Avoid using the chess engine to analyze the first couple of opening moves
The initial opening moves are very open with a lot of possible threads. They are often better analyzed by seeing what kind of lines work well for white and what works well for black. Thus avoid using the chess engine to analyze the first couple of moves of an opening. Even when not using the chess engine for analysis, a chess program is still a huge help for going through and evaluating opening moves.
Instead of using the engine, use a good opening book with your chess program. This opening book tells you as well as the program what are the most preferred things to do during the first couple of moves. The opening books I tend to prefer is Powerbook from Chessbase, Houdini2 (it is now few years old and thus no longer recommended) from Chessok, and hugebase from Chessok (it is not in any way better than Mega book from Chessbase, but cheaper).
On top of this, the very basic chess training teaches one thing that is good to remember. The first moves is about who has good control of the center (e4-e5, d4-d5), thus if you do not recognize the opening and have to improvise, keep that in mind.