What do you say to those who have just bought a brand new macOS laptop or a Windows one?
We usually also say that we hope you can enjoy your new machine to the fullest.
Most of the users want to dive straight in and start pounding the keys on their new laptop as soon as they are able to do so.
Of course, you can do that if you want to.
But our recommendation is to wait for a bit.
You need to first take care of some housekeeping chores in order to make sure that your laptop is in the best shape of its life.
This guide will show you how to get up and running with your new machine as fat as possible.
All the while, you will also ensure that your new machine remains stable and secure.
So are you ready then?
On your marks then.
Best new laptop setup tips: Install Updates As Soon As You Can By Connecting To A Wi-Fi Connection.
In the modern online world where most services regularly come up with updates, no user can get very far through his/her installation/setup process if he/she hasn’t connected to a WiFi network.
In fact, most of the installation processes today ask their users to connect the machine to a Wi-FI network without prompt.
Hence, you need to make sure that you have your Wi-FI details along with credentials close to your hand.
Then, enter them via your new machine as soon as the installation process asks for them.
Of course, you can also do so at any given point during the installation process.
But the best practice is to do so at the first opportunity that you get.
Because there is always a chance that your macOS and windows laptop would automatically download important updates in the background while you are busy filling out all the other screens that come up on your screen throughout the duration of the setup process.
So in simpler terms:
The first chance you get to install updates, make sure you take it.
Installing updates usually isn’t the most time-consuming portion of any installation and/or setup process.
But that heavily depends on the number of patches that your manufacturer or software developer has released since the last time your new machine left the manufacturing plant.
Don’t put this step off though.
Because if you do then there is a high chance that those lack up updates are going to interrupt other more important steps.
In an ideal situation, you would want your machine to have all the latest online security patches.
You would also want your computer machine to install those patches and then enable them before it gives you a chance of doing anything else.
That is exactly the reason why you must, in this case, bite the bullet.
And not waste time before you install every possible update when your machine prompts you for it.
The time it takes to finish off the updating process should not matter to you.
You should prepare yourself mentally to endure however long it takes for your machine to finish off all the updates.
This is also a great time to just think about other things you have to finish.
And complete those other tasks while your machine takes care of all the important updates.
In the case of macOS High Sierra and Windows 10, users don’t need to worry about spending too much time on finding updates that they need.
To put it another way, these operating systems ask the users to allow the machine to check for and then download the required updates automatically.
In fact, usually, they do so before they allow the user to get working on the operating system itself.
However, sometimes you face situations where you can’t check for and then download the required updates.
In that case, Windows does have the option where it allows the user to download the required updates later.
All the user has to do is first go to Settings.
And then to Update & Security.
After that, it is just a matter of clicking on the option that says Windows Update.
If you are using a macOS laptop then you have to go to the App Store from the macOS dock.
Some laptop resellers tend to complete part of the setup for the user, in that case too you can just go to the App Store option from your Settings menu to put an end to updates for a while you get your important work done.
Best new laptop setup tips: Sign In With Apple or Microsoft Credentials.
Microsoft and Apple have slowly but surely gained much-needed experience.
Now they are wise.
Wise enough to understand the fact that users probably want a single login that they can tie to a cloud account which allows them to jump from a given device to another given device.
If you really thinking about, this feature makes more sense than a lot of the other features that both decided to introduce much earlier.
What do we mean exactly?
We mean that if a user has an Apple ID or Microsoft account (an existing one) then a lot of the user’s stuff will automatically come along with them to their shiny new laptop machine.
When you downloaded the latest version of Windows operating system, it will ask you straight away to sign in and customize your experience.
Users who have the sense to proceed with their existing Microsoft account actually allow their machine to start the process of syncing.
The machine will automatically sync data related to the user’s Microsoft email account.
And OneDrive as well.
If the user has used his/her existing Microsoft ID on some mother machine as well, then the Windows operating system will also move over the user’s personalized touches such as desktop wallpaper and Documents folder.
As far as the macOS goes, the operating system will ask the user to set up, or enter, an official Apple ID before the user can work or do anything else on his/her new laptop machine.
