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How to set up on your brand-new Windows desktop or laptop computer

Congratulations, you’re the proud owner of a new Windows PC! Maybe you decided to upgrade your gaming rig, finally decided to ditch that old laptop you’ve been hauling around since college, or maybe you decided to freshen up with a clean install of the Windows 10 Creators Update. Regardless, you’ve got some work ahead of you.

Getting that PC into fighting shape, paring down all that bloatware, and getting your apps installed is always a bit of a pain, but we’re here to ease that transition. We’ve amassed a codex of everything you need to know, and need to do, to get your new PC up to speed.

Whether it’s a sleek new laptop, or a big bad gaming desktop with lights and sound effects, your PC is going to start asking you all sorts of questions when you first set it up. The first of which is one of the most important.

Setting up a Microsoft account — or not

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make when setting up a new PC a crucial one: local account, or Microsoft account? No doubt when you first started up your new PC, Windows 10 asked you to login and it’s now pestering you about setting up a Microsoft account.

Now, you might already have one. If you have an Xbox Live account, an Outlook email account, a OneDrive account, or even a Skype account, then you already have a Microsoft account. Should you use it to setup your new PC? Probably, but if you don’t it’s not going to make a huge difference in your Windows 10 experience.

Using a Microsoft account is a little more secure, because it allows you to receive notifications related to your PC. Plus, it’s just easier in the long run. If you forget your password, you can always reset it online or from a different device.

Microsoft Account

If you don’t want to use a Microsoft account, open your Start menu, and click Settings (the gear icon right above the power icon on the bottom left), then Accounts, and click “Sign in with a local account.” If you do want to use a Microsoft account, click the other option, “Sign in with a Microsoft account,” from the same menu.

Once you’re signed into your Microsoft account, if you opted to use one, tuning your security settings can be done by clicking “Manage my Microsoft account,” and then clicking “Security & Privacy” on the navigation bar of the web page that pops up.

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