How to clean up your computer
Proper organization of the storage of files and information, putting things in order on the computer will make the use of a PC more productive, increase the efficiency of working on a computer. With proper organization of work on the computer, the user will save a significant amount of time that he spends searching for files, unnecessary data will be deleted from the computer.
Many users often encounter situations where it is impossible to find something on a computer. In the folders, all the files are piled up in a heap, complete chaos reigns. I think a lot of people are familiar with this. Not only are the files scattered in a mess, the computer is full of duplicate files that take up a lot of disk space.
I have been asked several times to write this article. Visitors, watching the video on my YouTube channel, noticed that the desktop of my computer is practically free from extraneous elements, and in Explorer files and folders on disks are distributed in a certain order and have normal names. I keep my promise, however, with a delay of a couple of years.
I often had to deal with folders: “New folder1”, “New folder2”, with files like: “111”, “123”, etc., some of the folders are empty. Similar files and folders have copies, are duplicated.
Searching in the Windows operating system to access the necessary data with incomprehensible names, if there is a huge amount of them, will not help much. It will take a lot of time to deal with the mess.
In this article, I will share my experience in organizing file storage on a computer. If you have your own experience in organizing the storage and use of information on a PC, share it in the comments to this article.
If you are having difficulty finding the files you need, the free space on the disk is decreasing, which is gradually taken up by files and folders, you should take care of putting things in order on your computer.
You will have to spend a lot of time on the proper organization of file storage (in “hard” cases, you can do this in several stages), but believe me, the time spent will be worth it.
In the future, when there is no more clutter on the computer, you only have to distribute new files to the appropriate places (disks, partitions, folders, etc.). You’ll quickly find the folder, file, or document you’re looking for because you’ll know exactly where to look for it.
Perform work on organizing storage and putting things in order on your home computer in approximately the following sequence:
- Choosing the right structure to store information.
- Determining the order in which data is stored.
- Removing duplicate files.
- Putting things in order on the desktop.
- Distribution of files and folders.
- Renaming files and folders in order to give them normal names.
- Bringing order to the programs.
- Cleaning and defragmenting your computer.
- Backup important data.
- Constant maintenance of a certain order.
Basic principles of information storage
Before you start putting things in order on your computer, you need to determine for yourself the basic principles for organizing data storage.
All objects must be divided into categories, in the future, all new objects must be distributed according to previously created categories. The data storage structure must meet the following requirements:
- the created structure should be convenient and understandable as much as possible;
- changes should not be chaotic;
- it is necessary to maintain order in the chosen data storage structure.
As a result, unnecessary and unnecessary files will be deleted from the computer (since files are often duplicated), space on the PC will be freed up, and productivity will increase.
Determining the order in which data is stored
Proper distribution of information on the hard drive increases the reliability of the computer. In most cases, the disk space of a computer is distributed as follows: the Windows operating system, programs, and other important data necessary for the operation of the system are installed on the local system drive “C”, and the second local drive is used to store user data.
What are two sections for? For greater safety and reliability. System and data must be separated.
In the event of a system crash, you will not lose data that is located on another local drive (disk “D”). Because after reinstalling the system, only the data on the system drive “C” will be lost, everything else will be preserved intact and safe.
Therefore, it is desirable to have two or more local drives on the computer (for example, drives “C” and “D”). It makes sense to store your personal information on the “D” drive: music, movies, photos, educational materials, software distributions, etc.
On the system drive “C” there are folders “Documents” (My Documents), “Desktop”, “Downloads”, which sometimes store a large amount of information. These directories can be moved to another hard drive partition. Personally, I do not do this, but only control the contents of these folders. I don’t store files in the Downloads folder, but move downloaded files to permanent storage locations.
After installing the cloud storage application on your computer, the default storage folder is located on the C drive. If you use synchronization, all cloud data will be on the system drive.
If the amount of cloud storage is large, the best solution is to move the cloud storage folder to another local drive on your computer. In this case, your data from the “cloud” will not take up space on the system disk.
On my computer, I move the cloud storage folders to other partitions. Read the article on how to move Yandex.Disk to another local drive.
On the “D” drive of my computer there is a Yandex.Disk folder with a size of more than 200 GB, and on the “E” drive there is a Cloud Mail.Ru folder with a capacity of 1000 GB. These folders are synchronized with cloud storages, they contain data that is important to me. The folders are located on the computer, so I have constant access to these files, and even if the hard drive fails, I will not lose important information, because thanks to synchronization it will be saved in the “cloud”.
At the moment, my computer has two hard drives installed: on the first hard drive there are two Local drives “C” and “D”, and on the second hard drive there is one Local drive “E”.
Disks are used as follows:
- Local drive “C” (system drive).
- Local drive “D” (file storage).
- Local drive “E” (file storage).
After you decide on the computer disks, delete duplicate files.
Removing duplicate files
Removing duplicates will help weed out unnecessary copies of files, unnecessary data will be deleted from the computer. Many computer cleaning programs have modules for finding and removing duplicates. To remove duplicate files, you can use specialized programs, for example, Auslogics Duplicate File Finder .
Tidying up the desktop
Cleaning up your desktop is the first step in the process of tidying up your PC. The abundance of unnecessary data on the desktop can slow down the computer.
