Can’t shake that feeling! That feeling of a fresh new system, with an operating system that has just been installed. However, deploying Windows 10 is only half the business — now comes to the equally important job of customizing the installation, and making sure that your PC or device is behaving exactly as you want it.
This entails settings up drivers, optimizing performance, adjusting privacy settings, modifying security options, reclaiming hard disk space, fine tuning the way updates are installed, managing accounts and logins, and customizing the look and feel of the OS.
Luckily, you will only be required to make these changes just once, for the most part, after which your Windows 10 installation will fly straight without any issues.
Useful Things to do After Installing Windows 10
Read Also: Must have Windows 10 Software
Let’s take a look at some of the things that demand your attention after installing Windows 10.
Setting up Device Drivers
Windows 10 usually does a solid job automatically installing the necessary device drivers the hardware that is connected to your system. Usually, the first thing you might want to check on is whether all the drivers are installed, and your devices set up correctly.
And take steps, in case a component was not installed or is not working.
To do that, hit the Win + X keys, and select Device Manager. If there is an exclamation mark next to a device, that indicates a problem. Right-click the device and then try to update the driver from the panel that opens up.
If Windows does not find any available updates, you can go directly to the manufacturer website and look for the drivers there.
Companies like Dell, HP, and Lenovo, as well as individual hardware makers of printers, scanners, and cameras, maintain extensive databases online for their drivers.
If all else fails, and you are unable to locate the right driver, you may have to resort to downloading a driver management program that will help you find the necessary files.
Customizing the Look and Feel
With the important matter of device drivers now behind you, it is now time to get to work on how Windows 10 looks.
Start by changing the resolution of your display to fit your screen, if it is not yet already. Go to Settings > System > Display and set it to the recommended resolution — which almost always is the maximum resolution of your monitor.
Next, you may want to change how your Taskbar looks. You probably need all the space you can get on the Taskbar, and if you feel the Search box is taking up too much space, either make it smaller or get rid of it altogether.
Right-clicking the Taskbar and selecting Taskbar settings opens up a welcome little panel with a whole array of customizability options, ranging from how icons are displayed, the location of the Taskbar itself, whether Windows should combine the Taskbar buttons, and whether it should be hidden.
On the left of this Settings panel, you will find all kinds of personalization options, all neatly sorted out in their own subcategories.
You can change the background, add splashes of colors, modify how the Lock screen looks, adjust the Start menu to your liking, and also check out the themes that are now available for Windows 10.
No better time to get through all this than now!
Installing and Updating Windows Store App
Windows 10 comes with a whole array of built-in apps that are installed with each copy of the operating system. You will be required to update almost all of them, once you set up a new installation of the OS.
The good thing is that these Windows Store apps are set to update in the background by default, which means you will be ahead of the game automatically.
Desktop software, meanwhile, will take a bit of a time to set up and update.
You can, of course, use something like Ninite to manage multiple applications at once. The most popular free ones, that is.
This nifty little package management utility is the easiest and fastest way to update and install the latest versions of software like WinRAR, VLC media player, Skype, Dropbox, GIMP, Malwarebytes, and Firefox, to name a few.
The whole selection is pretty extensive, and you can get the latest versions of your chosen software installed on your system with just a few good clicks.
By the same token, this is the ideal time to uninstall some of the apps and features that you know you will not need. The Microsoft Office install prompt and the bundled games like Candy Crush are a particular annoyance.
Go to their shortcuts in the Start menu, right-click and choose the Uninstall option to remove the prompt and the underlying application.
Messing with the Control Panel
While your apps are updating, and your software is installing, you might want to take a look at what’s up over at the Control Panel.
Microsoft is doing all they can to put the focus on the Settings app in Windows 10, transferring options by the dozen to this new panel, with each new update to the operating system.
But the classic Control Panel still houses a lot of stuff — stuff that helps you manage both the hardware and software on your PC.
This is where you can modify settings like Power Options, Color Management, Region, as well as options for the Keyboard and Mouse that is attached to your computer.
Settings for any new drivers and plugins like Adobe Flash that you just installed will also show up here. So, get comfortable!
Tinkering with Updates
Chances are, that by now, your new Windows installation is already downloading system updates and security patches with that have been released for your version of the OS up until that day.
These, of course, start automatically, and Windows 10 will prompt you about restarting your device once it proceeds with the installation.
That said, unexpected automatic restarts are just as annoying as they sound. Time to change them!
You will find this, and a lot of other options you can change by firing up the Settings app from the Start menu and tapping on Update & security.
This wholesome panel will list everything from the updates that are available, to the ones that you already installed. And in between, you will find settings to change active hours that you use your PC so that your device is not restated at the most inopportune time.
A bunch of other options is hidden here, too.
For example, the Choose how updates are delivered section is where you will find the settings that Windows 10 uses to deliver updates from more than one place — not unlike how torrents download.
This means that not only do you get updates from Microsoft servers, but they are also delivered from other computers on the Internet. Likewise, your computer also sends these updates to other PCs.
If you have concerns about this, you can turn this feature off.
Looking at Privacy and Security
Speaking of concerns, privacy and security are two of the most talked about elements of Windows 10. No surprises here, either, considering how the new operating system handles them.
The OS continues to send data to Microsoft servers, even as the company continues to make it crystal clear that it only uses this to gather telemetry, and no personal information is transferred.
With all that said, Microsoft has also provided a range of new toggles and switches to help users manage their privacy in the Creators Update, the newest version of Windows 10 out in wild at the time of this writing.
These are all stacked in the dedicated Privacy panel in Settings, where this ordeal is divided into no less than 18 subcategories like General, Location, Camera, Microphone, Notifications, Emails and more.
Spend some time here to go through the various options, and set them up as you see fit.
For the security bit, a baseline option is to make sure that Windows Defender is turned on. If you have a more capable program, an antivirus or antimalware, that you feel will keep your system safe, then be sure to install, activate, and update it.
A solid firewall never hurt anybody, either.
Dealing with Cortana
Ah, Cortana! Microsoft has made sure that its digital voice assistant is much more involved during the Windows 10 setup process now, but let’s face it — she’s not for everyone!
If you use the service on your PC, tablets and mobile devices, then it will take you a couple of minutes to set it up on your newest installation of the operating system. Simply follow the steps during installation, log into your Microsoft account, and she’ll be there.
If, however, you don’t, and are in no mood to start, then turning her off is, again, simple enough.
You can basically turn off this intelligent assistant by going to its Settings section. There are also ways to accomplish this via the Registry Editor, though that trick is a little more complicated.
And if you want, there are also ways to completely remove Cortana, along with apps like Microsoft Edge, and the Feedback Hub.
Finally, after what could possibly be a whole hour of tuning, tweaking and toggling settings on and off, you have what can be termed as a very personalized installation of Windows 10. Something that you are comfortable using.
There may still be a few options here and there that require your attention. In particular, the various cloud services that Windows 10 turns on by default. These include all the action that happens in the Action Center to the OneDrive cloud storage service and Bing Search results that are delivered within the operating system.
Those of you who are not big on these can turn them off, as and when needed to seal the deal.