Users who have made use of Apple ID along with iCloud with their previous machines will have lots of syncing options.
The macOS operating system will gradually but automatically pull back all the stuff from their most recent online backup.
Then it will store that data in a locally available and appropriate place.
The macOS operating will pull back data such as,
- User settings
- And much more
Users who want to double check if everything is actually working in the proper order can simply go to their Settings.
And then click on Accounts.
And then Email & accounts if they are using Windows.
For users who have installed macOS on their laptop machine, they will have to first go to System Preferences.
They can access this setting from the official Apple menu.
After that, they will have to choose the option that says iCloud.
Best new laptop setup tips: Time To Install Proper Protections
The internet of today is a different beast from ten or twenty years ago.
It is a dangerous place now for those who don’t have protection.
Hence, no user should wander around the online web looking for stuff or do anything else for that matter without protection.
Every new laptop should have some decent security application.
Fortunately, you have a ton of choice when it comes to security software suites and applications.
Even more fortunate is the fact that now you don’t have to install anything.
This is one of those areas where the likes of Microsoft and Apple have improved their offerings.
In other words, they have got you covered right from the start.
When you install Windows on your machine, it will employ the official Windows Defender for your protection.
You won’t have to do anything.
Windows, by default, will enable Windows Defender.
The Windows Defender software application is a pretty decent security application that can keep unwanted visitors out of the user’s new laptop.
But if you want to disable it then you can’t.
The only way to disable Windows Defender is to actively install another antivirus program.
And that will automatically disable Windows Defender.
That, of course, does not change the fact that Windows Defender offers adequate protection if you use some of that rare common sense.
What do we mean?
We mean that users should try to exercise common sense in terms of how they use their computer machines.
And exercise more caution when running programs on it.
If they can guarantee that (to themselves) then Windows Defender indeed can protect them.
However, users who go with a third-party solution and pay for it have more advanced options.
There are a ton of antivirus programs that you can sign up for in the market today.
Sometimes it can become difficult to choose one.
But go with the usual suspects.
There is a pretty big debate about whether users really need third-party security and/or antivirus software applications for Mac OS.
And it is not going to die down anytime soon.
In other words, the rumble will continue.
Of course, it is pretty clear that Apple’s macOS is actually a reasonably tightly locked down operating system right out of the company’s packaging box.
Regular users, which are many, can get by without any problems most of the time without the need of installing additional security software.
However, there are always users who have this need of installing something extra on their machines.
For them, macOS has lots of antivirus solutions.
In fact, the choice of security solutions for the macOS is as wide as it is for the Windows machine.
There are also many paid-for packages.
It all depends on the user in the end.
It shouldn’t really matter if you are going with the Windows operating system of the Mac OS operating system.
Because when it comes to installing security software application, both operating systems allow the user to have a bit of rest.
In other words, you don’t have to deal with the security situation of your machine right away after, before or during the initial installation process.
That means, users can safely leave their operating systems/machine with the default protections.
Later, when they have time, they can simply come back and add a bit more juice to their security products.
Only if they consider it to be necessary.
Best new laptop setup tips: Download User Files From All The Cloud Services
After you have installed your new operating system on your new machine, you might think you have done everything there is to do.
And might want to start working right away.
Not so fast.
What about all of your data that is stored in the cloud?
A lot of modern users have stored a ton of data and files in various cloud services.
These cloud services include household names such as Google Drive and/or Dropbox.
Once each of the app and/or client has verified the user’s credentials, then it would automatically start to download the user’s files.
That can take a few minutes.
Or a few hours.
It all depends on how much data you have stored in the cloud.
And of course, the actual download speed of your wifi connection.
On average though, it should take you a decent amount of time to get everything from the cloud.
And while all that downloading is happening, you can do something else.
Something other than updates and cloud data syncing.
Activities which have no connection to your machine.
Like stuff, normal people do in the household.
Such as monitoring the bills, cleaning dishes and what not.
If you are one of those users who has put some serious brakes on their Netflix consumption, then this is a good time to binge-watch some of your favorite shows.
Of course, iTunes is there too until your machine is finished with the setup process.
