Laptop sales totaled over $100 billion in 2017, with over 160 million units being shipped out around the world. You might be getting a brand new laptop soon, or you might find that you need to reconfigure the one you already have (the tips we’re going over today work for both situations).
Either way, having a laptop that’s customized to your daily use is a necessity — especially if you spend your days on the screen. But what should you do when you get a new laptop, and how can you even go about customizing it to suit your needs?
Luckily, we’re here to help out. Read on to learn everything you need to know about creating the perfect laptop experience.
- Make Sure Everything Is Up-To-Date
For the best laptop performance, it’s important to get your system updates out of the way first thing. Laptops almost never come out of the box perfectly updated, and you’re likely going to be asked to update anyway.
You can also opt to have these updates happen when you’re not active. Just make sure you don’t shut your laptop down fully when it’s supposed to update.
- Remove Unnecessary Things
Also known as, “bloatware,” unnecessary software and apps can take up a lot of room on your laptop, so it’s important to ensure its removal before you even start downloading your own items.
A lot of vendors place these items in an effort to make things “easier” for you, but a lot of the time none of it gets used. Some vendors are getting better about not placing unnecessary software, but it’s rare to get a device in which you won’t delete anything.
Whether it’s an Intel Evo or a MacBook Pro, you’re going to find something unnecessary. Go through and delete it all while remembering that if you do ever need it, you can always redownload it.
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- How’s the Antivirus?
These days, a lot of systems come with security software downloaded onto the machine, but is it always enough?
If you can, you should always opt for a third-party security system. These are going to not only protect you from malware and viruses, but they’re also going to come with firewalls, antispam tools, and even parental controls if you need them. You can even make use of a VPN for extra protection.
Different types of laptops are going to require different protection, though, so you might find that you don’t even need to download extra security for your device. Pre-installed security software has come a long way, so take some time to see what works for you.
- Set Up Recovery
If something happens to your tech, you want to make sure you’re covered. Instead of reinstalling your software through the pre-installed recovery tool, just keep a backup of everything on your device. You can do this by creating a recovery drive, and it’s something that’s going to make your life a lot easier if you ever need it.
Recovery drives are going to be used for Windows, though. If you have a Mac, it’s going to be called a recovery partition or RecoveryOS.
- Transfer Files
Now that you’ve gotten everything up and running, it’s time to get your files transferred over. If you’re running Windows 10, Microsoft recommends using LapLink’s PCmover Express, but if you’re on a Mac, then the Migration Assistant is going to make this step a breeze.
The easiest thing to do, though, is to have everything backed up onto a cloud-based storage system so that all you have to do is log in. Programs like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or even Google Drive are great programs to take advantage of, and most of them are free up to a certain size. They can all be run across any operating system as well.
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- Download Your Browser
While everyone has their opinion on browser choices, almost 70 percent of the market opts for Google Chrome. You can take advantage of all the extensions it has to offer, and it’s as simple as logging into your Google account to ensure everything is in the right place.
Firefox is still a great option too, though, and beats out Chrome in a few ways, though a lot of people would disagree. Windows Edge has proved itself as an up-and-comer in the market, but, like Safari, there are few users who reach for those browsers over the others.
- Optimize Your Battery
The best thing about laptops today is that they all come with customizable battery options, meaning battery life honestly depends on the user. There are plenty of options to optimize your device, though.
A few simple fixes can extend your battery life by hours, meaning more mobility and less time spent by the outlet whenever you’re on the go.
The biggest thing you can do is change the display brightness. Keeping your screen at its maximum brightness is not only potentially bad for your eyes, but it’s one of the biggest causes of battery drain on any device. Besides that, turning to Energy Saver on your Mac or exploring other battery options on your PC is the best way to get the most out of your charges.
- Do You Use the Cloud?
Yes, we’ve already touched on cloud storage, but do you have a way to automatically back up your files to the cloud? While setting this up can make switching devices easier, it can also make working across multiple devices a breeze. Many of these storage systems come with apps, so you really can access your files anywhere, anytime you need them.
Whether you use it as an added security measure or a way to avoid carrying around flash drives, ensuring you have a cloud storage system in your corner is going to put you at an advantage.
The best part is, if you need extra storage, it’s pretty cheap to get.
- Customize Your Computer
Finally, the time has come to customize your computer. There are a lot of different options for this step and it can get overwhelming, but there are also a lot of resources you can turn to to help you get set up.
The first step a lot of people turn to is switching from light to dark mode and also changing up their preferred accent color. Both Mac and Windows make this particularly easy to do, and there are also a lot of different options you can choose from.
There are undoubtedly more desktop customization options on Mac than there are on Windows, but there are still ways to make each system your own — especially when deciding on a particular theme. Also, don’t forget to change your desktop background and even your lock screen if that’s a feature you use.
If you choose to use the AI system that your device comes with (Cortana, Siri, etc.), then now is also the time for you to download and set the software up. If you like specific keyboard shortcuts, then go to your settings and switch those around along with anything else you’d like to make your own.
Download your favorite apps, configure your dock or desktop to look exactly the way you want it, and also be sure to place your favorite apps in an easy-to-access location.
If you do any gaming on your laptop, or you make use of programs like the Adobe Suite, this is also a great time to get them loaded onto your device. Waiting until you need them isn’t a great idea, and it’s only going to be a hassle to get everything downloaded when you’re trying to work or you’re meeting up with friends online.
- Make Use of Registration
While you’re not guaranteed great support, you can (and should) take advantage of registering your laptop and any other accessories you purchase for it. Also keeping your receipts, or at least the transaction date, in mind can also help.
One thing to note is that registering can sometimes place your email on mailing lists, so be sure to uncheck that option if you’re not interested.
Ready to Get Started With Your Brand New Laptop?
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of setting up your brand new laptop, it’s time for you to get started. Be careful to not rush through the process if you can help it. Taking your time while setting up new devices is the best way to ensure you’re going to get the most out of it, and that everything works exactly how you need it to.
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