Some time ago, they brought me a laptop with the Windows 8 operating system. The laptop was terribly slow. The desktop was full of folders, shortcuts, and files. There were many photos, some of the photos were duplicated in different folders. I decided to see how much data is on the Desktop. It turned out that about 250 GB, it even shocked me a little.
It is convenient for users to start everything from the Desktop, however, then they are surprised at the slow operation of their computer. My suggestions for moving files to another drive or uploading data to cloud storage are often misunderstood. Many people are too lazy to make an extra mouse click to access the files they need.
The desktop is the place of work (this is not a random name). Nothing should distract from work. Therefore, you should not place unnecessary elements on the Desktop that may well be located in other places, leave here only a minimum of objects that are really necessary. After that, you will notice that the efficiency of work has increased.
While working on the Desktop, various temporary data can accumulate: folders, files, documents. Follow a simple rule: after finishing work, remove all objects, move them to the appropriate places, where they should be permanently stored.
When you’ve finished working on a Word document (for example), move the document to storage locations for that type of document.
There are only three objects on my computer’s desktop in Windows 10: the This PC and Recycle Bin icons, and the Applications folder. Using the This PC icon, you can quickly get into computer management (read here how to return My Computer to the Desktop), and the Programs folder contains shortcuts to the programs I use most often, most of which are portable. The portable programs themselves are located on the “D” drive.
You can do without a similar folder for shortcuts. For portable applications, use the PortableApps.com Platform wrapper . Portable programs can be located anywhere on the computer, and they will be launched from the shell. The folder with shortcuts for portable programs can be moved to the Start menu in order to launch portable programs from there, along with regular applications.
Distribution of files and folders
After you have decided on where to store files on your computer, you will need to distribute files and folders across disks. First, move and sort the data that is understandable to you, and leave what is not yet clear to the final stage of distribution.
On the storage drive, create folders with meaningful names, such as Music, Videos, Photos, Documents, etc. Other folders will be created in these folders to sort files according to certain criteria.
Create a rigid folder hierarchy in order to clearly understand where everything is located.
Let’s say you have a lot of photos, videos, music on your computer. Transfer all multimedia files to the disk that you will use as storage.
Individual photos and photo folders will be placed in the Photos folder. Group pictures according to certain criteria, for example, the time of shooting, place photos in folders named according to certain parameters, for example, in the folder “Sea vacation in such and such a year”. I advise you to always add dates to your photo folders so that you can easily find the photos you need.
In the “Music” folder, place all the music files that you want to organize into categories (folders) by artist name, album name, music genre, etc., depending on your preferences.
Do the same with movies, documents, and other files. In the course of the proceedings, you will find many unnecessary files that should not be stored on your computer.
An example of the distribution of folders on my computer. There are several folders with understandable names created on the “E” drive. The “Music” folder contains several folders with audio files, among them the “80s Disco” and “Foreign Artists” folders. In the folder “Foreign performers” there are folders named after the names of the performers and the names of the groups.
Program files are organized into folders named according to certain categories.
Such a logical structure will help you quickly and easily find the desired file or folder.
Clear folder and file names
It is very important to always adhere to the rule: folders and files must be given meaningful names. Names should be understandable for any person.
Even if you don’t have time to give a friendly name right now, take the time to give the file or folder a friendly name when you’re done. This will save a lot of time, which will have to be spent searching for the desired file or folder.
If there are a lot of files with strange names on the PC, renaming will take quite a long time. Do this job in several steps.
Bringing order to programs
Pay attention to your computer software, remove all unnecessary programs and games. Check your email inboxes, they may need to be cleaned.
Tidy up your browsers. Remove unnecessary extensions. Deal with bookmarks: check bookmarks (it happens that sites cease to exist), group or distribute bookmarks conveniently for yourself in the visual bookmarks window. If you have a lot of bookmarks in your browser, group your bookmarks into separate folders with short, easy-to-understand names in the bookmarks bar.
Cleaning and defragmenting the system
After cleaning up is complete, clean your computer of temporary and junk files. When moving large amounts of files, a lot of temporary files appear on the computer. Delete unnecessary files using the Windows tool , or using a specialized program, such as CCleaner .
After that, defragment your computer in order to collect fragments of files in one place on the disk. With significant data movement, the degree of file fragmentation will seriously increase. Defragmentation will streamline the distribution of files on the computer, increase the speed of the system.
Save important data with backup
To securely save information, back up your system or important data. By backing up your system to another drive (preferably an external hard drive), you are in the state of the system at the time of backup.
In the event of an operating system crash, restore Windows from a backup. In the event of a hard drive failure, the system or other backup data can be restored to a new drive.
For backup, you can use the tool of the Windows operating system, or specialized programs: Acronis True Image (there is a free version – Acronis True Image WD ), AOMEI Backupper , etc.
Constant maintenance of a certain order
After allocating files, keep your computer in order, place new files in previously created categories, or create new ones. After doing your daily work, it won’t take long to distribute files and folders to permanent locations.
Putting things in order on the computer for the proper organization of data storage on the computer will greatly increase the efficiency of work. Files and folders will be distributed among computer disks in accordance with a certain structure, the user will quickly find the necessary data.