Once your machine has downloaded everything, you will have everything you need to get up and running with your new laptop without wasting any more time than necessary.
Some users like to keep their old files on an external hard drive.
Or on another desktop computer.
Or even another older laptop.
Regardless, the old files have to get on the new laptop one way or another.
It might sound quite obvious but manually copy-pasting all the older files to the new laptop from the external drive is actually very fast.
Faster than when you have to wait for all those files for your client to download from Google Drive or Dropbox on the new laptop.
Other cloud storage providers might be even slower.
If you only have to copy paste files from an external hard drive, then you need to follow a specific process to make sure you upload them appropriately.
The best way is to first install the desktop cloud-storage provider client.
And when you have finished setting up those clients, then you can simply point those cloud-storage clients to the new folders that you have copied from the external hard drive.
The good cloud-storage client software will easily recognize if all of your older files are present or not.
It will also verify if they are correct.
And it will do that in a matter of just a few minutes and not more.
That is a much better and more efficient way of getting all your files back instead of having to download them from scratch via the cloud-storage provider’s web interface.
Best new laptop setup tips: Get A Browser And Install All Your Frequently Used Apps.
Seasoned Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge should prepare themselves for some very good news now.
If you use any of the above-mentioned web browsers then you are ready.
Your web browsers are ready.
In other words, they are ready and in fact waiting for you to try on your new operating system on your new laptop.
Users who have already signed into their new operating system with their Apple ID and/or Microsoft account should have an easier time as well.
The browsing will make sure all of their online history, passwords, and other types of browsing data syncs properly with their new laptop.
The best part about this is that you don’t even have to tell your web browser to start the syncing process.
It will just start.
And when it finishes, you would know since you’ll see the changes yourself.
If that doesn’t work out for you then there are other methods to sync your browser data as well.
All you have to do is go to the official download page of your favorite web browser.
And then download the web browser file.
After that install that file on your new system.
And then sign in to the web browser using your relevant ID.
Once you do that, the web browser will sync all your browsing data including passwords, bookmarks and everything else.
We just hope you are using mainstream web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and/or Google Chrome.
If you have a fast enough connection, then Firefox and Chrome will start off with all of your data available almost instantaneously.
In fact, you will not feel you are using your web browser on a new machine.
As far as your web usage goes, you will feel at home.
Best new laptop setup tips: Final Step
Or start to relax at least.
Your new and shiny laptop has everything it needs to go now.
There is one final stage though.
You have to download and then install all other types of applications that you regularly use or used on your older machine.
If they are reliable software applications then you should not have a problem finding them.
They could include any software packages from iTunes for your awesome media needs or any Photoshop applications if you are involved with a lot of image editing.
For users who are using Windows, they will probably have to spend a bit of time to remove all the bloatware that usually comes with any new laptop.
It doesn’t mean that someone has opened your laptop and installed these.
These usually come from the laptop’s manufacturer.
If you do get rid of those bloatware applications then your computer’s performance levels will increase.
And your hardware will probably thank you since it won’t have to deal with so many useless applications that you never use.
So how do you know if you have a list of applications that reside on your machine but you don’t use them?
Well, you simply have to go to the list of install programs on your machine.
Have a look at the list, and then decide which ones do you want to get rid off.
Or can even do without.
Because you don’t need those as well.
To do that, just go to the option that says Settings from the Start Menu.
And then click on Apps.
If you have done all that we have mentioned till now, you are prepared and ready to just log in to your official Netflix account.
And then grab a snack.
And after that commence the binge-watching session.
Isn’t that what you mostly wanted to do from the beginning?
That’s it for the initial part.
Now you can easily use your new machine till it is time for you to buy the next one.
However, there are still some things you can do, when you have the time of course, which aren’t as urgent but important.
You see, computers have come a long way from just being able to help people out when they wanted to add some items.
Now they are like your kitchen.
Or even your car.
These are living breathing tech devices.
And if you want them to run as best as they can then you will have to maintain them in the proper way.
What does that mean?
That means, from time to time, you will have to find the time to do some low-level and annoying maintenance tasks.
