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Purchased a new computer? Here are some things you should set up right away.

So you bought a new computer. Congratulations! That little box can have tons of potential. It can help with finances, learning, play some awesome games, streaming videos and much more.

A new PC isn’t like a new car where you can just turn a key and don't think about maintenance for the next 5000 miles. Performing just a few simple activities when you set it up can help it be safer, faster, and more reliable.

Here are some tips on setting up your new computer.

Install your favorite browser

Surfing the web in an unfamiliar browser is like trying to tango while you’re wearing someone else’s shoes. It can be done, but it ain’t pretty. Here are direct links for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera if Edge isn’t your thing.

Chrome has been our go-to pick for years, but a resurgent Opera usurped Google’s browser in recent testing. It’s the best browser you can use right now if you don’t mind breaking away from Chrome.

Clean your computer’s bloatware

You can skip this step if you built your own Windows PC. Straight Windows installations don’t come with excess junk cluttering up your hard drive. But boxed PCs from big-name PC makers are inevitably brimming with bloatware.

Fortunately, there’s PC Decrapifier, a straightforwardly named tool that scans your PC for known bloatware, then allows you to wipe it all away in one fell swoop. It’s far faster than hunting through the Control Panel, eradicating crapware piece by piece. Better yet, it’s free.

Set up your new PC’s security

Now its time to get your security ducks in a row and this is where VortexShield comes in.

Windows 10 ships with Windows Security and your laptop or desktop most likely includes a third-party antivirus trial. Windows Security is a so so solution that’s somewhat simple to use and decent at sniffing out malware, but not great with live protection with low test scores.

Vortexshield offers a top of the line Antivirus software picked by our certified technicians with live antivirus monitoring and automated response. Besides antivirus, you will also get Windows and 3rd party software patching and support in case of any issues with viruses.

All this at a low monthly price! Click to learn more:

Back up your new computer

After all that, your PC is finally ready to rock: It’s safe, up to date, scrubbed free of junk, and full of software fine-tuned to meet your specific needs.

Now that your PC’s in fighting shape it’s an ideal time to create a clone or image of your primary hard drive—the one Windows boots from—and save it to another hard drive. A clone or image creates a snapshot replica of your drive, which you can use to boot up Windows if your primary drive dies. Having an image of your system in its current updated, virus free, the customized state prevents you from having to do all that legwork over again if you ever have to reinstall Windows for any reason.

How to create a ‘clean slate’ backup image. This is a backup that you could restore to in the future if you need to go back to basics, to how the system was the day it was built. If you are a Puget Systems customer getting a system with Windows installed, we actually do this for you! Some other manufacturers do as well, but if you are handling the OS installation yourself then making a restore as soon as drivers and updates are in place is a really good idea. Here are instructions for making what is called a System Image backup in Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Download / install your other applications.

I try to keep basic programs to a minimum so we I don't over complicate things and slow down the computer. I always install the following programs on computers so that I can get it all loaded at the start rather than installing things over the course of weeks as I remember them… but whatever works for you is fine in that regard.

Here are some suggested program categories, if you aren’t sure what types of applications you will need: web browser (mentioned above), email client ( I like Outlook that comes with Microsoft Office), messaging client like Skype, Microsoft Office suite, Adobe PDF reader, Lastpass password manager.

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