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How to Set Up Your New Laptop in the Quickest Time Possible

How to Set Up Your New Laptop in the Quickest Time Possible
From Gizmodo - December 25, 2017

Congratulations on your brand new Windows or macOS laptopwe hope you enjoy it! Youll want to dive in and start using it as soon as you can, of course, but there are just a few housekeeping chores to take care of first. Heres how to get up and running as quickly as possible while ensuring your new computer stays secure and stable.

On your marks, get set...

Find some wi-fi, install some updates

Youre probably not going to get very far through the setup process before you get asked to connect to wi-fi, so have the details close to hand and enter them as soon as you can. Remember, even as you fill out other screens in the setup process, Windows and macOS can be downloading updates in the background.

As soon as you get the chance to install updates, take it. This might be the most time-consuming part of the process, depending on how many patches have been released since your machine left the factory, but if you put it off, this step is only going to interrupt something else.

Ideally, you want all the latest security patches installed and enabled before you do anything else, which is why you need to bite the bullet and choose to install every update when prompted, no matter how many there are nor how long it takes. Now might be a good time to go and do something else.

In the case of Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra, you should get asked to check for and download updates before you actually get into the OS itself. If you need to download updates later, head to Settings then Update & security and Windows Update in Windows, or the App Store in the macOS dock (youll also need to do this if your laptop reseller has done some of the setup for you).

Sign in with your Microsoft or Apple credentials

Slowly but surely, Apple and Microsoft have wised up to the fact that having one single login tied to a cloud account is actually a pretty sensible way of letting its users jump from device to device. That means, if youve got an existing Microsoft or Apple ID, a lot of your stuff comes along with you to your new laptop.

Windows asks you to sign in pretty much straight away after downloading the latest version of the OS. If you choose to proceed with a Microsoft account, all of your OneDrive data and your Microsoft email messages will start to be synced, for example. If youve been using your Microsoft ID on another machine, personalized touches like your desktop wallpaper get moved across, too.

Over on macOS, you will get asked to enter (or set up) an Apple ID before you can do anything on your new laptop. If youve been using your Apple ID and iCloud in the past, all your settings, photos, documents, and other data will gradually get pulled back down from your most recent backup and stored locally where appropriate.

To double-check that everythings working correctly, you can head to Settings then Accounts then Email & app accounts on Windows. On macOS, go to System Preferences from the Apple menu and choose iCloud.

Install the right protections

You really dont want to be wandering around on the web (or really doing anything) with your new laptop without some decent security software installed. Fortunately, this is another area where Apple and Microsoft both now have you covered.

Windows will deploy Windows Defender by default to keep unwanted visitors out of your new laptop, and you need to actively install a different antivirus program to disable it. Provided you use some common sense in terms of how you use your computer and what you run on it, Windows Defender should offer adequate protection, but if you want to pay for a third-party solution, there are many different packages to pick from.

Download your files from the cloud

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