Getting started with your new laptop or desktop

Need a helping hand getting your computer up and running? Here’s everything you need to know.

05 Oct 2020

So, you’ve got your new computer and you’re back home, ready to set it up, but you’re not familiar with the process. How do you connect to the internet? how do you download a browser? How can you move all your files across?

The good news is, you’ve done the hardest part already. There are so many great laptops and PCs out there that just choosing the best one for you can be quite a task. Once you’ve done that, the rest is a piece of cake.

Whether you’ve chosen a laptop or PC, here’s a quick how-to guide to get you through setup and straight to enjoying everything your computer can do:

Get online

Streaming movies, sending emails, sharing work with colleagues – all these things require an internet connection. Fortunately, if you’ve already got a connected broadband router at home, you’re most of the way there.

You can either use an ethernet cable to plug directly into the router from your laptop or desktop, or connect wirelessly over Wi-Fi. To do that, go to the ‘Network’ icon at the bottom right of your screen and click to view available networks. When you see the one you want to connect to, click on it and enter your password. It’s a good idea to save the network you’re most frequently connected to, so you don’t have to enter the password manually in future.


Move your files over

There are a number of ways to transfer your files over from your old computer. The best way to carry everything over seamlessly is with an external hard drive. These trusty devices work just like a USB stick, only bigger. In fact, they range from 500 GB all the way up to a gigantic 10 GB. So, you can just plug it into your old PC, move everything (yes, everything) onto it, then plug it into your new laptop or desktop and drag over everything you want.

If you’ve got a few files on there that you’re not going to look at or use all that often, like a movie or old projects, you can keep it on the external hard drive to avoid taking up space on your new computer.

Or, if you don’t have an external hard drive and don’t fancy repeated trips between each machine with a USB, cloud storage is the way to go. With Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive, you can store your data so it can be downloaded and accessed from any device, whether that’s your laptop or phone.

OneDrive offers up to 5 GB free storage while Google Drive gives you 15 GB to get you started. And if you want to move more files, or store more on a regular basis, you can upgrade your storage space for between £1.99 and £7.99 a month. Easy.

Once you’re signed up, you can upload all your files to the cloud, and they’ll be there ready to view and download as soon as you’re online and signed into your account on the new PC.


Choose your browser

Your new laptop/PC comes with the Microsoft Edge browser right from the get-go. It’s a great browser and it’s relatively easy to use, but there are other options out there.

If you want to download Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or any other browsing platform, open your current browser and search for the one you’re after. Click the link to download the program, and once it’s installed, add an icon on your desktop for quick access.


Keep it secure

It doesn’t matter what you’re using your new PC for. Whether it’s college studies, confidential work projects, or even just a bit of retail therapy, you’re trusting your PC to safely house your personal data and files. So, it’s definitely worth keeping your computer protected against viruses, malware and would-be intruders.

The best way to keep your info safe and your laptop working full steam is with an internet security and antivirus package. A good security system on your PC regularly scans to check for viruses, and encrypts your files to all but guarantee that nobody can view them, even if you are hacked. Some even offer protection for your Wi-Fi network, so you can make sure no unknown devices try to access your home internet, even when you’re not home.

At Currys, antivirus and internet security software come with a Product License Key instead of an installation disc. Once you’re connected to the internet on your new computer, just head to the website as directed on the card and enter the license key. There, you can create your account and download the program.

Antivirus and internet security subscriptions tend to have a one-year duration and can always be renewed to keep your digital world safe. And it’s not just for your new PC – some packages offer protection for as many as 10 devices at once, so you and the whole family can browse, stream, work and play safely on your laptops, phones and tablets.


Those are the few things you’ll need to do to set up your new computer. Of course, when you buy in store at Currys, our colleagues can do this all for you. You’ll be ready to get browsing as soon as you get home.    

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