New Extension Computer Setup

UofI Extension new computer setup guide. Staff can utilize this guide to prepare a new computer or to assist in the self-guided setup with minimal IT assistance.

Please read the sections "Before you start" and "Powering on for the first time" thoroughly before turning on your new computer to avoid issues. There are several automated processes that happen when powering on a new computer that will fail if these instructions are not followed correctly.

All new computer setups require the custodian to submit a New Extension Computer Setup Form (requires Office 365 login). This will provide us will of the information to make sure your computer is set up properly. Please also let us know if you plan on doing a self-guided install. 


Before you start

Where to get help

As always if you run into any issues following this guide or need help with the setup please reach out to the helpdesk via email at

Making sure you have all of your new equipment

Dell ships equipment as it is available.  Many times items like docks, monitors, keyboards, and mice arrive before computers.  Before contacting the helpdesk for help with computer setup, please open the boxes for all of the items you have received and ensure you that have all of the equipment you are expecting to get.  

Backing up files on your current computer

The best way to transfer files from your current computer to the new one is by making sure all of your important files are stored on Box.  IT suggests always keeping your important files stored on Box as any files not stored on Box or a shared drive will be lost in the event of computer failure.  
Common locations where files may be stored and need to be moved over to Box are:
  • Desktop
  • Documents library
  • Pictures library
  • Video library
  • Downloads directory
These folders can be easily accessed from the main screen of Windows Explorer at the pictured locations.
windows explorer common folders
This is usually a good opportunity to clean up old or outdated files and copy over only the important files you will need in the future.  If you wish to clean up some of the files later we usually suggest making a new folder on Box named "old computer" and then copying and pasting the files into this new directory.  This will ensure you do not lose anything important in the transition and you will be able to clean up the folder at a later date and remove it when it is no longer needed.  

Backing up bookmarks on your current computer

If you are signed in to Google Chrome with a Google account with sync enabled your bookmarks with transfer automatically and you will not need to follow this guide.

Backing up your bookmarks

Start by clicking the 3 dots in the top right corner of the window and navigate to Bookmarks > Bookmark Manager

google chrome main menu bookmarks manager

Once in bookmarks manager select the 3 dots menu on that page

bookmarks manager 3 dots

From that menu select export bookmarks

export bookmarks

Save the file to your Box account in a place where you can easily retrieve it on your new computer

save to box


Taking stock of important applications

Your new computer comes preinstalled with the software most commonly used in Extension daily work.  
  • Office 365 Apps (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Teams)
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (For installing/updating Adobe Products)
  • Box Drive
  • Zoom
  • Web Browsers (Google Chrome and  Mozilla Firefox)
  • Cisco Secure Client VPN
  • Printerlogic (printer installation software)
  • Splashtop Streamer (Extension IT's remote access software)
  • Software Center (For installing/updating third-party apps)
If your current computer has any special applications beyond this list that you will still need on your new computer, please take note of the names.  If the software requires a license or a special installer you will need to provide that information to IT when setting up your new computer so that we can help you get it set up on your new computer.  

Taking stock of additional hardware

Some devices may require additional assistance from Extension IT to get working again on the new computer and some may be just plug and play requiring no administrator assistance.
Some common hardware items that will need to be moved to the new computer and may need additional software or drivers:
  • wired and wireless headsets
  • webcams
  • wireless keyboards and mice (and the wireless receivers)
  • printers hooked directly to computer via usb in the office or home printers
  • label printers
  • personal scanners

Powering on for the first time

Where to do the initial setup

When powering on your new Extension computer for the first time, you will want to be in an Extension office.  You will additionally want to make sure you are on a wired ethernet connection.  This will ensure that the computer joins the campus network and that you are able to log in with your NetID.  If these conditions are not met you will not be able to log in to the computer and you will need to contact IT support as additional steps will need to be performed on the computer before you are able to log in.  
A wired ethernet connection can be connected in two different ways.
  1. Directly to the device via the ethernet port (Some laptops require a USB-C to ethernet adapter which should of been included in your order)
  2. Connected directly to the docking station which is connected to a laptop computer

Special instructions for campus staff

While the above information applies to campus staff as well there are additional steps needed for users based in most campus buildings.  The below applies to staff in Bevier Hall, Mumford Hall, NSRC and the publications warehouse.  This does not apply to staff in Taft House.
IT will the MAC address from the bottom sticker on your dock only if you are hooking up a new docking station.   This MAC address will need to be entered into the system before the computer is able to connect to a wired ethernet connection.
dock mac address location

Logging in for the first time

What to do if you are unable to login with your NetID

If you are not presented with an option to enter a username and password and instead are only given the option to log on to the "exten" account please contact the Extension IT Helpdesk.  The computer did not correctly join the University network and IT will need to make some configuration changes manually.

Can I connect to the VPN to do setup from home or another location?

Unfortunately, there is no way to get connected to VPN or Wi-Fi before the automated part of the computer setup happens.  Connected to a wired connection in an Extension office is the only way the automatic process can be successful.

Connecting to Extension Wi-Fi

Instructions for connecting to Wi-Fi can be found here. Connecting your computer to uie-uofi 

Logging in to applications

Setting up your software

Adding your signature to Microsoft Outlook

If you would like to generate a new official University branded signature rather than restore your previous signature see this article Creating an official University branded email signature with Webtools

Restoring your signature

Start by going to your sent items folder and locate an email that you sent with your email signature on it previously.

Highlight and copy your email signature from that email.

Start a new email message in Outlook to access the signature tool. 

Once in the signature tool select new and choose a name for your signature.  Paste your signature into the field at the bottom and then select your options for when your signature is automatically added to new emails or replies/forwards on the right.  

