5 Ways to Clean Up Your Desktop
Spring is in full swing, and along with spring comes spring cleaning! Not all types of cleaning have to do with Mr. Clean products though. Cleaning your computer is also very important to help keep it running smoothly. When you boot up your computer it loads all of the files that are residing on your desktop into memory, so you can open those up more quickly. If your desktop is a treasure trove of files and programs, that can add up to a lot of memory being used to keep you desktop running, and not the actual files and programs you are currently using. As a managed IT support provider, we have seen a lot of desktops that have so many icons you can no longer see the desktop’s background! Don’t be that guy. Let us help you get it cleaned up today.
Delete files that are no longer necessary – When you save a file to the desktop, it should be something you use and lose. Look through the files saved on your desktop and delete anything that you’ve already used or completed work on.
Move files to more organized or permanent locations – What is left on your desktop should be items you want to keep. The desktop is not the ideal place for any file you want to keep permanently. Create a folder in your user account’s documents folder, or just move the files directly to documents. In a corporate network, you may also have a shared drive. The best place for a file you need to keep would be inside that shared drive. Files there will get backed up with the server, files on your desktop will likely NOT be backed up.
Create shortcuts to those locations – If you still want quick access to those files, create a shortcut to the folder you have placed them in, or directly to the files themselves. The easiest way to do this, is to right click the file or folder and select “send to” and then “desktop”. This will create a shortcut to the file, which won’t take up as much space or memory on your desktop as the actual file.
Delete shortcuts not frequently used – Often when you install a program, or even when you purchase a new computer, there are a ton of shortcuts placed on your desktop for the various programs and utilities. More likely than not, you don’t ever open half of those programs. Anything you don’t use on a daily basis really doesn’t need it’s own shortcut. It’s easy to find and open programs from the search bar or start menu. Feel confident in deleting any shortcuts to programs you don’t use frequently
Empty your recycle bin – Now that you are done cleaning it up, it’s time to empty your recycle bin and free up all of that glorious space. You may want to open the recycle bin up really quick, just to double check you didn’t accidentally delete something that you need. If you did delete something on accident, right click the item and restore it. Then go ahead and empty the bin!
Always think of your desktop as a temporary storage location. If you need to save something really quickly to share it back out, or email it, or change it in the very near future, go ahead and stick the file there. The idea is to remove it from your desktop as soon as possible. When you are ready, do whatever task is necessary with that file, and then move it to a more permanent location, or delete it. Using this method will keep your desktop clean and efficient for years to come.
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.