Top Things to Configure After Upgrading to Windows 10

So you got Windows 10 up and running successfully on your computer. Now you need to get things set up. Here’s a checklist of important things to do.

So you got Windows 10 up and running successfully on your computer. Whether you upgraded or did a custom install you need to know what your next steps are and ensure you have a system that is configured the way you like and prepped for your everyday needs. There are a few important things you need to do after you have set up Windows 10 and this article will show you what to do.

Add Another Account and Create a System Restore Point

Creating a backup account is important as this can be used to troubleshoot and diagnose issues with the operating system but also applications and drivers. Consider this to be your system administration account. Only use it when you need to do troubleshooting.

You can learn more in our article: How to Create a Local Account in Windows 10

You reached the desktop, Windows 10 is functioning fine; but before you move on to another activity such as installing drivers or applications, you should create a System Restore point to avoid losing all that time invested upgrading to Windows 10. System Restore points save you the trouble of having to start over if something were to go awry.

For more on creating one read our article: How to Enable and Create a Windows 10 System Restore Point.

Restore Point

Install the Latest Windows 10 Updates and Check Device Manager

Between RTM and general availability, there might be improvements released that will make your computer perform better. Windows Update will also provide security and driver updates.

Update and Security

Whether you did an in-place upgrade or clean install, check the Device Manager to see if a component was not installed or not working.

To do that, hit Windows key+X and select Device Manager. If there is an exclamation, right-click the device and then Update.

Device Manager

If Windows doesn’t find any available updates, go to the PC manufacturer’s website and look for the driver.

Most manufacturer sites make it easy to get the right drivers, then again, some don’t. If that’s the case, here’s a cool tip. Right-click the device and then select Properties.

Under the Details tab, Click in the Property list box and select Hardware Ids from the drop-down menu. Then copy the entry in the value box and use your default browser to search for a suitable driver and install it.

Find driver 2

The most common drivers Windows will need after a clean install are:

  • Chipset driver (if you built your computer, you should have a motherboard disc that came with it).
  • Video/Display Adapter
  • Wired/Wireless LAN Adapter
Tips: If you’re reading this article before upgrading to Windows 10, it’s recommended you download and store your hardware drivers in advance.

Also, now would be a good time to create another system restore point!

Install and Update Desktop and Store Applications

Windows 10 comes with a lot of built-in apps, but I am sure you have some favorites you would like to install. A great place to install your essential free desktop programs from is Ninite. You just check the ones you want, download an installer file, and it will install everything without any toolbars or extra crapware that you don’t want.

ninite free programs

Developers will provide updates and enhancements to their apps from time to time. While universal apps are set to update in the background by default, after installing Windows, you should get ahead of the game.

To check for updates to your apps, launch the Store and click the Updates menu which will indicate how many updates are available. The store indicates I have 26 app updates available.

3 downloads and updates

You will see a list of updates that are available. If you are on a slow connection, you can click Pause all and select just the apps you want to update by pressing the Play button or remove it from the queue if you don’t want it all.

Windows 10 App Updates

Adjust Screen Resolution

Some people like things bigger or smaller on their screen. To customize your display, go to Settings > System > Display. Then under Change the size of text, apps, and other items.

Move the slider to what works best for you, then make sure to click the Apply button at the bottom of the screen. If you want to change how much space you have on screen, select the Advanced display settings link at the bottom.

Text Size Settings Windows 10

Click in the Resolution list box and change it to what works best for you. Typically the best setting is the maximum resolution of your monitor(s).

If your screen resolution does not have the option to be adjusted, you likely need to update your display driver.

Display Settings 2

Also review:

Personalize Start Menu, Lock Screen, and Desktop

Windows 10 introduces a revised modern configuration app called Settings. It includes familiar functions that are available in the classic desktop Control Panel that you have been using in earlier versions of Windows. Some of the things you can use Settings for include changing window colors, install themes, manage installed programs, update Windows, connect to networks, adjust time and language, configure hardware and a myriad of other tasks.

To personalize the Start menu and window color accents go to Settings > Personalization and click the Color tab and select a color choice you like.

 You can even have Windows automatically choose a color for you. Scroll down, and you will see additional settings you can choose such as the parts of the interface you would like colors to be applied and the ability to make the Start menu and Taskbar transparent.

windows 10 creators update personlize colors

If there are more granular options you would like to apply, click the Themes tab and choose from the available options. Here you can adjust sound, icons, and mouse pointers.

When you start your Windows 10 PC, you are first greeted by the lock screen, a picture that hides your sign in screen. You can customize this picture by using an image from your personal collection or one of the stock photos bundled with Windows.

