These settings are quite arbitrary, somebody may disagree with them. I think these settings suit my tasks best, but an even better solution may exist, of course. So your feedback is welcome. Many items are written briefly, because they are intended just as a reminder for experienced users.
So these are the step I usually make after installing Windows 10. Most of them also apply to earlier versions.
- install Windows updates;
- remove wallpaper;
- small taskbar buttons, combine when taskbar is full;
- netplwiz (or control userpasswords2) — autologin during installation period;
- install drivers (vbox extensions);
- system properties: Computer name; Workgroup; performance: remove animate, fade, slide; swap file: 512-1024 Mb; system restore=off (before image), allow remote assistance=off;
- unpin from Start all Life at a glance, Uninstall if not needed: Skype, Soda, phone, twitter etc.;
- rename drive C into “system”
- add Russian language, home location = ukraine, Language — Advanced settings — change language bar hot keys=Ctrl-Shift;
- keyboard repeat delay;
- lid, no sleep;
- Folder options: Hide extensions, simple sharing.
- install Far, plugins and settings;
- disable telemetry in Windows10
- uninstall Windows Update Assistant and other unused programs
- for VM — DisableWindows10Updates.reg;
- run as administrator cleanup.bat;
- defragment and optimize C:
- for virtual machines: compress C-drive by creating Acronis image and restoring it to a blank disk;
- create archive of virtual machine or image of system partition;
- for non-VM – turn ON system restore.
- for non-VM – hybernate-on.bat and and switch on sleep;
- change update setings: Notify to schedule restart, Give me updates for other Ms products.
You can also download all those and some other settings in one archive.