Your signature should now be restored and should show up on emails according to the settings you selected.  

Importing bookmarks from a backup

If you are signed in to Google Chrome with a Google account with sync enabled your bookmarks with transfer automatically and you will not need to follow this guide.

This article is a continuation from this guide Backing up bookmarks in Google Chrome

Importing your bookmarks from file

Start by clicking the 3 dots in the top right corner of the window and navigate to Bookmarks > Bookmark Manager
google chrome main menu bookmarks manager
Once in bookmarks manager select the 3 dots menu on that page
bookmarks manager 3 dots
From that menu select export bookmarks
click the import option
Retrieve the file from the location you saved the bookmarks backup file.
save to box
Your bookmarks and bookmark bar at the top of the browser should new be restored.

Adding icons to the start menu and taskbar


You can pin your favorite applications to your Start Menu or Taskbar by following the steps outlined below:
  1. Click the Start Button to view the Start Menu

    Start Menu

How to Pin Apps to Start Menu

  1. Right-click the application you wish to Pin. A context menu will appear.
  2. Click "Pin to Start".
  3. The Tile will appear on your Start Menu. You can left-click and hold your mouse button to re-arrange the tiles.

    Pin to Startmenu

How to Pin Apps to Taskbar

  1. Right-click the application you wish to Pin. A context menu will appear.
  2. Click "More". 
  3. Click "Pin to Taskbar" on the next context menu that pops out to the right. This will pin your app to the Taskbar area.

    Pin to Taskbar

Pinned Apps

Below is an example of applications pinned as "Tiles" to the Start Menu and "Icons" to the Taskbar. 

                 Pinned Apps

                 Pinned Taskbar


Adding Printers

Adding printers in an Extension office


Extension Printer Portal

Note: These instructions assume you are in an Extension or campus office and are connected to either a network cable or wifi (uie-uofi or IllinoisNet/UIUCnet). You may not be able to see the printers you are looking for if these conditions are not met.

1. In a web browser (Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox recommended) go to the following url: or click the little printer icon with a green plus on it.

PL client

If you are prompted to install the browser extension click here.

If you are prompted for an Authentication code, click here.

2. Simply select the office which has the printer you would like to add and then click on the printer. You should receive a dialog stating the printer name and confirming that this is the printer you want to add. After hitting yes the printer installation process will begin. The page should look like the below example and have only your unit offices listed.

PL List

If you would like for the new printer to be the default print location check the "Set as default printer" checkbox.

PL Prompt
3. Once the installation is complete you should receive a confirmation message that the printer was installed successfully. Hit OK.

Install Successful
4. The printer should now be listed under Start > Control Panel > Devices and Printers

Installed Printer

Browser Extension

These instructions are only needed if you are given the prompt below to install the browser extension.  This should already be done on the majority of Extension computers.

Install Browser Extension
Once there select install the extension and accept any other prompts that come up.

Prompt to install Extension
Please re-enable the Chrome extension if you see this message below by clicking "Enable this item"
Enable Chrome Extension


In most cases you will need to contact the Extension IT Helpdesk for assistance with this process.

Adding additional applications

Finding applications to install in Software Center

Note: This feature does require Microsoft Software Center application to be installed on your pc. Please contact the Extension IT Help desk if you have problems locating it.


For all Extension computers, Software Center can be found on the Start Menu:
  1. Click the Windows Start Button icon in the lower left corner of your taskbar.  You may have a tile already for Software Center on your Start Menu or you can browse your Apps list for the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Folder.

    Start MenuSoftware Center tile

  2. Alternatively, you can also use the Search feature of Windows by clicking the magnifying glass and enter "Software Center" in Windows search. Software Center application should be a search result.

    Search Software Center


All Extension IT software can be installed from the Applications tab on the left navigation menu.  These applications will silently install and require no user interaction. 
  1. When Software Center opens, you will see a list of applications. There will be icons for all the applications that Extension IT manages as well as other products that you can self-install without admin permissions. 
  2. To install an application, click the application from the list. You can view the information about the application and then click the "Install" button to start the download and installation.



  3. The application will install silently and appear on your start menu once finished.

    Install Software


You can check the status of the install by clicking the Installation Status option on the left menu in Software Center.

Installation Status


Extension applications are updated after business hours every day if your computer is powered on and connected to the internet.  If you require a newer version of an application, you may be behind in an update because you missed a maintenance window.  Please follow these instructions to update software outside the maintenance window. 

  1. Launch Software Center.  Click the Installation Status tab on the left navigation menu.  You see a list of applications installed on your pc and their current "Status".   
  2. There are different statuses you may see here:
    • "Installed" - This application is up to date.
    • "Past due - will be installed"  - This application is doesn't match the version hosted by campus.  
    • "Waiting for the next available maintenance schedule" - An update is available and you can either leave your computer on after business hours to update on it's own or you can manually update it yourself.
    • "Downloading (% complete) - This application is downloading files necessary to install the software or update it.
    • "Installing (% complete) - This application has finished downloading the required files and is now silently installing on your computer.
    • "Failed" - This application failed to install or update.
  3. If you see "Waiting for next available maintenance schedule" as your application status, your pc missed an update and you can click the application to manually update.  
  4. If you see "Past due - will be installed" you can try updating but this status typically means you're actually a version ahead and you can safely ignore it.

    Installation Page


Keywordsnew computer setup ERC laptop desktop login install dock office box zoom guide   Doc ID111048
OwnerMatthew A.GroupUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
Created2021-05-26 09:59:16Updated2024-04-17 10:52:22
SitesUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
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