How Can You Declutter Your Virtual Desktop?

Clean Your Virtual Desktop

Having a clean desk has some clear benefits for people, whether you are in an office or simply at home. It can lead to less stress as you will always know exactly where everything you need is as well as ensure that your desk will always give a positive impression to visitors or customers.

Along with this, a study from the University of Minnesota found that people with cleaner desks would donate more to charity as well as make better choices than those with messy desks. Though as nice as a clean desk looks, having a messy desk was also found to promote creativity so a perfect balance should often be acquired with your physical workspace.

October 16th is Clean Out Your Virtual Desktop Day, something that not many people consider when they think of cleaning their desk. Desktop’s are often the place where we save important files, folders, images and much more as they are easily accessible when placed as a desktop shortcut.

Clear Out Unnecessary Files

As a result, we can often end up with desktops that are cluttered with lots of icons. This is often counterproductive as we create these icons to save time compared to searching manually, but will end up having to spend longer finding the correct file you need.

There’s a good chance that a large portion of the files on your desktop are old and don’t need to be there anymore. The first way to clean out your desktop then is to weed out the old and unneeded files so that you only have the important files left. You should find that the number of icons disappears dramatically!

Create Folders

It may be tempting to simply save files, photos and more to your virtual desktop and then leave them there. But if you find yourself doing this often for files that are similar to each other, then you may want to consider creating folders to group these together.

For example, anything that you know only needs to be on your desktop for a short period could be placed into a ‘Temporary’ or ‘Short Term’ folder. Make a reminder to check this folder periodically and have the outdated or unnecessary items removed as required. It’s important though to not save anything crucial to this folder; not only may you forget it’s here but there’s a chance it might be deleted accidentally.

Remove Unnecessary Applications

While we may be discussing how to clean up your virtual desktop itself, it’s important to consider the overall health of your computer as well. Desktops often end up cluttered with lots of application shortcuts as these are created automatically once an application is installed.

Consider which applications you need on your desktop and remove those shortcuts that you don’t need. You’ll still be able to find these using the start menu, but there’s no need to have shortcuts to applications you don’t use. You may also want to consider going through your installed applications and uninstalling anything too old or unneeded.

These applications will often take up storage space on your computer or may be running in the background without you realising. This can slow your computer down, so it is not running at its optimal capacity, so consider giving your overall computer a clean out so that it can keep up with your needs.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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