6 Tips For Cleaning And Organizing Your PC

computer files

Keeping your PC organized and clean can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. An organized computer means you can find the files you need quickly, cutting down on wasted time. It can also speed up your computer and make it run more efficiently. Sometimes it’s difficult knowing where to start, but these 6 tips for cleaning and organizing your PC will get you on track:

  1. First Steps – The Desktop: It’s a general rule of thumb that the state of your windows desktop is a good indicator of the overall organization of your computer. Cleaning up unused shortcuts and files is a great first step to take in getting your machine organized. It’s best to only leave frequently used files and folders on the desktop. Just like how you wouldn’t leave piles of file folders on a real desk, it is better to move these files and folders on your desktop to another location. Use folders like ‘My Documents’ if they’re needed at a later date or the recycle bin if you’re finished with them. Emptying the recycle bin can also free up used space on your computer. It’s a good idea to do this on a regular basis.

  2. Out With The Old: Over the lifespan of your computer, it is likely that you will amass a large quantity of files, some need to be kept on your computer for later use, while others are no longer needed. Removing these unneeded files can improve performance and give you more storage space. It’s best to look at items in your ‘My Documents’, ‘My Pictures’ and ‘Downloads’ folders, as this is where a large portion of files end up. An alternative is to move files that you want to keep, but rarely use, onto an external hard drive or flash drive. That way, they are stored in case you need them, but aren’t taking up space on your PC.

  3. You’ve Got Mail: If you use a program like Outlook, Thunderbird or Windows Mail, then organizing your email inbox is an important part of a basic computer cleanup. It is easy to make new folders in your email with labels so that not everything is sitting in your inbox. The more items that are in your inbox at once, the harder the computer has to work to arrange and sort them every time you start your email program. Most email programs also have an ‘Archive’ utility that allows you to move all emails from the last year to another folder. That way, you still have the emails for reference, but they’re not clogging up your inbox.

  4. It’s Just Temporary: Anytime you install a program, visit a website, or change a setting on your computer, small files are created to increase the speed of doing that action again in the future. This is great for websites that you visit frequently because it means faster load time for that webpage. Over time however, these temporary files can pile up and bog down your PC. Cleaning these files out can be a time consuming process as each file must be removed individually. There some very useful, free utilities available online that will make this a much simpler process. ATF-Cleaner from atribune.org is a great and easy to use tool for cleaning up these kinds of files.

  5. You Don’t Use It, Remove It: A common waste of a computers resources is old software that is left installed long after it has stopped being used. Removing unused software can give you back much needed storage space on your hard drive. The best method to remove any program is to go to the control panel and select the option to ‘Uninstall a Program’. This will list every program installed on your computer. It is best to remove items that you no longer use such as older versions of tax software, older versions of Microsoft Office or replaced anti-virus software.

                                                 Mason D, Aardvark Tech

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