This is a Guest Post by Melissa Allen
Do you work in an office? Maybe you’re a student who writes tons of papers and projects for school? Maybe you use the computer just for the daily dose of browsing? It doesn’t matter what you do and how you use the computer; there is one factor that connects us all: we use computers. These machines have become inseparable parts of our lives. We hardly use pen and paper anymore.
It’s probably safe to say that we can’t function without our computers. They serve us really well, but are we treating them with the respect they deserve? We pile them up with necessary and unnecessary files and we just stuff them in random folders. Or, we do something that’s even worse – we just create a total mess on the desktop. As a result, we cannot find what we need at a precise moment. In addition, all those unnecessary files slow down our devices and we’re frustrated when they don’t work the way they used to.
It’s time to change something. When you organize the files in your computer, you’ll realize you’re able to use it more efficiently. We don’t exaggerate when we say that one aspect of your life will become easier. It will take a bit of work and patience, but you can do it!
Follow these tips to organize and manage the files in your PC.
Step 1: Removing Unnecessary Files
There’s no point in organizing something you don’t need, is it? Have you stored some really old blog posts in Word document format? Maybe you keep every single paper or document you’ve ever written? All photos from your vacations are in your computer? Whatever the case is, this first step is inevitable: you’ll have to get rid of some files to get free space in your computer and make it faster. Here’s how to do that:
Find and remove duplicate files
You can easily locate duplicate files without browsing around all folders in your computers. There are programs for that. You can try one of the following ones:
- dupeGuru (for Mac OS and Linux)
- Duplicate Cleaner by Digital Volcano (for MS Windows)
- VisiPics – This software locates very similar images. You know, like that series of selfies you took within few seconds, or multiple versions of a single photo you edited. It’s suitable for MS Windows.
Whenever you notice duplicates or similar versions of the same file, just delete them without any consideration.
Store old files in the cloud
You may be personally attached to all projects you created for school, but let’s be honest: you’ll never need them again. We’re not saying that you should get rid of all that work; we’re only saying that you need to remove it from your computer. Google Docs is a great option. Just transfer your documents there, and you can feel free to delete them from your computer.
Clean the cache
The cache is a repository for stored data. Your browser needs it so it won’t need to fetch data from the original location over and over again. When you see incomplete pictures, badly formatted or partially loaded web pages, or misplaced images on the page, it’s usually the cache’s fault. That’s why you need to clean it from time to time.
You’ll easily find the clear cache function in your browser’s settings. If you’re using Google Chrome, you can get the Clear Cache extension, which enables you to get the action done with a single click of a button.
Clean the downloads folder
You’re not always aware of all files you’ve downloaded. Images, eBooks, videos, price lists… there’s everything there! These files are taking up unnecessary space in your computer, so you really need to get rid of them all. Go through the folder to figure out if there’s something you need. If you notice an important file, move it to the appropriate folder. Get rid of everything else.
Turn this into a habit: whenever you download something from the Internet, place it in the relevant folder. If you don’t need the file for a long time, remove it as soon as you see it.
Delete the applications you don’t need
How many times have you installed an app just because an online article recommended it, but you forgot about it in few days? Maybe your computer is loaded with similar programs? You don’t need five types of software for playing movies on your PC. You don’t need several photo editing apps. You only need the essential programs that allow you to get the work done without burdening your computer.
Go through the list of applications. Keep the ones you use, and remove the ones you don’t need. It’s that simple, and you’ll immediately notice the results.
Virus scan and defragmentation
We don’t have to teach you about viruses; you know you don’t want them in your computer. They make it slow and unresponsive to commands. However, there is something else most people are not paying attention to: fragmentation. That’s when your computer’s storage space is not used efficiently. As a result, you waste valuable storage space.
Check if your antivirus software has defragmentation functions. When you defragment the hard disk, you’ll see the effects on the boot time, app launching, working with large files, playing games, and much more.
Step 2: Data Sorting
Now that you got rid of everything you don’t need, it’s time to sort the data you keep in your computer. You can’t expect this process to be fun. However, it will make your computer work like brand new, so arm yourself with patience and diligence, and start going through these steps:
Create major folders
You don’t want your music and video files, photos, and documents scattered around the drive. The process of data sorting starts by creating major folders for these categories. These are the main folders your drive should contain:
- Photos and images
Create major folders related to the type of files you’ve stored in your computer. Then, you’ll create subfolders to organize your files better. We’ll get to that step a bit later. For now, go through your files and folders, and place all of them in a relevant major folder.
Merge duplicate folders
If you’re using Windows OS, it’s easy to merge duplicate folders together. You just set the same name for all of them, and you move them one by one to the same location (one of your major folders). Windows will ask if you want to merge them, and you’ll just click yes.
You can also use WinMerge – software that compares folders and files and shows you the differences in easy-to-read text format.
Step 3: Create Your Organizing System
Here’s the catch: we can’t give you precise rules on how to organize the files in your computer. We only give you the broad guidelines, but you’ll be responsible for creating your own organizing system. The reason for that? Everyone has different files, and everyone understands organization differently.
However, once you have your main folders, it will be easy for you to think of such system. If, for example, you have a folder Documents, you can create the following subfolders:
- School projects
- Blog posts
- Work stuff, and so on
Then, you’ll organize the folder school projects by subject. Then, you’ll organize each subject by the semester. If, for example, you have a History folder, you’ll organize the projects by semester or by month. Thus, you’ll easily find the right essay or research paper when you need it. Each project can have its own subfolders, where you’ll organize your own work, as well as the online resources you connect. It sounds complicated when you read about this system, but it’s really simple when you create your own rules.
So what did we learn today? Clean up, sort, and organize – that’s your way towards a faster PC.
That’s it hope you liked this article. If you have any queries feel free to ask it in the comment section below.