Setting up a new PC

PC World’s annual advice on setting up a new PC.

• PC World > “How to set up your new computer” by Brad Chacos, Senior Editor (Dec 25, 2020)

… a new PC isn’t like a new car; you can’t just turn a key and put the pedal to the metal. Okay, maybe you can—but you shouldn’t. Performing just a few simple activities when you first fire it up can help it be safer, faster, and better poised for the future. Here’s how to set up a new laptop or desktop computer the right way, step by step.


  • Run Windows Update on your new PC
  • Install your favorite browser
  • Set up your new PC’s security
  • Clean your computer’s bloatware
  • Fill your new computer with software
  • Back up your new computer
  • Optional: Update your new PC’s drivers
  • Optional: Learn about your new computer
  • Wrap-up