They aren’t fun of course.
But they do help you to keep everything safe and stable.
Not to mention your machine will run much more smoothly.
And most of all, it will stay problem free for much of the future.
You will need around five minutes to complete all of these chores.
Or you could need 50 minutes.
Or even more.
It will depend on how much time you have left to spare.
But you have to start somewhere.
And hence we will describe a list of tech chores that you can tackle when you do get some free time.
Best new laptop setup tips: Update All Your Software
If you are sitting there just thinking about the best time to go start an update, then we have news for you:
There isn’t any.
Sitting on a laptop, month after month, not doing anything in particular and just hoping that the Windows Update will just pop up a message for you isn’t going to hurt you.
But it isn’t the best course of action either.
In other words, little incremental updates for your software applications can go a long way to make sure that your computer machine stays smooth and safe.
They are essential, in fact.
If you are on the Android platform then you will first have to go to System and then System Update.
And that is it.
For iOS users, they have to go to their Settings app and then to General.
After that, they have to go to Software Update and update from there.
For Windows users, they first have to open up the Settings app and then go to the option that says Update & Security.
After that, they have to click on Windows Update.
For mac OS users, they first have to open up the App Store official app and then via the Updates tab, update their software applications.
This is also a good time to go for a walk if you are feeling bored.
Best new laptop setup tips: Free Space
To prevent your laptop or smartphone from falling to its knees you need to make sure you are never short on storage space.
Because when you are on a shortage, the operating systems on these machines have to work really hard in order to search and then find room to store your data along with everything else.
Hence, make sure you don’t hesitate when it comes to deleting redundant and old files.
Besides, it is a pretty simple job.
And you can perform it at any time you want to.
As far as your smartphone device goes, freeing up space may mean that you will have to uninstall some apps.
These are apps that you don’t use often.
Or no longer use.
Or even no longer need.
You can also free up a lot of space by deleting screenshots.
And Whatsapp videos.
To know which route to go your smartphone can give you extra help in the form of suggestions from its smart storage features.
These come pre-built in Android machines.
To find these, go to Settings and then to Storage.
For iOS devices, go to your Apple ID account and then to Settings, after that go to iCloud and then to Manage Storage.
Best new laptop setup tips: Scan Your Device For Problems
Users who want to protect themselves against some or most of the online threats that will come their way need to invest in an antivirus program.
Then they need to make sure that they have it running in the background.
Apart from that, it is considered best practice to do an in-depth computer scan after every few weeks to keep everything in check.
Some antivirus programs come with options that can schedule a full-system scan for you.
It is a good idea to check your antivirus program’s customer support section if you want to learn more details.
Windows 10 has the Windows Defender as its built-in security product.
So, for Windows Defender users, all they need to do is open up the application and then click on Virus & Threat protection.
Then you can click on Advanced scan.
And then on Full Scan.
After that click on Scan now.
Remember, you can perform similar tests for your hard disk problems too.
For Windows 10 users, they have to perform a right-click on their hard disk drive from the File Explorer.
Then they must click on the option that says Properties.
After that, they must open the tab that says Tools.
Then click on Check.
And under that tab, click on the option that says Error checking.
This will effectively run a full scan.
For macOS users, they have to run their operating system’s Disk Utility tool.
The mac OS operating system has the Spotlight feature from where you can access this tool.
After running the Disk Utility tool you must select your machine’s main drive.
After that, you should see a list of items.
From that list, select First Aid.
It usually appears right at the top.
Then click on Run when the operating system prompts you.
Both macOS and Windows utilities are comprehensive enough to offer users thorough scans of their hard drives.
They can also carry out repairs when they can.
Best new laptop setup tips: Organize Your Photos Properly
People are, people.
And because of that, they will continue to incessantly snap way with their smartphones for all times to come.
The more relevant topic is what do they do with their pictures?
What do we do with them?
Most of the time, nothing.
So spend a little time and search back through your entire photo history.
Access Apple Photos or Google Photos for that purpose.
Maybe you use some other photo service.
If so then use that.
Get rid of the clutter there.
And while doing that, rediscover your old favorites.
