Computer Desktop Organization Tips In 2021

Even though nobody likes having a cluttered computer, many simply do not have the time for computer organization. But did you know having digital clutter can be compared to having a cluttered office desk? To remain productive, you will need to practice maintaining an organized desktop at home. 

But how can I organize my desktop home screen easily? How exactly do I keep this part of a workspace clean if I don’t have free time on my hands? 

There is no secret to keeping your desktop free from clutter. If the task feels daunting or you don’t know where to start, know that you’re not alone. Many others are seeking computer desktop organization ideas so they can get started. 

Before sharing some of our tips, let’s talk about why you need to organize your desktop.   

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Have a Cluttered Desktop:

  • It is distracting – One of the most important reasons to learn how to clean up a desktop is because it can be pretty distracting. Our brain is constantly looking for pretty aesthetics. And if your desktop computer is bombarded with many apps and files, it can shroud your thinking and prevent clear decision-making. The fewer items there are within your sight, the more likely you can concentrate on things. 
  • It’s difficult to locate the files – At first, you may think having files on your desktop is convenient. While that’s true, your desktop can get cluttered with too many files without you realizing it. Once this happens, it can be difficult to locate a file you need; especially if you already have several files and folders with the usual “Untitled” filename.  
  • It slows down the device – When storing your files, folders, and apps on a desktop, the device is being overloaded with resources that keep it busy. Apart from slowing down the device, it can also eat up the battery. 

Knowing these, it’s interesting to see why there are so many people who keep their desktops organized and free from unnecessary clutter. Here are some of the common reasons why people have a hard time organizing their computer desktops:

  • Procrastination – People often put off the idea of clearing their devices from clutter, until it’s too late. 
  • Clearing files – People may have a hard time deciding which files to delete from their desktop. 
  • Staying consistent – When people finally decide it’s time to organize their desktops, the next struggle is to stay consistent with the new files and folders they create. 

If you wish to clear your desktop of clutter, regularly organize your files. This is the only way to avoid cluttering your desktop once again. 

Determine What Computer and System You Have

Before organizing your computer, it’s important to determine the operating system and device you are utilizing. This is because a Windows computer has a different organizing process compared with a Mac computer. At the same time, you can easily identify the software and hardware that runs on it. 

When it comes to identifying the operating system utilized, determine this when starting up your device. The two most common systems that people utilize at home include Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS. But apart from this, some users have a device running Linux or Chrome OS. And if you’re utilizing a tablet, you might be using Android or iOS. On your desktop computer, quickly identify the OS being utilized by clicking on the Start button. 

In addition to what kind of OS you are using, it’s also important to identify the version you are utilizing. The latest Windows version right now is Windows 11, but some users are using Windows 10, 8, and 7.

How To Organize Your Mac Desktoporganize your mac computer

If you have a Mac computer, here are the steps to follow for computer desktop organization:

  1. Clean Up & Sort By

It’s a good idea to sort your desktop items by their name, kind, or date. These are simple things to begin with when decluttering your desktop and making it organized. 

One feature you can make use of is the Stacks feature. This will provide a more tidy and organized desktop since you can group related items into one stack. 

  1. Remove Redundant Files

As a computer user, you must distinguish the files that are important and used often. Once these files are identified, place them on your desktop for easy access.

As for the files that are temporary and no longer needed, get rid of them as soon as possible. Not only will this declutter the desktop, but it will provide additional storage space.

  1. Use the Folders & Tags

One really neat thing about macOS is that it has a way to segregate your files. Utilize folders and tags to store files of the same type together. For example, you can store photos in Pictures and docs in Documents.

You can also utilize Finder tags and put an assigned color label on files. This way, you can easily sort through items on your computer.

  1. Use Spotlight

Here’s another neat way to locate your files: Spotlight. Simply press the Command + Space buttons on your keyboard to access this feature. Then, type in the name of the object and choose from the suggestions. 

How To Organize Your Windows Desktop Computer

desktop organization ideas

Meanwhile, if you are using a PC computer from a brand like HP or Dell, you may be using a Windows OS computer. Here are some tips on how you can organize your desktop with this OS: 

  1. Hide Your Desktop Icons

If you don’t utilize your desktop too much but still find program shortcuts, you can hide everything to clean it up. Right-click on your desktop, choose View > Show Desktop Icons. This will empty the desktop. 

  1. Sort Your Desktop Icons

Another way to keep your Windows desktop computer organized is to sort files alphabetically or chronologically. Simply need to right-click on the desktop and choose Sort By. With this option, you can easily find what you are looking for. 

  1. Treat the Desktop as a Temporary Space

The main reason why people store files on their desktops is so they can easily access them. You can also follow this example and utilize the desktop as a convenient place to store files currently being worked on. 

When you’re done with these files though, transfer them to their dedicated folder so you can clear your desktop once again. 

Other Computer Organization Tips To Keep Your Computer and Files Organized

Here are some other tips to follow to keep computers and files organized:

  1. Do a Weekly Sweep

It’s a great idea to declutter whenever possible. Delete or hide the files or apps not being utilized. Also, if you can’t remember the last time you used an app, uninstall it. 

  1. Rename Your Files Properly

Have a file-naming convention on the files you utilize regularly. You can use a code with the file for chronological order listing

  1. Have Folders and Subfolders

Be strict with your organization by utilizing folders and subfolders. This will keep you organized and easily seek things based on the client or specific file type. 

  1. Customize Your Background 

To have an organized PC, an excellent trick to follow is to customize your background. You can separate your most-used apps on the left side of the screen while storing the frequently accessed files on the other side.   

  1. Sort Through New Content

Although it may be tempting to dump new files on your desktop, it’s a bad practice. You have to commit to taking time to go through your files and apps weekly. It won’t take you too long to do and will be worth it. 

By following these tips, you can have a clutter-free desktop in no time. The important thing is that you regularly check your files so you can be consistent with this practice. 

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Computer organization tips infographic