Bought a Windows 11 laptop, how should I set it up?

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This is the first Windows laptop I bought since around 2011. I'm typically a Mac user and I have a Windows 11 gaming desktop.
I've dabbled in Solaris, BSD, Linux and ChromeOS Flex over the years but have NO intention of changing the OS on my new laptop anytime soon.

This won't be for power using or gaming. It's still in the sealed box. How should I set it up?
 
However you want!!!!

What I usually do is remove all bloatware and go from there. Have no specific 'setup' for windows!
I'd probably boot it up, get the key (although it should be in BIOS) and get any drivers I'd need for hardware and then re-install with just windows media. No vendor bloatware or telemetry.
But if you just want to debloat what the factory shipped, there are any number of debloating scripts available that will remove MS telemetry and perhaps any vendor tools and bloatware you choose to remove.
 
Make sure to use one of these at some point:

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First download a Windows 11 ISO off Microsofts website, put it on a flashdrive, and install over the top of the OEM install that's likely bloated with crap.
 
Reimage with fresh Win11 iso. Only times I've had issues with Windows was because of OEM drivers, or a user needed to update. If you need some specific OEM drivers, like the HP hotkeys, install them after. Also, go into Privacy and Security and go down the list to allow/disallow permissions.

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What do you use for security?
Personally I use the built in windows antivirus, windows defender, whatever they're calling it now and I have not had a virus and years on windows 10 or 11.

And as said the key is on the motherboard/bios now since about W8 days and you can download the ISO from the MS website to USB and format and reinstall W11. It will activate automatically since the key is on the motherboard. If you have home, download home same for pro ect, as the keys are version specific.

I am also a "Mac" user, but boot camp with W10 on MacBook because of needed OBD-2 software that is W only.
 
Definitely get the OEM crap off of it.

I also use Defender as the antivirus. It's free and it's not bad. In all security, it starts with the user.

I like to use ninite.com for initial installs of freeware that I use.
 
One thing I do is to create a seperate admin account.
I.E. the first account I create is username (where username is what you go buy, Tom, Richard , Harry, etc)
Then I create a super-username and make that account an administrator. Once I know I can login with that account, I demote username and use username for day to day work.

It's just one more barrier for malware et al to address.
I'd probably also look into how to setup Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. I think there are videos out there to do so. I'm just running Win10, so I don't have all the details. I dabble with Win11 in Hyper-V, (and more recently VirtualBox 7) but don't recall how to avoid using an MS account.

Here is one such article I found on Tom's Hardware: https://www.tomshardware.com/how-to/install-windows-11-without-microsoft-account
 
Debloat here

Install DirectoryOpus Pro
Install GlassWire Elite
Install Ablesoft Win11PrivacyFix
Install StartIsBack
Install SysinternalsSuite (Autoruns, ProcExp)
 
I’ll go against the grain here, but I would wipe it and go with win 10.
I tried win 11 on a new build and it was not on par with win 10 yet, that was in August though, so maybe win 11 got better since then.

No need for license keys for either option. That is all tied to the motherboard, so just download windows media creation tool and create a bootable usb with it. It’s super easy and fast now.
 
One thing I do is to create a seperate admin account.
I.E. the first account I create is username (where username is what you go buy, Tom, Richard , Harry, etc)
Then I create a super-username and make that account an administrator. Once I know I can login with that account, I demote username and use username for day to day work.

It's just one more barrier for malware et al to address.
Very interesting philosophy. Makes me want to do that to all of my computers now lol
 
I’ll go against the grain here, but I would wipe it and go with win 10.
I tried win 11 on a new build and it was not on par with win 10 yet, that was in August though, so maybe win 11 got better since then.

No need for license keys for either option. That is all tied to the motherboard, so just download windows media creation tool and create a bootable usb with it. It’s super easy and fast now.
The only reason I suggested getting the key is I've had laptops where the key in BIOS is different from the one the OS image is using.

Might end up with an extra key that one could use for a VM by checking both the BIOS and the OS for they keys they contain.
 
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