Click the Lock screen tab. Here you’ll see the default background which Windows uses. To customize it, click in the Background list box. Click Picture, then click a picture you would like to use or click Browse and choose a picture from your picture library.

 Lock Screen

Pin Often Used Items to Start Menu

If there is an area of Settings you commonly access, you can access it even faster by pinning a shortcut on the Start menu. Just right-click the tab and click Pin to Start. You will now be able to quickly access your favorite Setting quickly from the Start.

Here are some great references for how to pin items that you often use to the Start menu:

Pin to Start

One of the missing puzzles in Windows 8.1 was the inability to place a shortcut for Universal apps on the desktop. You’ll be happy to know that you can do this now in Windows 10. To pin a shortcut to the Start menu or Taskbar, right-click the application from the All Apps menu then click Pin to Start or Taskbar.

 Pin to Start or Taskbar

Adding a shortcut to the desktop requires a simple drag and drop action.

pin desktop

If you want to add system icons to the desktop, read our article on how to add or remove system icons on the Windows 10 Desktop.

Windows 10 Desktop shortcuts

Reclaim Disk Space After Upgrade

You don’t have to do this right away, but if you want to recover lost disk space, you can. Please keep in mind; the Windows.old is kept around in case you need to rollback to your previous version of Windows. This will be done automatically after 10 days, but if you want to do it right away, you can.

For more on getting a good chunk of space back, check out our article: How to Free Up Disk Space Post Windows 10 Upgrade. Recent versions of Windows 10 now include a feature that keeps your disk space in check called Storage Sense. Located in Start > Settings > System > Storage, when enabled, Windows 10 will automatically delete files from locations such as temporary files and recycle bin.

You can make changes to these settings. For instance, I prefer manually deleting files from my Recycle Bin manually. Sometimes Storage Sense might not be enough, you can turn to a third party utility called TreeSize to help find big files that might be hidden on your drive.

Install an Antivirus Utility (if needed)

Windows 10 includes a comprehensive security and health application. If you’re an experienced and responsible PC user, then that’s all you should need. However, if you’re sharing your computer or aren’t as tech-savvy, you’ll want to install your favorite antivirus utility. No one antivirus is 100% perfect, but if you want to compare them, is a good place to start.

Create a Recovery Drive and System Image

Now that you have Windows 10 setup the way you like, preserve your investment. Create a recovery drive, and a system image which will allow restoring Windows 10 doesn’t boot or becomes corrupt or hardware failure. For step-by-step guides on creating a recovery drive or system image, check out these articles:

Tips: Just in case you need to restore your older version of Windows 10, change your machine name then create system image. This way, your old system image is not replaced by the updated version of Windows 10.

Install an Offsite Backup Service

On top of having a recovery drive and system image handy if things were to go awry, you also want all of your important data backing up in real-time. The service we recommend is CrashPlan. It’s simple to use, and will constantly be backing up your data in the background. It really is a true “set it and forget it” tool. And if disaster strikes, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you haven’t lost anything.


Get started with CrashPlan Now

Adjust Privacy Settings

Windows 10 is more transparent about your privacy, providing more information for managing your privacy. Starting with the Creators Update, users can easily choose and change what they share with Microsoft, open Start > Settings > Privacy to review all the options available.

Microsoft is also providing a web-based dashboard where users will have easy access to data such as browsing history, search history, location activity, and Cortana’s Notebook. The privacy dashboard is available immediately to all users—just log into your Microsoft account and click the Privacy tab.

ms privacy dashboard 2

Some users might also want to configure other settings such as Active Hours and Restart Options, including Windows Update settings if you are on a metered connection. Windows Update includes, in particular, includes a broader set of options for users who need more control over updates.

Tell us what you think. Did we miss out on anything? What are some of the things you like to configure after setting up your PC?



  1. James

    Thanks for a great post.

    I’ve been working through the ‘facilities’ in Windows 10, and the posts on various forums to create my own version of the ‘do this’ list for windows 10

    My fun started with respecifying my Location – I’m not in the USA.
    And continued to re-installing the printers setup – Yes, I had the DVD’s and new drivers for most of them.

    Re backup’s —–

    Maybe start with taking a partition backup (file mode) before installing 10 so I can go back to 7, or just extract individual files from pre-10 days.

    And – definitely use a cloud mode backup for your data (as in wot-you-typed-in) files –
    I use Spideroak as I get 2GB space free, the data is encrypted on my PC so what is in the cloud cannot be read without the download, and decrypt keys.
    It can be run as an all-the-time service, or as a when I want to run it app, and keeps multiple versions of files – handy if I boo-boo and mistakenly delete stuff from a file – and Spideroak will sync data to/between other PC’s – You will need to use the same decrypt keys on the other PC’s.

