How to Declutter Your Computer

Can’t find the updated version of your latest report? It might be time to do a little digital housekeeping. Here are some ways to free up storage space, boost your productivity, and simplify your tech.

Create a simpler screen.
Hide icons that are time-wasters, as well as those that you don’t use regularly. In Windows, right-click the desktop, go to View, then select Show desktop icons. Mac users can use the app Hidden Me to clear their desktop screen.

Make file naming seamless.
Come up with a convention for naming files. “Keep it short and sweet and use a specific keyword that will stick out in your brain,” says Deb Lee, a digital productivity coach based in Washington, DC. Store files in folders categorized by date or subject so you know where they are.

Remove files you don’t need.
Sort your files by the date they were last opened. Identify those you haven’t opened in years and either delete them or move them to a flash drive if you’re worried you may need them again.

Get your in-box in order.

Take 10 minutes to unsubscribe from newsletters and email lists you don’t regularly read.

Organize your bookmarks.
The sites that caught your attention two years ago might not matter to you today. Delete bookmarks that are no longer relevant and categorize the rest.

Empty the digital trash.
Even if you delete something, it may still be taking up space until you empty your computer’s recycle or trash bin.

Clean out your downloads folder.
Everything you download from the Internet goes to your downloads folder. Check it periodically to see if there are unwanted files you can delete.

Upload photos to the cloud.
Go through pictures and delete duplicates or those that you don’t want to keep. Move the rest to a cloud service such as Dropbox or upload them to Google Photos. Then, not only can they be easily shared, but you can access them from any device.

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