Windows 10 is now more than five years old, and undoubtedly dominates the PC landscape in terms of popularity. However, it’s also an increasingly complex operating system, with a whole host of customisation options.
To make sense of it all, here are four things to do when you turn on a Windows 10 PC for the first time. This also applies to those of you who have upgraded your existing devices to Microsoft’s latest software.
1. Check your virus protection
We’re all fighting another type of virus right now, but that’s no excuse to leave your PC unprotected.
On your new device (or newly upgraded one), head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security. In the summary page, make sure there’s ‘No actions needed’ under ‘Virus & threat protection’. If this isn’t the case, click it to take the necessary steps.
By default, Windows 10 uses Windows Defender to protect you from viruses and other threats. For alternatives, check out our round-up of the best antivirus software.
2. Check mobile broadband settings
On Windows 10, you are unable to turn off automatic updates.There are also a growing number of PCs and laptops devices that support 4G (and even 5G).
To avoid an unfortunate mix, where you use all your monthly allowance on a software update, head to Settings > Network & Internet > Data usage. From here, you can set a data limit and prevent background data options.
On some PCs, more options can be found under Cellular > Advanced options.
3. Create a recovery drive
It’s highly likely that you didn’t buy a physical copy of Windows 10 for your new device. Most new laptops come with it already installed, while the vast majority of PC software is upgraded digitally.
That’s great for convenience, but becomes a problem if you need to reset your device for whatever reason. This will mean you lose all your settings, so it’s a good idea to create a recovery.
For this to work, you’ll need to have a flash storage device with at least 8GB of space free. In the search bar next to the Start Menu, type ‘Create a recovery drive’ and select the first option. You’ll need to allow this app to make the necessary changes.
In the wizard that appears, ensure ‘Back up system files to the recovery drive’ is selected and follow the instructions.
4. Choose virtual desktop settings
The virtual desktop is another new feature introduced in Windows 10, and allows you to have multiple windows running simultaneously without things getting cluttered. Make sure you customise it to your liking.
Head to Settings > System > Multi-tasking. Under the ‘Virtual desktops’ sub-heading, you’ll see two drop down boxes. Here, you can choose which open apps are visible on the taskbar and what you see when pressing Alt+Tab
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