Tips for setting up a new PC, Apple Mac or laptop

Buying a new PC or Apple Mac is a significant investment of both time and money, so it’s important to get off to the right start.

It’s Christmas morning: as you peek through the festive wrapping of your final present you see something that looks suspiciously like a new laptop.

After a brief, awed inspection of your sleek new machine, you whizz excitedly through the initial setup stages and prepare to launch into a full exploration of what it can do.
But, after that, things get a bit more complicated. You’re asked to choose your wireless network (presuming you have one); to activate trial versions of your antivirus software and Microsoft Office applications; and to provide the location for your future data backups.

At this point, many succumb to the temptation of putting these details off until later. Others just stare at the multitude of unanswerables, hesitant to select ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in fear of making a mistake.

Properly setting up a new PC or laptop is more important than you might think. Quick fixes in the beginning could cause issues with your software and hardware later on.
The same applies to Apple Mac. Although some may argue that they are relatively ready for immediate use, Macs can be difficult to figure out if you are accustomed to Windows or Linux operating systems. Previously simple tasks may now seem like a minefield to the new Mac user. Old devices,like printers, may no longer be compatible.

For most of us, the last thing we want to spend Christmas doing is stressing about a PC problem. Of course, if you’re naturally gifted with technology or just enjoy the challenge, you may well be spotted happily tinkering away and making things work. And we say, ‘hats off to you!’ But what if you’re not quite so confident with your new device?
Here are a couple of points to get you started:

• [When dealing with Microsoft Windows] you must activate your computer’s antivirus software. New machines are sold complete with antivirus trials, but these will require a yearly subscription payment for protection after the trial has expired. Currently, viruses for Apple have been unsuccessful and Macs run without virus protection. However, it is still important to always practice safe surfing.
• Download and install the latest updates for your operating system to ensure up- to-date security and optimum usability. Your computer or Mac might be new to you, but there will have been plenty of updates since its manufacture.

For more information, why not speak to your local IT experts at Nexus. We’d love to help set up your computer this Christmas, or personalise a device so it’s ready to use – straight out of the box. Not only will we get things working but we can talk you through it too, so you’ll know what to do if something goes wrong.


Frank Wood

I’ also recommend getting a good Mac OS manual. It will be worth every penny you’ve spent on it.

I must admit that I didn’t do much to set up and never bothered about wireless as I try to keep things simple with laptops and computers because of bitter experience!


Hi Frank,

You’re right, manuals are always a useful thing to have to help you get to know your machine.

But you have also hit the nail on the head there – setting up can be tedious, especially if you just want it to do simple things. Although it may seem like the easiest route to skip past features you don’t think you’ll need, the conundrum is if you ever want your PC/Laptop/Mac to do more than you enabled upon set up, you will have to go looking for programs and applications before you’re able to get things done. Often, users will not know where to start!

That’s why it’s always good to get your equipment set up properly first time, and we love helping people to learn about their new purchase for more efficient and confident future use! 🙂


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