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How to Clean Out Your Virtual Desktop

Paige Omandam
Oct 21, 2019
*Disclaimer: Some of the links in this blog are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Dynadot may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

If you don't remember what your desktop background looks like because it's littered with files, you're probably due for a cleanup. Today is Clean Out Your Virtual Desktop Day, a day dedicated to decluttering your computer to increase your productivity and organization. Here are the steps you can take to make your desktop a tidier, more orderly space:

Delete, delete, delete

Do you hoard files for years just because you "might need them later"? For the sake of your computer speed and memory, move the files collecting dust to your trash bin. If parting ways is too difficult, try the KonMari method of asking whether it "sparks joy." You can apply this to old applications, documents, and photos. Be honest with yourself about if you will need the file down the road or if it doesn't serve any purpose. If it's been years since you've opened a file, it probably belongs in the trash bin.

Sort your files & folders

If it takes more than a few seconds for you to retrieve a file on your desktop, you need an organization system. Instead of scouring through random files, create folders for broad categories with specific subcategories within them, for example, emails, documents, photos, media files, and applications. Add tags to your files to make them easier to sort later. When your desktop starts looking less chaotic, you'll feel more at ease too.

Back up your files

Protect yourself in case of emergencies like theft or damage by backing up your data. Losing irreplaceable files can be a huge setback, so save yourself the trouble by uploading them to a cloud service or hard drive every few weeks or months. Once you back up your files, you can delete them from your computer to free up even more space.

Protect yourself from Viruses

The internet is rife with scams and infected websites. Even the most organized desktops don't stand a chance against viruses. Ransomware, malware, adware, spyware, phishing, and trojans can put your personal information in jeopardy and damage your files. Antivirus software can detect threats as soon as you come in contact with them and do routine scans of your computer. We recommend Malwarebytes because of their innovative technology that targets and destroys malware that traditional antivirus can't. Whether you're using a Mac, PC, Android, or iOS device, they make sure you're protected.

Don't forget your physical desktop, too

Viruses on your computer are harmful but don't forget about viruses living on your keyboard and mouse. Did you know that your computer has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat? Take some time to sanitize your desktop and tidy your space around it. When both your virtual and physical desktop are tidy, your productivity can soar.

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