You’ve finally decided to shell out for that PC that you’ve had your eye on. Your old one was just too slow, too bulky, and too outdated to do what you wanted and needed it to do, and now you have a new machine that’s virtually guaranteed to increase your productivity.
Once you get the computer out of the box, and navigate the endless array of cords, cables and connections, you probably think that you’re ready to go.
And while you could just start working with it right away, you might want to take a few moments to learn about your new machine and take some precautions to keep it running like new for as long as possible.
You’ve probably invested a significant amount of cash into your machine – and you don’t want to be looking for a replacement in a few months.
Install Antivirus and Security Software
Chances are, when you buy a new computer, you don’t want it infected with viruses and malware within a few hours of taking it out of the box (or ever, really.)
Before you do anything, install virus protection or update the software that came pre-installed. Set the antivirus program to automatically scan and update whenever you log on, and personalize any other reports or features the program offers.
You may also want to set up a secure password for accessing the computer, or install a password manager to securely store all of your login information.
Install PC Checkup Software
While your new computer will run efficiently right out of the box, as time goes by, malware, temporary and fragmented files and disk errors can slow down your computer’s performance. Installing PC checkup software when your computer is new will keep it running efficiently and prevent problems from occurring in the first place. The best PC checkup programs will automatically run in the background and regularly defrag your files, erase temporary internet files and correct registry errors.
Uninstall Unnecessary Software
When you purchase a new computer, you’ll choose the type of software you want on the new machine. However, in addition to those selections, you’ll probably find a number of extras that come pre-installed on your new machine.
These might be trial versions of software that you’ll never use, services that you don’t want, games and other software that might be appealing to some people, but are only going to slow down your machine.
Before you start deleting programs left and right, take a few minutes to see what has come pre-installed to be sure it’s not something you want or will use, and then uninstall the ones you don’t want.
You can also download a free uninstaller that will safely remove the programs that are bloating your machine.
You’ll also want to avoid installing unnecessary software when you’re setting up your computer. For example, when you install your printer drivers using the CD that comes with the printer, you’ll most likely be given the opportunity to add additional features, such as photo editing software.
Unless you plan to use those features, deselect them from the setup process to avoid clogging your machine.
Install a Backup Plan
Even the most securely configured computers can have problems sometimes and to prevent data loss in the event things go horribly wrong, you’ll need a secure backup plan.
You can install a program that will automatically backup your data in a secure of-site location, which is considered by many to be the most effective option, especially when you can access your data from anywhere via the internet, or you can use a second or external hard drive to manually back up your files.
In either case, keeping extra copies of all of your documents, photos and music will prevent headaches in the event of data loss.
Setting up your new computer can be fun – choosing your new background themes, reorganizing everything into easy-to-locate places and, perhaps best of all, enjoying the speed and efficiency of a new machine.
Taking some time to protect and enhance your computer when it’s new will keep it that way for a longer time – and help you avoid the complications that come with an inefficient computer.
About the Author: Jennifer Trading is a computer salesperson and personal computing expert. She has helped hundreds of customers select and set up their new computers, and loves hearing from happy customers who appreciate her insight and guidance. Jennifer recommends installing a program like http://www.paretologic.com/products/pchealthadvisor when you purchase a new computer.