Any computer expert will tell you that there are a number of things you will need to do upon buying your brand new laptop. Failure to follow the initial steps can occasionally result in disaster, though usually the ill effects amount to little more than a loss of peak performance and consistency early in the laptop's life.
First of all, your initial steps depend largely on what OS your laptop runs on. Most people purchase Windows computers, and the rest of this article is written for them. If you are running Linux, then you should already know what to do; if you're running a Mac OS, then all you have to do is turn the macbook on.
For Windows users, the first thing you need to do is delete the junk. Brand new Windows computers come preloaded with apps that mostly do nothing more than slow down your computer. These “teaser” apps are there to try and get you to purchase full versions of the software, bilking you out of even more money on your machine. While I would never recommend leaving bloatware on a system, there are some situations where it may be better to just go with on it on a desktop machine. When it comes to a laptop, you just cannot afford to run worthless programs in the background while you're using your laptop. It just slows down your efficiency too much. Delete these unnecessary apps first thing.
Install Google Pack to ensure you have good free antivirus software. While you can opt to download anti-virus software directly from the makers, such as AVG Free or Microsoft's Security Essentials (both free), installing Spyware Doctor through Google just makes things a lot easier. Plus the Google Pack includes Chrome, Skype, Adobe Reader, and other essentials that will make using your laptop easier.
Run Windows Update. In Windows 7. Open the Windows Control Panel and select Windows Update. Click “Check for Updates”, and wait for your laptop to present you with all the updates to Windows that have come about since you first bought your laptop. It is amazing to see how even a brand new computer already has an out-of-date operating system by the time you first boot it up.
There are a few other things you might want to do depending on your style of laptop use. Some people like to alter the bios to speed up boot time, or modify out-of-the-box Windows settings like showing hidden files and folders. Yet, the average user doesn't need to worry about this kind of thing. You may want to play around in the power menu of the Control Panel to customize your brightness setting and sleep after time. If you never use your laptop outdoors, cutting your brightness will significantly increase battery life.
The last thing to keep in mind is to back up any important data. If your data only exists in one place, then you cannot trust that it'll always be there. Consider using an external hard drive to back up at the end of every day you use your laptop, and try keeping your external drive in a separate room from where you keep your laptop. It sounds like a lot of extra work, but you'll be glad you did it if the worst ever happens.