How to Hook up a Computer

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

Today's laptops and desktop computers are more user-friendly. As more people start use computers, operating systems, software and hardware accessories are coming with better instruction manuals and streamlined interfaces. Here are a few basic steps to hook up your computer no matter which brand you bought.

Things You'll Need

  • Webcam
  • Power cables
  • Computer
  • Printer and cables
  • Keyboard and mouse

Step 1

Connect the power cable to the back of the computer tower. The male end of this plug is often on the computer, but it is recessed into the casing. Once this power plug is connected, you don't want to plug it into an outlet until the entire computer is set up.

Step 2

Attach the monitor cables to the back of the monitor and then to the back of the computer tower. This cable will probably be the VGA type, which has a wide set of prongs in the middle and two screws on the outside. Be sure to twist the screws in to ensure the cable has a solid connection.

Step 3

Secure the monitor's power cable to the back of the monitor and then plug it into an outlet or power strip. Attach the mouse to the USB port on the back of your keyboard. The keyboard then plugs into another USB port on the back of the computer tower.

Step 4

Turn on the computer and the monitor. If the computer powers up but the monitor doesn't display anything, make sure the VGA monitor cable is secured. If the status light on your monitor doesn't turn on, check the power cable connection.

Step 5

Check that the mouse and keyboard work once the computer turns on. Now you can hook up other devices, such as a printer or a web cam. A printer often can connect to a USB port and also may have its own power cable; a web cam usually just plugs into a USB or firewire port.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a Mac monitor/computer combo, you only have to connect the power cord, keyboard and any other peripheral devices (such as a printer).
  • After you hook up your printer, you may need to install the proper drivers on your computer. The installation disc that came with the printer will have this software, or you can probably download it from the manufacturer's website.
  • It's a good idea to plug the power cord for you computer and monitor into a power strip with surge protection. This will help protect them from the damage power outages can cause.