Recommended Setup and Software for New Windows Installs

Recommended Setup and Software for New Windows Installs

An Unofficial Guide

I've set up many Windows installations before, so I figured I'd share what I typically use to set up Windows in 2023.

This isn't an exhaustive list, but what I'd consider my "minimum viable Windows setup." Hope you find it useful!

  1. Clean install Windows.

  2. Use the "I don't have internet" method to pick the username of your choice that will be your User folder name.

  3. Opt-out of all data collection.

  4. Enable Dark Theme.

  5. Open Edge, visit Ninite.

  6. Install the following programs from

    1. Firefox - primary browser.

    2. qBittorrent - bit-torrent software.

    3. 7-Zip - archive software.

    4. Discord - communication software.

    5. VLC - media player.

    6. WinMerge - quickly compare files and folders.

    7. Malwarebytes - anti-malware software.

    8. WinDirStat - quickly see what folders/files are taking up the most space on your PC.

  7. Install additional software:

    1. WinAeroTweaker - make adjustments to Windows.

    2. FreeFileSync - backup your files in a straightforward way.

  8. Sign in with a Microsoft Account. Now you have a custom-set User Folder name, and also the benefit of using the Windows Store/account sync etc.

  9. Sign in to Firefox, and confirm the following extensions are installed:

    1. Firefox Multi-Account Containers - manage multiple instances/accounts on one browser session.

    2. uBlock Origin - block ads.

    3. SponsorBlock - blocks out annoying segments in YouTube videos.

    4. Return YouTube Dislike - brings back the dislike button on YouTube.

    5. FireShot - capture an entire page in a screenshot.

    6. Bitwarden - password manager.

    7. Dark Reader - toggleable forced dark theme on any website.

  10. Setup Discord:

    1. Sign in.

    2. Settings > Text & Images > Disable Sticker Suggestions.

    3. Discord.png

  11. Malwarebytes: Enable Dark Theme + Disable Premium Free Trial.

    1. Open Malwarebytes.

    2. Click the settings cog icon.

    3. Click Display.

    4. Select "Dark" under Theme.

    5. Click account.

    6. Click "Deactivate."

    7. malwarebytes.png

  12. Setup WinAeroTweaker

    1. Click "More info" and then "Run anyway" when the "Windows protected your PC" window pops up.

    2. More info.png

    3. tweaker.png

      Once installed, visit "Ads and Unwanted Apps" from the Behavior folder and check "Disable ads in Windows."

    4. 1660068051829.png

    5. Select "Disable Online & Video Tips in Settings."

    6. Select "Disable Cortana."

    7. Select "Disable Windows Ink Workspace."

    8. Select "Enable Classic Paint."

    9. Select "Disable Telemetry and Data Collection."

    10. Select "Disable Action Center."

  13. Disable Widgets.

  14. Disable all Taskbar Items and Item Corner Overflow.

    1. Taskbar Buttons.png
  15. Left-align Taskbar.

  16. Set Communications Activity behavior to "Do nothing" in Windows.

    1. Settings > System > Sound > More sound settings

    2. Sound.png

  17. Turn on Network Discovery.

  18. Enable Ultimate Performance Power Plan.

  19. Disable most applications on startup.

Obviously, everyone will have their own workflows and desired software/setup. I figured I'd share mine nonetheless in case it helps someone out.

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