It’s truly a joyful experience to unwrap your new laptop. But there are things to be done before you start using it. These steps will make sure your beloved computer gives you its maximum performance, something you’ve paid your hard-earned money for.
This article focuses more on minimalist approach – using basic OS functions as alternatives to additional third-party software. In English, not loading it with excessive software whenever you have a choice!
If you’re reading this post before using your system for the first time, Congratulations! You’re damn lucky. I had to learn about this ritual the hard way. For the other not-so-damn-lucky people like me, if you think your computer has been performing much slower than the way it used to, it’s probably a good idea to make a fresh install of Windows. For that, follow this article.
Step 1: Juice-up!
All laptops nowadays ship with a Li-ion battery. It takes a few charge-discharge cycles for it until the battery starts giving you its maximum performance. So the very first thing to be done in case of laptops right after you unwrap them is to fully charge the battery. You probably have got an instruction page with the battery telling you the same thing, but in the rush of joy we often read it after we have done updating our Facebook status.
Hold your horses, and let it charge fully. It will pay.
Step 2: De-crapify!
Generally, a system comes pre-loaded with a heavy lot of software apart from what is actually essential for it to run. The makers of these software pay the manufacturer to include them in your computer. Although they may appear harmless, they consume resources by running in the background while you don’t need them.
So, you better de-crapify your system.
Well, there is an easy way of doing this, and there’s a better way.
- Easy one is to simply use Add/Remove Programs from Control Panel & get rid of these performance hogs. This is quicker – simply spot the bloatware and mercilessly uninstall it.
However, some traces of these applications still remain in the corners of your PC. Also, identifying them is a tougher task than you’d imagine.
- If you’re a perfectionist, prefer the better way — a clean, custom install of Windows. This takes more time and efforts, but it ensures you a great performance boost. Additionally, it will give you an option to make your own partitions before you store any data on it.
Read this article to learn how to make a custom install of Windows your system in a proper way.
Step 3: Find an Antivirus Program
Do it before downloading anything else on the system. (Alright, maybe after downloading Chrome or Firefox. But nothing else. 😛 )
Do not install any other software before you get its virus definitions up-to-date. This will make sure that a random virus doesn’t screw things up for you.
Step 4: Updating the Drivers
Manufacturers of software keep revising their product for performance & to remove any existing bugs and security loopholes. It’s always better to have an updated system to make sure it’s secured against threats and performing well.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Run Windows Update. Install all important updates.
- Keep checking the webpage of your laptop manufacturer for driver and BIOS updates.
Updated drivers contain improved performance, several bug fixes, added features etc.
A Word of Caution: When updating BIOS, make sure you select your model properly. Do not download any driver or BIOS updates from a website other than official website of your device manufacturer.
Step 5: Disable Startup Programs & Services
This step will make your computer boot faster by disabling unnecessary programs that load whenever you boot your system.
- It is very easy to do if you’re using Windows 8 — simply open task manager, click on ‘Startup’ tab, and disable the unnecessary programs that make your boot slower. You can also see their impact on boot time there.
- If you are on Windows 7 or earlier versions:
1. Press Windows key + r to open Run. Write msconfig and press enter.
2. Deselect all unnecessary programs (like software update services etc.), which you don’t want to run in the background.
(A simple rule of thumb: If you have doubt about any process, just leave it checked. Be extra careful while doing this, because some of these programs might be really essential. You don’t want to end up disabling antivirus or its touch-pad driver. Additionally, you can hide all Microsoft processes from the list, to be safe. )