Laptops - Start Here


Checklist for getting your laptop ready

1) Get a laptop or use one that you already have. It is a requirement for you to bring a laptop to many Engineering courses.

    • Read the Laptop FAQ to get recommendations.

    • Consider financial aid or loan programs available through the Campus Financial Aid Office.

        • Students receiving financial aid in the fall can request an additional one-time budget increase of up to $2,000 for a new computer. The additional funding available is limited to student and/or parent loans, depending on eligibility and borrowing limits. This allowance covers hardware, software, monitor, printer, and extended warranty.

        • Students are encouraged to visit or contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, 102 Aldrich Hall, by email at, or phone at (949) 824-8262, for details on the budget increase process and limitations.

    • DO NOT WAIT until Welcome Week or first week of classes.

    • Expect long lines at The Bookstore and at the Financial Aid Office lasting a few hours.

2) Install Windows if you have a Mac.

3) Register wireless connections so you can use campus wi-fi.

4) Install Duo Moble on your mobile device

  • You need this for VPN and to access campus resources

5) Activate your Google Apps Account

6) Figure out how to backup your files and/or use cloud storage easily.

      • Always save copies there in case your laptop breaks

7) Install MS Office for Students

8) Log into your Microsoft Azure for Dev Tools account to download Microsoft Software (at no cost to you).

      • Common software to download through MS Imagine includes MS Windows, Project, Visio, and Visual Studio

      • Use the same account you used for MS Office


9) Install CAD software such as

      • AutoCad (Civil Engineers)

      • Solidworks (MAE & BME, ENGR 7A)

      • Go through the tutorials.

      • Consider learning Solidworks even if it's not required by your major. Why? Because you might end up changing majors.

10) Install other software, utilities, anti-virus, etc.

1) Review OIT information & policies regarding anti-virus (has links for Mac users anti-virus)

2) Verify Windows Defender is working

3) Download CCleaner – Clean your PC and maintenance

            1. Visit the website below:

            2. Click the Free Download Link, which will scroll down to an option menu in which you can choose which version is right for you.

            3. Click the Free Download Link

            4. Next click the Download Button located under the CCleaner Free option.

            5. DOWNLOAD FROM PIRIFORM!! (do not use filehippo)

            6. ccsetup***.exe will be downloaded

            7. Next open the executable

            8. Click Next, Then Install, and finally click Finish.

4) Installing Malwarebytes – Keeping your PC Clean

          1. Visit:

          2. Click the big orange DOWNLODAD button

          3. mbam-setup-*.*exe should have downloaded

          4. Open the executable you just downloaded

          5. Click OK on the select language page, then click next and accept the terms and agreements.

          6. Click next till you get to the install page and then click install

5) Other helpful utilities:

11) Get VPN working so you can use library resources from off-campus.

        • VPN encrypts your network connection so use it at insecure wireless locations.

        • Install the Software VPN on your laptop.

12) Get a laptop lock

13) Figure out what other software you might need to install:

14) Install Matlab

      1. Visit the UCI MATLAB Portal.

      2. Select ‘Sign in to get started’ button under the Get MATLAB and Simulink section.

      3. If prompted, sign in with your UCInetID & password.

      4. A Mathworks account is required to proceed. If you don't already have a Mathworks account, you will be prompted to create one.

      5. Select the download button for the current release.

      6. Choose a supported platform (Windows, macOS, or Linux) and download the installer.

      7. For more details, view the OIT webpage for Matlab

15) Install Mathematica

To receive your copy of the software, you must have an account of the form "" on the Wolfram Mathematica Portal website: If you do not already have a account at that site, please go there and create one.

    1. Login to the Wolfram User Portal for Students.

    2. Specify your Department from the pulldown menu. If yours isn't listed, choose Other and enter it in the field.

    3. Select the product "Mathematica for Students for Sites."

    4. Enter your Anticipated Graduation date using the pulldown menus and then select Submit.

    5. Follow the steps on the next page to begin the download. The software will come with a key allowing its use for a limited period of time, initially 15 days.