Mechanical Edit

Information to help technical writers and editors, shared by Jay Martin.

View My GitHub Profile

Next steps after a fresh installation of Windows 10

A new computer at a new job, or a reimaged computer, often requires further setup, such as connecting to Wi-Fi, turning on Windows security, and updating Windows. My fix-ups include steps for security, but most steps are personal customizations.

The first step is often to adjust an external monitor. Click Windows Start > Settings Settings > System > Display and change the monitor settings. X Close Settings.

Save a Wi-Fi password

  1. Click Windows Start > Settings Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi.
  2. Turn Wi-Fi On.
  3. Click Show available networks.
  4. Select a network, click Connect, type a password, and click Next.
    • If at home or work, click Yes.
    • If away from home or work, click No.
  5. X Close Settings.
  6. To change the time zone, click Windows Start > Settings Settings > Time & Language. Select a time zone. X Close Settings.

Turn on security

  1. Click Windows Start > Settings Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security.
  2. Click Open Windows Security.
  3. Take the recommended actions for Virus & threat protection, Account protection, and the other security categories.
    • For example, click Virus & threat protection. Click Quick scan. After the scan, take the actions recommended by Windows. If no current threats, click X Back.
    • For example, click Account protection. Click Set up. Sign in with a Microsoft account. Verify your identity.
  4. X Close Windows Security and X Close Settings.

Update Windows

  1. Click Windows Start > Settings Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
  2. Repeat these steps until you’re up to date:
    1. Click Download or Check for updates.
    2. When asked to restart, click Restart now.
  3. X Close Settings.
  4. Click Windows Start > Microsoft Store > ... See more > Downloads and updates > Get updates.
  5. After updates finish, X Close Microsoft Store.
  6. To check your Windows activation, visit·

Download and install apps

Install the apps you use frequently. My list of apps is only an example. To start, I install Chrome, Dropbox, Visual Studio Code, and a few others.

Customize shortcuts to apps

Arrange shortcuts to apps the way you’re used to. My shortcuts are only an example.

  1. Windows Start > Settings Settings > Apps > Default apps.
    • For email, choose Outlook.
    • For music player, choose VLC.
    • For photo viewer, choose Paint.
    • For video player, choose VLC.
    • For web browser, choose Google Chrome.
    • X Close Settings.
  2. Click Windows Start. Right-click each app and select More > Pin to taskbar.
    • Excel
    • Google Chrome
    • Microsoft Teams
    • Outlook
    • Word
    • Visual Studio Code
  3. Click Windows Start. Right-click each app and select Pin to Start.
    • Windows Accessories > Paint
    • Windows Accessories > Snipping Tool
    • Windows Accessories > Notepad
    • Open Notepad. Select Format > Word Wrap. Close Notepad.
  4. On the Windows taskbar, right-click these apps and select Unpin from taskbar.
    • Mail
    • Microsoft Store
  5. On the Windows desktop, right-click these shortcuts and select Delete.
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Google Chrome

Customize File Explorer

  1. Windows Start > Settings Settings > Ease of Access > Display.
    1. Click “Automatically hide scroll bars in Windows” Off.
    2. X Close Settings.
  2. Click File Explorer (the folder icon in the Windows taskbar).
  3. Click the Documents folder.
  4. If the ribbon is not visible, double-click Home.
  5. On the View menu, for the layout, select Details.
    1. In the Show/hide group, deselect Item check boxes.
    2. Select File name extensions.
    3. Select Hidden items.
  6. Click Options > Change folder and search options.
  7. Click the View tab.
    1. Select Always show menus.
    2. Select Display the full path in the title bar.
    3. Select Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
    4. Deselect Hide extensions for known file types.
    5. Deselect Hide folder merge conflicts.
    6. Select Hide protected operating system files (Recommended), which disallows some bad behavior by viruses, according to Chris Stobing.
    7. Deselect Use check boxes to select items.
    8. Select Expand to open folder.
    9. Click Apply to Folders.
    10. Click Yes in response to “Do you want all folders of this type to match this folder’s view settings?”
  8. Click the Search tab.
    1. Select Include compressed files (ZIP, CAB…).
    2. Select Always search file names and contents (this might take several minutes).
  9. Click OK.

Copyright (C) 2021 Jay Martin.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.

Microsoft Windows is a trademark of Microsoft. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.