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what to do first when you get a new laptop for Christmas

Think of your new Christmas laptop as a fresh start - a chance to make your digital life as efficient and secure as possible. You're not just a gadget owner; you're part of a network of informed tech users. First, please make sure your data's safety by setting up password protection and installing reliable security software. Regular updates are also key to keeping your laptop at its best. Beyond safety, customizing your laptop can make it truly feel like yours. Turn off any features you find bothersome, tailor your desktop to your taste, and fine-tune performance settings to maximize your laptop's potential. 

Five Quick First Steps:

  1. Inspect your new laptop for damage, especially examine things like the screen for bad pixels and listen to the fan for weird noises.
  2. Employ a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN like Surfshark, is a helpful tool for protecting your online activities by encrypting your online activities from your ISP and anyone snooping on shared WiFi
  3. Install Adblockers to prevent pages with too many or outdated ad-serving platforms from slowing down your PC.
  4. Update all of your outdated software, including ones you may have installed on your old laptop, but let the subscription lapse. Outdated malware blockers can be an open door for hackers ... and you don't want to risk that!
  5. Don't forget to set biometrics such as Windows Hello and fingerprint sensors alongside the classic password to keep your new laptop data safe and secure!

Now, let's take a deeper look!

Unboxing and Physical Inspection

When you get a new laptop, typically, the first thing you do is open the box and inspect it physically. This step is significant because it helps to confirm that your new gadget is in pristine condition, as expected. Look out for any loose elements or parts that might have been jarred loose during transportation. It's also necessary to ensure that all the accessories that come with it, like the charger and other extras, are there and aren't damaged. Also, inspect the outer part of the laptop for any visible damage like scratches, dents, or scuffed areas. Don't forget to check the screen for any dead pixels or irregularities in the display. As a tech enthusiast, you should expect your new laptop to meet the highest standards.

Setting Up Your Operating System

For the purposes of this post, we're going to focus on those of you who got a new Windows PC. After a thorough inspection of your new laptop, the next step is to turn it on and begin configuring your operating system. It's vital to make sure it's not only tailored to your needs but also secure. Here are some steps to safeguard your digital activities:

  • Create a new, unique password: This keeps your files off-limits to unauthorized users and using this moment to update your system passwords means that even if someone finds your old one, that you a bit more secure.
  • Consider encrypting your hard drive or a section of it for personal files: This step offers another level of security.
  • Stay updated with your security software: Updates help maintain optimal protection.

In addition, consider the following:

These measures are more than setting up your operating system; they fortify your online presence.

Installing Essential Software

After configuring your laptop's new operating system, the next step involves setting up the vital software. The right selection of software, ranging from security measures to efficiency-boosting tools, can significantly improve your interaction with the device. We're here to help you through the process of finding the required programs and installing them.

Depending on your needs, this could include Adobe Creative Suite, Office 365, Steam, etc.

Establishing Internet and Network Connections

Once you've taken the preliminary steps to protect your new laptop, it's time to connect it to the internet and set up your network preferences. depending on how old your previous laptop is, you may find that certain security protocols that your router offers are now compatible with your new laptop. This is important to check so you can maintain a fast and securiy experience.

Staying connected is vital, but your safety should always be the top priority. Security should be at the forefront of your mind when setting up your internet and network connections. Your actions online do not only affect you but can also have implications for the wider online community. Practice responsible online behavior.

Implementing Security Measures

Let's address the topic of security for your new laptop. Your initial step should be configuring strong passwords, your primary defense against unauthorized access. Installing trustworthy antivirus software and enabling firewall settings might be beneficial. These additional measures provide extra protection against any unwanted breaches.

Installing Antivirus Software

Remember to consider safeguarding your new laptop with good antivirus software. Considering the increasing cyber-attack threat, antivirus software is a vital shield against viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware. It's not just about installing the software but also keeping it updated to outsmart the cunning tactics of hackers who often dupe users into downloading harmful content from seemingly innocent websites. While your new laptop might have some built-in security features, they shouldn't be your only defense. A robust antivirus software bolsters your cyber protection. Hard drive encryption is also worth considering, as it makes your files harder for unauthorized individuals to access.

Activating Firewall Settings

With antivirus software in place, the next step is turning on your laptop's firewall settings. This move ups your protection game, offering an added shield against viruses, malware, and assorted online threats.

I want to point out that your firewall complements your antivirus software. It's part of a holistic approach to keeping your laptop safe. This helps make your computer more resistant to potential data breaches, safeguarding your information.

Personalizing Your Laptop Experience

After getting your new laptop, it's time to make it truly yours. Customizing your laptop not only reflects your personal style but also increases your comfort and productivity. You can start with setting a unique, robust password. This is your first line of defense and an important part of claiming your laptop. Encrypt your hard drive to add a personal touch that also serves as a protective measure against unwarranted access to your files. Install and maintain updated security software that you trust. Use a VPN for safer browsing, especially when you're connected to public Wi-Fi networks. Keep in mind, your laptop is a personal tool - it's worth the effort to tailor it to your preferences and requirements. Enjoy the thrill of creating a tech experience that's uniquely yours!


So, you're the proud new owner of a laptop this Christmas. It's not just a toy, but a tool that needs a little setup to work its best. You'll want to check it over, get the operating system up and running, install any necessary software, connect to the internet, ensure you've got top-notch security, and then make it feel like your own. This isn't just about having fun with your new device, it's about safeguarding it and making sure it runs at peak efficiency. Stay informed, tech-savvy, and keep your laptop safe. A laptop that's well cared for is one that will last. So, go on, get the most from your new tech.