5 tips to declutter your computer

| 6 October 2015

When your computer frequently keeps you waiting – for something as simple as opening a new document – it’s incredibly frustrating. But before you blame faulty technology, maybe you need to first consider your computer organisation skills. Besides boosting speed, an orderly computer can also save time searching for misplaced files.

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To turn things around, here are simple and effective ways to do a quick digital clean-up and better organise your computer for maximum efficiency.

Start with your desktop
Although it may seem a quick and convenient place to store documents, your desktop can get cluttered very quickly and isn’t the most efficient place to store files. A cluttered desktop is the first warning sign of unused software and programmes that take up precious memory, disc space and processing power.

A desktop clean up is always a good place to start. Filter the programmes and software on your desktop and uninstall anything you don’t plan on using. Move files off your desktop and into folders within your libraries. Rather only keep shortcuts on your desktop, linked to folders you use most or current projects for a more efficient use of space.

Seeing double
Duplicate folders, whether they’re files that have been saved twice in different locations or multiple downloads of the same file, they can take up a significant amount of storage space. The fuss-free way to scan for pesky doppelgangers is a third-party app that allows you to identify and delete duplicate files. Check out these free and paid-for options for Mac and Windows.

Time to spring clean
Don’t be a digital hoarder. Applications and downloads you’re not using (and have no intention of using in the future) must be deleted. They take up valuable space that could be used to house essential information. PDFs of old plane tickets, funny GIFs, memes and videos from emails and installers for apps are often the culprits, taking up space in the downloads folder. Schedule a reminder to automatically delete old documents using a freeware app or use Task Scheduler.

Sort it on arrival
Manually cleaning up can be time consuming and easily forgotten. Thankfully, there are apps that sort files on arrival for Mac or Windows. They often work in the background according to the user’s instructions. The ease of use allows for peace of mind in keeping an organised computer. Try these Windows or Mac-friendly options.

Move to the cloud
Backup is crucial to the clean-up process. When you sign up for cloud storage, a folder is created in which content is saved online and on your computer. You can also use a cloud-synced folder on your external hard drive for a one-click multiple back-up solution that won’t crash even if your computer does.

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