How to Setup a Laptop or Destop Computer

Setting Up a Computer

Let’s say you have a new computer and you want to set it up. It might seem like a complicated task. But, it’s really much easier that you might imagine. Most computers are designed according to standards and are thus set up in similar ways. It really doesn’t matter the brand of computer you want to set up.

If you’ve gotten a brand new computer and wish to set it up, you should find a guide or manual that includes step-by-step details on how to go about it. Even if your computer does not come with an instruction manual, you can still set it up in a few quick steps. Let’s take a look at these steps.

Setting Up a Laptop Computer

If you have a laptop computer, you should find set-up relatively easy. First, open up the laptop and press the power button. If the battery power is low, you’ll have to plug in the AC adapter to charge it up. You can keep on using the laptop while it charges.


Photo Credit: Voyager Trading

If you wish to use your laptop with any peripherals, such as an external mouse or external speakers, you may want to read the instructions below. Laptops and desktops generally use the similar connections, so the same steps will still apply.

Setting Up a Desktop Computer

Here are the major steps for setting up a new desktop computer.

First Step

Bring out the computer case and monitor from the box. Then, remove any protective covering or tape. Place the both on a designated desk or work area.


Photo Credit: Walmart

Ensure you place the computer case in a well-ventilated area that has good airflow. This is to help avoid overheating of the computer.

Second Step

Find the monitor cable in the box. Because there are various types of monitor cables, the one for your computer may not resemble the one in the image below.


Photo Credit: Cables Direct

You can refer to your computer instruction manual if you’re having trouble finding your monitor cable. Also, if you have an all-in-one computer that’s built into the monitor, you can skip to the fourth step.

Third Step

Connect one end of the cable to the monitor port on the back of the computer case and the other end to the monitor. If you’re using a VGA cable like the one in the image below, you’ll want to tighten the screws on the monitor cable to secure it.


Photo Credit: HP Support Center

Warning! Many computer cables will only fit a specific way. If the cable doesn’t fit, don’t force it or you might damage the connectors. Make sure the plug aligns with the port, then connect it.

Fourth Step

Unpack the keyboard and determine whether it uses a USB (rectangular) connector or a PS/2 (round) connector. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the purple keyboard port on the back of the computer.

Fifth Step

Unpack the mouse and determine whether it uses a USB or PS/2 connector. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the green mouse port on the back of the computer.


Photo Credit: WorldStart

If your keyboard has a USB port, you can connect your mouse to the keyboard instead of connecting it directly to your computer.
If you have a wireless mouse or keyboard, you may need to connect a Bluetooth dongle (USB adapter) to your computer. However, many computers have built-in Bluetooth, so an adapter may not be necessary.

Sixth Step

If you have external speakers or headphones, you can connect them to your computer’s audio port (either on the front or back of the computer case). Many computers have color-coded ports. Speakers or headphones connect to the green port, and microphones connect to the pink port. The blue port is the line in, which can be used with other types of devices.


Photo Credit: wikiHow

Some speakers, headphones, and microphones have USB connectors instead of the usual audio plug. These can be connected to any USB port. In addition, many computers have speakers or microphones built into the monitor.

Seventh Step

Locate the two power supply cables that came with your computer. Plug the first power supply cable into the back of the computer case and then into a surge protector. Then, using the other cable, connect the monitor to the surge protector.


Surge Protector. Photo Credit: Amazon

You can also use an uninterruptable power supply (UPS), which acts as a surge protector and provides temporary power if there is a power outage.

Eight Step

Finally, plug the surge protector into a wall outlet. You may also need to turn on the surge protector if it has a power switch.

Warning! If you don’t have a surge protector, you can plug the computer directly into the wall. However, this is not recommended because electrical surges can damage your computer.

Final Step

If you have a printer, scanner, webcam, or other peripherals, you can connect them at this point. Many peripherals are plug and play, which means they will be recognized by your computer as soon as they are plugged in.


Photo Credit: PC Advisor

Other peripherals may include software that needs to be installed before you can begin using them. Use the instructions included with the device to install it if necessary.

Generally, peripherals are optional, and you can add new ones at any time; you don’t have to add all peripherals during the initial setup of your computer.

Congratulations, you’ve finished setting up your computer. Now, it’s time to use it.

Confused about anything that was mentioned in the lesson? Ask a question!


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