How to set up a new computer

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope


First, take the monitor, computer, and all of the other parts out of their boxes. Make sure you set aside any manuals or documentation included in the boxes. You may need to refer to this documentation later. After unpacking the computer, you should have at, the minimum power cords, monitor or display device, mouse, and keyboard.

Position the computer

Set the computer monitor on the desk and put the computer on or next to the desk. Most often, the computer sits on the floor or on a shelf next to the desk or table. However, some computer desks offer a small cabinet for the computer. Place the mouse and keyboard that came with the computer on the desk or table, in front of the monitor.

Connect all cables

Computer connections


Computer VGA port and cable

The monitor data cable will plug into the computer in only one place. Most monitors will use either a DVI, VGA, or HDMI connector and plug into the corresponding port on the back of the computer. If your monitor only has a VGA plug and your computer only has a DVI connection, or visa versa, you need a video converter to connect your monitor.

After the data cable has been connected to the computer, connect the power plug from the monitor to the surge protector.

Keyboard and mouse

USB cable and port

The keyboard and mouse usually connect to the computer with the same type of connector, being either a PS/2 or USB connector. These connectors are usually found closer to the top of where all the connectors are located on the back of the computer.

Computer power cord

For the computer, find the power cord and plug one end into the back of the computer itself (only one end will fit), usually at the top or the bottom. Plug the other end of the power cord into a power outlet or surge protector. We highly recommend that both the computer and monitor be powered through a surge protector. If your house experiences frequent brown outs or black outs, consider using a UPS to help protect your computer.

A surge protector can help protect the computer from getting damaged by power fluctuations and surges, which can save you money in the long run by minimizing needed repairs.


If you have computer speakers, they can also be plugged into the back of the computer. The speakers connect to the line out or sound out port (usually green) on the back of the computer. If your speakers are powered speakers, the power cord should also be plugged into the surge protector.


Network cable

Finally, if you are using a wired Internet connection, connect, the category 5 Ethernet cable to the back of the computer. If you are planning on using Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet nothing else needs to be connected to the computer, but a Wi-Fi router needs to be in range of the computer.

Turn the computer on

You can now turn the computer on and allow it to load up into Windows. Depending on where you bought the computer, you may need to complete a few final steps of the Windows operating system setup. Follow the steps on the screen to complete this and Windows should then load fully.

Connect printer and other peripherals

If you also purchased a printer, or other computer peripherals, start installing the drivers for each of the devices after the computer is running properly.

Install important software