all of your system files have been updated.
As to what you should be installing, that is entirely up to you. If this isn't your first PC, you more than likely have a few programs you are unable to live without. Start hunting down those installation files or use a nifty little program like Ninite, which will automate the installation of the most popular programs and apps with very little pain or suffering on the user's part.
Back it all up
You just spent the better part of an evening or afternoon setting up this brand new PC and you do not want to have to do it again, right?
If you are an experienced PC user, you will already have a plan for backing up your system. Go ahead, run the backup now, and get it over with. If you haven't planned a backup strategy for your new PC, make one now and save yourself from future headaches. There are a number of free backup services and low-cost options to choose from, so pick one and get it done.