When you buy a new computer, it’s blissfully fast, uncluttered and fun to use. There is lots of space on the hard drive and everything is very well organized. And then it all starts going wrong. Only a couple of months after your purchase, your desktop becomes cluttered, finding the files you need becomes more difficult and your PC starts slowing down. But don’t start getting annoyed – this can easily be fixed. All you need to do is organize Microsoft Windows.
Clear your desktop
The first thing you should do to make your computer more organized is delete all unnecessary stuff from your desktop. A desktop that is cluttered with icons, files, software installers and so on is not only hard to navigate, but also makes your computer slow on startup. When you boot up your computer, your desktop is the first thing to load. The more cluttered it is, the more time your computer needs to load it. That’s why it’s best to move all files away from the desktop and organize your icons.
Moving files is as simple as cutting and pasting them into ordinary folders. As for organizing your icons, you can do that by right-clicking on your desktop (somewhere on an empty space) and clicking on Arrange icons by. You can then choose how you want Windows to organize your desktop icons.
Organize your folders
One of the biggest mistakes users make is that they start dumping all their files into their Documents folder without creating any subfolders. This strategy only leads to confusion and soon you will lose track of your files. That’s why it’s best to create subfolders in folders like Document, Pictures, Videos, etc. and keep things organized. Creating subfolders will initially take up some time, but it will save you lots of time and trouble in the future.
Delete duplicate files
Even if you are pretty organized and try to keep things neat, you can’t be certain that you don’t have unnecessary duplicate files. Duplicate files are usually created when you resize photos, edit MS Word documents and use Save As…, or simply download the same song twice. Duplicate files are harmless, but if you have too many of them, you can lose track of things. Imagine how annoying it is to work on a document only to find that you’ve been editing the wrong version! In addition to that, duplicate files can take up a lot of disk space that you could use for other stuff. Just think how many gigabytes of space can be taken up by useless duplicate photos, songs and videos. To free up all that space, simply delete duplicate files.
Deleting duplicate files manually isn’t the most effective way of dealing with them. For a start, it can take ages to locate all the duplicates. Secondly, you risk accidentally deleting a file that is not really a duplicate, but simply has the same file name. That’s why you would be better off using a duplicate file finding program. Advanced duplicate file finders can intelligently scan your PC for duplicate files and find them all in just a couple of minutes. Moreover, they have flexible matching options and can match your files by name, size, modification date, and even content. Matching files by content is slower, but it guarantees that you won’t delete files that are not true duplicates. As you can see, removing duplicate files is a good way to organize Microsoft Windows.
Delete temporary files
Another way to keep your PC organized is to make sure it’s junk-free. Your daily activity, such as browsing the Web, creating and opening files, downloading stuff and so on creates hundreds of temporary files. These files are only required by your system for a limited period of time and shouldn’t be kept for longer than necessary. For example, files in your browser’s cache are not needed for longer than a day. And yet they can be kept there for months if you don’t delete them. If you have lots of temporary files stored on your computer, they can be taking up a lot of hard drive space. Deleting them will free up space and make your computer run faster.
To delete temporary files, you need to run Disk Cleanup. To do that, simply click on Start, go to Programs – Accessories – System Tools and launch the Disk Cleanup utility. Follow on-screen instructions to delete temporary files and other junk.
Uninstall software you don’t use
Another way to organize your Windows computer is to get rid of software that you never use. If you go to your Control Panel and have a look at installed programs, you are bound to find that you don’t need quite a few of them. And if you have expired trial versions or game demos installed, you should get rid of them too – all they do is clutter your PC. You can easily delete installed programs right from the Control Panel. Just go to Programs and Features – Installed Programs (or Add/Remove Programs on XP) and uninstall everything you don’t need.
Keeping your Windows organized has a lot of benefits and you will immediately feel that your computer runs faster and everything is a lot easier to find.