When you buy a brand new laptop or desktop computer you may be tempted to think you can simply turn it on and start using it.
Of course, technically that’s true, but generally it’s not wise.
You will get the best experience if you set it up properly, or have it set up for you, right from the start.
When I do a new computer setup it takes several hours. I charge a flat rate of $99 for the basics.
The store you buy it from will likely offer a setup service too, however you should get a clear written report of what it will entail as each service may differ.
This is what I include:
Run all windows updates
There will have been new updates to the operating system, and new security updates, during the time that your computer left the factory and came into your hands.
Update hardware if needed
I look for any updated drivers for all the hardware in your computer, and run those updates. This is less likely in a brand new computer, more likely if you buy a used computer.
Remove all bloatware
Most PC vendors put lots of third-party, pre-loaded software on your computer. From 30-day trials of antivirus software, to casual games that you may not want to play, all of this bloatware sucks up system resources.
Install good antivirus software
At present writing I set up the built in Windows Defender plus the latest version of Malwarebytes. This comes with a 14 day trial of the Premium version with ransomware protection, among other features. This gives a user enough time to do some research or ask questions and decide if the Premium version is worth it to them.
Set up user accounts
Many people have accumulated several accounts, including but not limited to:
Most people set up Social Media accounts themselves, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on.
Set up email
I can set up your email in the built in Windows 10 mail app, or your preferred email client.
Setting up an Office program
If you purchased a copy of Microsoft Office I will set that up
If you simply want to use a free, no bells and whistles, Office suite I recommend LibreOffice, which I can download and install
Start Menu setup
I set up the Windows 10 Start menu so that it is not cluttered and has shortcuts to your most used programs.
Set up Web Browsers
I add a second Web browser, usually Google Chrome unless I get a specific request for a different browser such as Firefox. I tweak the settings in Edge and in Chrome to ensure it is set up efficiently. I usually set the home page to www.google.ca. I can also import saved bookmarks if you choose, though some people like a fresh start.
Advice about your Programs
You may have programs that you have always relied on on your old PC, but we aware that if it has been some time since you purchased a new computer, and if the programs you are used to using are old and have never been replaced with updated versions, you may find many simply don’t work on your new updated Windows 10 PC.
I can advise which ones will not work, and which ones you may need to replace (sometimes at a cost) with newer versions.
If you have external devices; printer, scanner, webcam etc I will ask for the model numbers and locate and download set up software for those. You can use this downloaded software to set up those external devices when you get your computer back*
If you request it I will transfer files; Documents, Downloads, Photos, Music and Videos from your previous computer to your new one.
I pick up your new computer (also your old one if necessary) and I charge for the work that I can do in my office before I return it to you.
*If you need extended help once you have it returned to you - setting up iTunes for example, or your Social Media Accounts, or installing Printers and the like, we can negotiate an added expense.
At your request I will also properly wipe the hard drive of your old computer so that it can be safely disposed of at a designated electronics recycling depot. If this step is not done before recycling you run the risk of theft of data, and passwords, or even identity theft if your old computer falls into the wrong hands.
This step is an extra cost as it takes some time but I always recommend it for your protection.