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Bought a new laptop? Here’s what to do next

Just bought a new laptop or netbook? This guide will help you get the best from it.

Register It

Registering your laptop or netbook with the manufacturer is required to validate the warranty, and may offer extra support, up-to-date software downloads and offers.

Eradicate Bundled Software

Most computers come pre-installed with a lot of trial software that you’ll never use. Uninstalling this frees up valuable hard disc space and improves the efficiency of your machine. For example it might come with basic word-processing software that you then replace with the likes of Microsoft Office 2010.

Get Anti-Virus/ Internet Security Software

Get protection from viruses, malware, phishing attacks and malicious software by installing anti-virus and internet security software straight away.

If you don’t want to pay, use Microsoft’s Security Essentials or Avast.

Get Drivers for Your Hardware

If you’ve upgraded from an older laptop, it’s likely you won’t have the new drivers required for your peripherals. Visit each manufacturer’s website to get the latest versions of the drivers that make the computer work with the accessories.

Sign Up For Online Email

Even if you’re using Outlook or other email software, signing up for an online account from Google, Yahoo! or Windows Live is a useful way to backup email online and it can be synchronised with your email software. It’s also useful for signing up to online shopping accounts or other newsletters so they don’t fill up your main inbox.

Choose a New Browser

The new Windows 7 operating system allows you to choose a browser to use, so you don’t have to automatically settle for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Take a look at Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera.

Invest in a Backup Solution

Find an easy to set up, automated, secure and easily restorable backup solution straight away, then make sure you use it.

Otherwise computer viruses or hard drive crashes could delete your precious photos and that digital music collection you’ve spent years building up.

You can either invest in an external hard drive and backup software, or sign up to a service that can back up important files online such as Dropbox.

Also keep original software discs and serial numbers in a safe place in case you need to restore your machine to its original state.

Switch on Automatic Software Updates

Set up Windows to automatically download and install updates, and regularly check installed software for new versions. Keeping software up-to-date helps the system to run more efficiently and securely.

Upgrade Hardware

Upgrade your laptop’s memory (RAM) to improve performance and allow you to run more software at once.

Upgrade to a higher specification battery if you want to use your laptop for longer while away from a power source.

Get Software Online

Find a reputable place to download free and cheap software. Try Tucows or

Or purchase these packages from Comet:

Get Windows 7 Hints and Tips

Search online for “Windows 7 hints tips” to learn how to get the most from the operating system.

Congratulations on that new purchase! Follow our advice and your new laptop or netbook will be ready to work for you, the way you want it to. Now go forth and Google.