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8 critical things to do immediately with a new PC

Brad Chacos | Jan. 3, 2017
Quick, while it's still pure and unsullied! Set up antivirus, clear out bloatware, and perform other tasks to keep your PC humming well into the future.

device manager update

You’ll spend some time staring at the Device Manager if you built your own PC and need to update your drivers manually.

But if you cobbled together a DIY rig or are rocking a gaming machine, it’s a good idea to see if more updated drivers are available for your hardware. Windows Update isn’t always on the bleeding edge of driver updates, and new drivers for, say, your motherboard or network card can provide beneficial feature and performance updates. Gamers will need to update their graphics card drivers fairly often to ensure optimal performance in the newest games.

PCWorld’s guide to updating your Windows drivers has all the info you need to proceed. It was written for Windows 8, but if you search for Device Manager in Windows 10, all of the same steps outlined in the article still apply. If a driver does somehow manage to bork your PC, fear not, as Windows automatically creates a System Restore Point when you install new device drivers.

And if true disaster strikes in some bizarre, extreme case, you’ve got the backup image you’ve created—right?

Optional: Get smart

Now that all the hard work is done, take time to learn all the nooks and crannies of Windows 10—there’s an awful lot of surprisingly powerful, downright helpful tools and tricks hidden in its depths. PCWorld has guides on the new features you’ll want to try out first, the best Windows 10 tips and tricks, a plethora of power tools for enthusiasts, and less flashy fresh features that eliminate everyday headaches. Bookmark them all and browse through them at some point. You’ll pick up a lot of helpful knowledge.

Here’s a new feature that’s so nice I have to mention it here: Now you can use the print menu to save things as PDFs. Finally.

Wrap-up

At this point you’re pretty much ready to roll. Sure, there are some other tasks you should perform, such as moving over files from your old PC and saving the product keys for Windows and your other installed software (again, Belarc Advisor rocks for that), but you can do all that at your leisure. For now, just bask in the glory of owning a new PC, secure in the knowledge that it’s fully optimized, protected against attack, and recoverable if disaster strikes.

Enjoy! And if you’re migrating over from a previous computer, be sure to check out PCWorld’s tips for breathing new life into an old PC and 10 shockingly cheap PC upgrades. Just because a machine’s being retired doesn’t mean it’s junk.

 

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