Organizing computer files is necessary to keep yourself productive and efficient. It is also necessary to keep your computer clean and organized for its own efficiency.  A cluttered computer can mean a slower computer.  These simple steps should be able to help you get back control of your information. 

Clear Out Old, Unnecessary Files
If you haven’t used a particular file in several months you can store it externally or possibly delete it.  To see when a file was created, last modified, and last accessed, you can right click on the file name and choose properties. There is no need to delete anything you think you may use in the future, but if it has been a while since you needed it you should consider external storage on a disc or hard drive.

The Recycle Bin is where all deleted items go when you tell your computer to get rid of them.  In order to get rid of them for good you need to right click the Recycle Bin and select Empty Recycle Bin, before you do this, go through the files and make sure they are good candidates for being deleted, that way you do not accidentally permanently delete any important information. Remember, you do not necessarily need to delete all unused files, but storing them on a disc or hard drive will free up space in your computer.

Back Up Important Files
In addition to freeing up space on your computer, externally storing files is a good way to maintain a backup copy of the files you need in case of theft or damage to your computer. Make sure if you are using cd’s or dvd’s to back up your information, you organize and label them clearly so you do not have to go through too much work to quickly retrieve the information you are looking for.

Clean Out Your Email
Deleting and organizing email is a good way to clear out your inbox and avoid build up in the future. Some tips for managing your emails include:

  • Create folders where you can store messages by sender, topic, or date.
  • Create email rules to file and manage your messages automatically.
  • Use Mailbox Cleanup to assess, locate, and archive email.
  • Go through your sent folder and delete items you no longer need (especially those with large file attachments).
  • Once you are sure you don’t need emails you have deleted, permanently delete them all by emptying your deleted items folder.

Organize And Clear Out Your Internet Files
Chances are you spend a significant amount of time on the internet.  Make it a point to regularly clean out and organize your favorites folder so you aren’t saving pages you do not need anymore.  Clearing your cache and history regularly is a good idea to manage the temporary internet files that can slow your computer down.

These simple steps should help you be more efficient, and keep your computer running smoothly every day.

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