How to Setup a Windows PC

Second Edition Available as of June 2021

About the Book

We spend so much of our digital lives using a computer but often don’t give enough attention to its setup and configuration. Which is a missed opportunity since doing it well can supercharge your productivity and safeguard your important data. The topics discussed in this book not only apply to a new computer, but can be used to verify that your current computer is optimized for productivity and security as well.

The steps I discuss include everything you need to know and do to get the best Windows user experience.

The book is written mostly as a step-by-step guide, covering the following steps:
Step 0: Pre-Setup
Step 1: Setup Computer and Create Administrator and Guest Accounts
Step 2: Make a System Image
Step 3: Install Antivirus Software
Step 4: Remove Crapware
Step 5: Update the Operating System (OS)
Step 6: Import Data Files from Your Old Computer
Step 7: Install Printers and Other Peripherals
Step 8: Install and Configure Browser(s) of Choice
Step 9: Install Your Preferred Software
Step 10: Perform a Full Security Scan and run CCleaner
Step 11: Create a System Backup
Step 12: Organize, Protect, Sync and Backup Your Data
Step 13: Working More Productively with Your Computer
Step 14: Protect Your Computer against Loss or Theft
Step 15: Use and Look for Problems
Step 16: Care for Your Laptop
Step 17: Prepare Your Old Computer
Appendix: Caring for and Getting the Most Out of Your Laptop Battery
Appendix: Put Your Computer to Use When Idle
Appendix: Troubleshooting Computer Problems and Issues

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External Links Found in the Book

Here is a listing of all the external links found in the book, in order of appearance (though note that I have removed duplicates).

  1. guide dedicated to this topic
  2. Dropbox
  3. OneDrive
  4. Google Drive
  5. FreeFileSync
  6. AOMEI Data Backupper
  7. Macrium Reflect
  8. Paragaon Backup & Recovery
  9. SuperDuper
  10. Carbon Copy Cloner
  11. what Time Machine can and cannot do
  12. Clone
  13. AMOEI help file
  14. bloatware
  15. crapware
  16. full reset of the OS using the Windows 10 Refresh Tool
  17. CCleaner
  18. Should I Remove It?
  19. Slimware SlimCleaner
  20. connect both computers via a network
  21. Laplin
  22. PCmover
  23. Everything
  24. plug and play
  25. Chrome
  26. Firefox
  27. Opera
  28. Belarc Advisor
  29. portable apps
  30. Ninite
  31. File Hippo
  32. Patch My PC Home Updater
  33. Google doc
  34. Firfox addons
  35. Chrome extensions
  36. Opera extensions
  37. Macrium
  38. Reflect
  39. SugarSync
  40. LibreOffice
  41. suite of tools
  42. Docs
  43. Sheets
  44. Slides
  45. Foxit Reader
  46. SumatraPDF
  47. PDFCreator
  48. PDFill Tools
  49. Notepad++
  50. qBittorent
  51. Paint.NET
  52. GIMP
  53. IrfanView
  54. FastStone Photo Resizer
  55. XnView
  56. Sothink Logo Maker
  57. The Graphics Creator
  58. VLC
  59. Plex Media Server
  60. MediaMonkey
  61. MiniLyrics
  62. Mp3tag
  63. Evernote
  64. PicPick
  65. ShareX
  66. ActivePresenter
  67. oCam
  68. Screencast-o-Matic
  69. Avast
  70. AVG
  71. ClamWin Portable
  72. MalwareBytes
  73. Spybot
  74. SpywareBlaster
  75. SuperAntiSpyware
  76. Glary Utilities
  77. KeePass
  78. Bitwarden
  79. LastPass
  80. 1Password
  81. Dashlane
  82. VeraCrypt
  83. Cryptomator
  84. Prey
  85. Safekeys
  86. Line
  87. Whatsapp
  88. 7-Zip
  89. Launchy
  90. F.lux
  91. KeyTweak
  92. SharpKeys
  93. Auslogics Duplicate Finder
  94. CloneSpy
  95. dupeGuru
  96. Duplicate File Finder
  97. TeraCopy
  98. Ditto
  99. Recuva
  100. Pandora Recovery
  101. BlueGriffon
  102. XAMPP
  103. guide to everything you could possibly want to know about backing up and syncing your data
  104. tutorial on using Libraries
  105. encryption
  106. book on online privacy
  107. Backblaze
  108. Carbonite
  109. Flickr
  110. Smugmug
  111. Photobucket
  112. Google Photos
  113. Account Settings page
  114. Settings
  115. Google Takeout
  116. Gunnar glasses
  117. laptop stand
  118. wireless mouse
  119. external keyboard
  120. use two fingers to scroll
  121. how to make use of shortcuts
  122. Why You Should Be Using an App Launcher (and How to Make It Do More Than Launch Apps)
  123. laptop security cable and lock
  124. According to researchers (tactics for protecting your stuff)
  125. book on computer and online privacy
  126. What Every Traveler and Digital Nomad Needs to Know about Passwords
  127. BIOS
  128. Do I Really Need To Encrypt Every File on My Computer?
  129. Sensitive Number Finder
  130. Sensitive Data Finder
  131. Wise Folder Hider
  132. Windows Registry
  133. recover files you accidentally delete
  134. WipeFile
  135. Free File Wiper
  136. Eraser
  137. WipeDisk
  138. good Samaritan
  139. ReturnMe
  140. BoomerangIt
  141. solid state drive
  142. Keyboards and Trackpads
  143. Hard Drives and CD/DVD Drives
  144. Fixing a Screen
  145. Upgrading RAM
  146. ideas for a broken laptop
  147. make the best of an old computer
  148. sell a used computer or smartphone
  149. instructions for uninstalling your product key
  150. good tutorials for erasing a hard drive
  151. Darik’s Boot And Nuke (DBAN)
  152. CBL Data Shredder
  153. MHDD
  154. Secure Wipe
  155. Active@ KillDisk
  156. HDShredder
  157. Reconnect partnership with Dell
  158. Computer Aid International
  159. Donation Town
  160. EPA’s Electronics Donation and Recycling site
  161. Battery Optimizer
  162. Battery Care
  163. BatteryBar
  164. know your laptop’s temperature
  165. SpeedFan
  166. Core Temp
  167. Real Temp
  168. the two-week rule of thumb
  169. HP recommends
  170. uninterruptible power supply
  171. fairly simple
  172. Battery University
  173. Lenovo, Sony and Samsung have built-in settings to prevent full charging of the battery
  174. shouldn’t regularly recharge your battery to 100% either
  175. World Community Grid
  176. Folding@Home
  177. more than a dozen ways to donate your unused computer resources
  178. BOINC
  179. a basic guide to troubleshooting common Windows PC problems
  180. five best computer diagnostic tools
  181. The Ultimate Backup Guide: Saving, Syncing and Sharing Your Digital Life
  182. e-Reading: Getting the Most Out of Your Kindle or Other e-Book Reader
  183. How to Learn a Foreign Language: A Practical Guide with Tips and Resources
  184. Protecting Your Privacy: A Guide to Keeping Prying Eyes from Your Computer and Online Activities
  185. Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail: A Complete Guide
  186. MBA Notes: Course Notes from a Top MBA Program
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