Here are a few steps you should follow before doing anything else.

Check your hardware

Before you do anything else, make sure that all the hardware you have installed is actually detected by Windows. Press the Windows key on your keyboard first, then tap About. Click the “About your PC” link that appears in the Start menu.

You will see the name of the PC, the processor model and the speed, the amount of RAM detected by the system. RAM is especially important here: make sure that the total value matches what you have installed. If this is not the case, you may have a defective RAM DIMM, or one of them may not be inserted correctly. Shut down the PC and check the RAM on the motherboard.

Next, press the Windows key and type “This PC,” and then click the first result. Here is a list of all your account folders and installed drives on your computer. Make sure that the number of drives and their amount of storage is the same as you expected.

To search for other hardware components such as the video card or the USB front panel, press the Windows key and type Device Manager. Then click the first result. This window contains a nested list of all the components installed on your computer, including all the little things on your motherboard that you probably haven’t even thought about. If you’re looking for something specific, just check under the relevant label. For example, graphics cards are listed under “Display Adapters.

If something is connected but not recognized or installed with an appropriate driver, it is displayed with a yellow icon and is sometimes referred to as an “Unknown device. You will need to locate a driver for it.

Keep Windows Updated

Yes, updating Windows is time consuming and boring. It’s also one of the most important components for keeping your computer running smoothly. And because Microsoft updates the operating system more often than Windows ISO or the Media Creation Tool, you probably need some updates right away.

Fortunately, this is a really simple process. Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type “updates,” and then click the first result in the Start menu, “Check for updates.

This is the Windows Update section of the Windows 10 Settings menu. Just click Check for Updates, and the operating system goes to Microsoft’s servers, downloads the latest required files, and then installs them. You might need to restart to actually apply the major updates.

Windows 10 has an unpleasant habit of rebooting without your permission if it is too long with unapplied updates. How to solve the problem:

Set up your antivirus and anti-malware software

When I started building PCs, everyone seemed to have a different recommendation for antivirus and firewall programs. But things have become much easier since then. Microsoft has developed its own integrated antivirus solution that comes free with Windows, and it’s actually pretty good. It’s called Windows Defender. You don’t even have to do anything to make it work – Windows Update automatically keeps its list of harmful viruses, Trojans and other unpleasant things up to date and notifies you when something is detected. In this manual, you’ll find more information about how to use and configure Windows Defender if you want.

CONNECTION: How to allow Apps to communicate through the Windows Firewall

Also the integrated firewall for Windows (also under the brand name “Defender”) is more than sufficient. And like Windows Defender, it runs by default and is automatically updated in the background, and third-party applications will warn you if they request permission to access external servers while you continue. For more information about advanced firewall management, see this guide.

All in all, although the built-in Windows tools are pretty good, we also recommend installing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It’s a bit more aggressive than Windows built-in tools, especially when it comes to stopping browser exploits and such things. Imagine it this way: Windows Defender prevents malware from entering your system. Malwarebytes is designed to stop malware before it even gets into your system.

If you want constant protection – and we recommend it – you have to pay for Malwarebytes Premium for $40 per year. You download Malwarebytes for free and scan occasionally, but Malwarebytes’ true strength comes from its anti-exploit protection. You can get a free beta version of Anti-Exploit that runs alongside the free version of Malwarebytes, and that will give you at least part of the protection of the premium version.

Back up your drives

CONNECTION: Setting up BitLocker encryption under Windows

If you store personal information on your computer, you should encrypt your storage drives. Encryption is a security measure that allows you, and only you, to access that information. People without your password or other identifying information cannot access it, even if they steal your computer or drive – the only way is to delete it completely.

Windows 10 Pro has a built-in encryption tool called Bitlocker. It’s really easy to set up: In Windows Explorer, go to the This PC folder, right-click any drive, and then click Enable BitLocker. You will then be prompted to create a password (your Windows password) or use a flash drive as your unlock key.

Note that the cheaper Windows 10 Home version does not include BitLocker features. If you want additional protection, you must either update your license (available from the About your PC preferences menu) or encrypt your drive with a third-party program such as VeraCrypt.

You’re done!

Now you can do more or less anything you want with your PC, safe in the knowledge that it is as safe and clean as possible. You probably want to install the Chrome or Firefox web browser first.Here are some other articles you can check about computer security:

Basic computer security: How to protect yourself from viruses, hackers and thieves

What is the best way to secure your computer?
How do you keep your Windows PC and apps up to date?
To create a program, a file, and a folder, use Windows to start it
To enable System Restore (and repair system problems) on Windows 10
Procedure Creating old programs under Windows 10
This is how Windows 10 will look and work better than Windows 7
To install custom themes and visual styles in Windows