Most people have heard about the free Windows 10 Upgrade by now. Available directly from Microsoft, the update brings new features to any PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Windows Vista machines can most likely run the update too, but Microsoft isn’t giving it to them for free. For upgraders, the setup process for Windows 10 is fairly straight forward.
Millions are picking up notebooks, desktops, tablets and 2-in-1s running the operating system. For these user with new devices, setup is pretty streamlined. Here’s how to setup your Windows 10 notebook, desktop or tablet.
Before We Begin
Before you begin setting up your Windows 10 device, there are some things that you need to make the process a little smoother. Don’t worry, you shouldn’t need to buy extra software or accessories.
What you will want to do is make sure that you know your Microsoft Account username and password. Windows 10 uses Microsoft Accounts to power its apps and built-in store for movies, television shows, games and apps. Knowing yours ahead of time can speed up the process. If you have Windows 8 on a different PC, go to the Settings app and look in the Account area for your Microsoft Account username. Your password, could and likely is the same password that you use to log into that PC. If you don’t have a Microsoft Account already, that’s fine. You can create one during the set-up process.
Also, make sure that you know your router’s PIN code or password for getting online. Routers that are provided by cable companies themselves have their passcodes on them with a label, usually. Chances are the code is written down for you if a family member set up your router. Internet access isn’t required, but it makes the setup process for Windows 10 so much easier.
The Setup Process
Begin the setup process by plugging up your new Windows 10 notebook, desktop or tablet to a power outlet so that it’s charging as you get everything ready. Now press its power button. Refer to your device’s included reading on button placement if you don’t know where the power button is.
For the next few moments you’ll see a logo from the company that made your new device and a spinning wheel just below it.
Welcome to the first Windows 10 setup screen. Here you’ll need to choose a keyboard layout if your device has a touchscreen, your Time Zone and a few other details. The tap or click Next.
Now you’ll need to approve of the different legal terms that Microsoft and your hardware maker offer. For this tutorial we’re using a Lenovo machine with a separate terms of service for just the hardware itself. Setting up any Windows 10 device requires that you agree to both Microsoft and the hardware maker’s terms. It’s not optional. Click or tap Accept.
This is where wireless connectivity becomes essential. You’ll need to supply the password or WEP Key for your wireless network. Note that if your notebook, desktop or tablet is connected using a network cable, you won’t see this screen at all.
If your router supports WPA authentication, you’ll be asked to press a physical button on your router. This saves you from having to input a password at all.
Tap or click Learn More to explore all the different low-level settings that Windows 10 supports. It’s recommended that you just go with Use Express Settings in almost every situation.
If your PC is successfully connected to the internet, it’ll reach out to Microsoft’s servers to find the latest Windows 10 updates at this point. As it’s applying these updates, you shouldn’t turn off your device.
Now you’ll need to provide your Microsoft Account username and password and select Sign In. If you don’t have a Microsoft Account, create one by clicking on the Create One link. Microsoft also gives you the option to skip this step and create a local user account that isn’t tied to any Microsoft services at all. It’s a good idea to use this if you are set on never connecting to Microsoft’s services, but bad if you want to stream music in Groove, watch television shows in Movies & TV, download apps through the Store and use the Cortana personal assistant. Don’t worry, if you’re not sure, you can add a Microsoft Account to your User Account later if you want.
Now create a pin number for use with your device. You can also click or tap on Skip This if you don’t want to use a PIN code and prefer a password. Note that not having a PIN as a back up means you can’t login with your face or with a fingerprint if your device has hardware that supports those options.
Click or tap Use Cortana if you’re open to making use of Microsoft’s personal assistant. It’s available on smartphones and tablets running Windows, iOS and Android now.
After some more time setting up apps, your Windows 10 set up is done. You’ll automatically be taken to your Desktop and Start Menu/Start Screen.