    Remember – disaster recovery needs to deal with:
    Your windows system getting malware.
    Your partitions being unreadable.
    Your PC dying and killing the hard drives – both internal, and the backup you were updating when the PC died.
    A burglary where your PC and all backup drives, DVD’s etc. are taken – and sold to your local ID re-users. (Consider drive encryption and BIOS passwords.)
    A fire, or flood (whatever) where your place and contents are destroyed – yes, your PC may not be an immediate priority concern – but what is your insurance policy number – credit card numbers, passport number, and even insurer and bank contact numbers.

    It’s almost horrifying how much data we commit nowadays to the ‘memory’ in our PC and phone, and not our own brain’s.
    Go on – quote your ISP, and email access accounts, userids and passwords!

  2. Jay

    After installing Windows 10, Chrome will not launch. I’ve uninstalled, reinstalled, etc, please advise.

    • Timothy Hoyle

      Go to the Chrome website and install the Win10 version of Chrome. I was having the same problems, thank you to the Microsoft burglars who came into my house in the middle of the night and stole that which I had and left me with something I didn’t. Once I go Chrome for Win10, I had no further problems.

      BTW – what do I have to do to get my Visio and Project programs plus many others after the Win10 hijack process? I have to search through 100’s of CDs/DVDs to get the programs again and do all the reinstalls. You people at Micro$oft need to learn the meaning of OPT-IN doesn’t mean just do it because we already use it.

      Not sorry for the rant – angry for the thievery perpetrated on MY Property!

  3. Michael Bagaglia

    Windows 10 installed automatically over a month ago. My computer froze up and went to a black screen with an error. I have a subscription with HP Smart Friend Computer Help. I called them and they installed windows 10 and restored my windows 8.1. A day or two later windows 10 automatically installed again. It worked fine for a couple weeks, but now my computer is freezing up and at times going to a black screen, and now a black screen with the error once again. When the computer is working, it is extremely slow and I can’t click on anything. I don’t know what to do. please help me. My computer is only a few years old and it cost me almost $1000. Thank you

  4. Rob Mountanos

    H.P.. uses’ to be great but than they agility got lusty. going mac happy. Playing both sides
    trying to please everyone. Never works.
    I love my Asus 51 because its got intel inside. not(( AMD.)) Good for gaming. or children?
    But I’m a Microsoft or Die. Outlook free mail ,saved me when my 60 Dollar a month IP/Browser
    would not let me in. Its stuff like that. why your KING!
    I WILL GET IT TO WORK. just to many printer right now
    taking down to four
    Robert Louis Mountanos. Loves windows 10 Pro!!!

  5. debnova

    Windows directed me to this page but I didn’t find a FIX for my win 10 problems after getting it. I want autologin and did download it. But, I still do not have autologin. Other problems, but this article doesn’t address the basic, simple errors that some of us can’t fix cause were not that techie. Please, do talk down to us, we need it !! lol

  6. Teotonio Souza

    It has been and continues to be a calvary to intall Windows 10 Home on my Toshiba laptop with Windows 7 SP1. I bought a license from Microsoft and sought online help from Microsoft agents yesterday to sort out the problem of unusual delay. Even after deleting all the existing .tmp files in my computer the delay continues. It took 10 hours to “seek updates”, and this morning at 7 it asked if it could start installing them! It started with 0% at 7 am and still shows 0% installed at 12 noon! Marvellous Microsoft achievement this Windows 10. More interesting is that while performinng the search for updates, it does not show what it is updating! One does not even know if it really doing anything or not.

  7. James

    Assume that 1GB memory is required to run win7 and the windows update facility –
    No – you cannot have memory from that 1GB used for Anti-malware checker, or task manager or windows explorer

    Now – seeking updates – is that in win-7 mode – going to the latest updated version – or are yuo actually at win-10 installed mode

    For the win-7 use offline update – as in download a set of all win-7 fixes to-date (maybe 4GB) and apply them from that download – much faster

    Re win-10 download timings seem to be variable – I suppose depending on the number of people trying to download from the MS site at any time – and enjoy the black (imitating a failed device) screen time – watch the drive usage light flicker.

    FYI – on my working system now 300GB used of 500GB on a new 2TB drive, upgraded from 3.1 through 75 2K XP 7 & 10, scannow – takes 3 hours +
    win-10 install took 7 hours + from a DVD and the larger update sessions take – maybe up to 2 hours on a 50Mb link

    Also – I suspect as an incentive to upgrade – MS have slowed down the access to win-7 entries in their fixes database – probably preparing to remove them same as for the XP ones

  8. Tim Hickey

    There is no “General” tab in the Settings page. No option allows Firfox import of Bookmarks!

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