We live in fortunate times since photo services such as Google and Apple offer advanced tools which can actually help you unearth some of your best pictures.
They can do that for videos as well.
Most of all, they can show you the results automatically.
To check them out, make your way to the Google Assistant section.
For Apple Photos users, they have to go to the Memories section.
From there, take a look at what your photo master algorithms have quietly dug up for you.
Best new laptop setup tips: Your Router. Update it.
What is the gateway to any user’s home network?
It is the router.
And when you have exploits such as KRACK running around, it is probably a good idea to make sure that you protect your router as much as possible.
What’s the best way of doing that?
The best way is to always keep your router patched up with the manufacturer’s latest firmware.
So why don’t more online users do it?
Well, there is a good reason for it.
The process of patching up your router is unnecessarily complicated.
The first thing you have to do in order to protect your router is to first make your way to your router manufacturer’s support page.
You can usually find that on the official website.
In some cases, going to your internet service provider’s official website may also help.
Then you need to find the download link for the firm somewhere on the site.
Of course, we’re assuming here that the manufacturer or your internet service provider has actually released a firmware update since the first time you set up your router.
If they have, then you need to install them.
Most of the time, a manufacturer or the internet service provider do you a courtesy of providing all the instructions on the site.
And most of the time you have to log into your internet router’s settings menu.
From there, after jumping a lot of hoops, you have to apply the latest patch.
Let’s take an example.
Users can easily find relevant Linksys download from this link.
Netgear also provides downloads for their products via this link.
Similarly, it shouldn’t take you too much time to extend the principle to all firmwares of all routers.
In fact, using similar techniques you can find the updates for all of your Internet of Things devices along with smart home gear.
But we have to mention here that these updates (for your devices) are best handled by apps.
Because they are efficient at this task.
And you can accomplish the update process from your smartphone.
Best new laptop setup tips: Moving To The Cloud
This tip really depends on how long you have spent on planet earth you see.
Online users from before the age of cloud services and streaming services have thousands of files that they have piled up.
- Scanned photographs
- MP3 files
- Home movies
You should follow this tip when you have from ten minutes to ten hours of spare time.
This job’s duration really depends on the size of your old data haul.
Your objective is to simply go to your old files and then take them off your local hard drives.
And then send them to the cloud in order to have easy access to them.
To take an example, Google Play Music allows users to upload around 50,000 local files.
And it doesn’t charge you any money.
You can stream any of these files on all of your devices.
These are fantastic for photos and all other types of files on your hard drive.
Best new laptop setup tips: Wires. Untangle Them
Look behind your TV set or monitor and you are likely to find a huge mass of wires just hiding there.
And it may seem like this isn’t the most urgent maintenance work on earth on offer.
But organizing your cable system can speed up a lot of other tasks.
Tasks such as reinstalling drives.
And other troubleshooting activities.
Moreover, having an organized cable setup is great from the perspective of fire safety.
There are a lot of ways to manage your cable system.
Some of them involve a lot of creativity.
Or you can just spend some money, get some cheap stickers or sleeves and finish the job in no time.
If you do it the proper way, you may find that there are more than a few redundant cables in your cable setup.
Sometimes, you might be using duplicate cables without you knowing about it.
Best new laptop setup tips: Clean Up
We have already given you this tip at the top.
But cleaning your gadget can have a profound effect on how you use your device and your experience with it.
Granted, cleaning one’s gadgets is marginally more exciting than removing the stains from your toilet.
But remember, your pieces of hardware such as keyboards and smartphones aren’t exactly clean either.
You know something called bacteria?
It basically covers all your devices.
Hence, it is a good habit to spend some time freshening these piece of hardware up for your own health.
All you really need to get going is a decently small amount of common water, a microfiber cloth, and some compressed air.
You may also need some of that rubbing alcohol.
Apart from these, you won’t need any other kind of material.
Of course, it is always a good decision to check up on the exact details via some online tutorials for your specific hardware devices.
More specifically though, your computer keyboard.
It will require a ton of time to clean.
You will have to be rigorous.
Perhaps even more so than you are when cleaning that new iPhone X of yours.
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