When you’ve had your computer for a while, you have probably noticed that it’s running a little slower, or that you are running out of storage space. Keeping your computer organized will help you to be more productive, and to keep your computer running smoothly. Here’s what I do to declutter my digital space.
BACK UP YOUR FILES
My laptop (MacBook Pro – Mid 2012) has been suuuuper slow for so long now. I use an external hard drive to back up my files on Time Machine, but I’ve also had to get a separate external hard drive just to free up some space. Backing up your files is a simple way to preserve your data while freeing up space on your computer.
You can back up your files to the cloud, you can buy a physical external hard drive and manually transfer the files you want. I used this 500GB drive to back up my photos and then I completely deleted them all from my computer.
RESTORE TO FACTORY SETTINGS
If your computer is still cluttered and slow after removing/backing up files, you may want to consider restoring you computer to factory settings. Even after I had backed up almost 500 gigs of pictures and video to my external hard drive, my computer was still slow and laggy. I was so frustrated, and didn’t even like to use it anymore. I started looking at new MacBooks, but I really just wished mine could work like it used to.
I did some research and decided to restore my computer to factory settings, and then reinstall the operating system. Definitely do your research and back up all the files you want if you decide to do this.
I restored my laptop and only brought back the few files I needed. My computer is like new (except my battery life isn’t the best still), and I am so happy I can use my computer again.
KEEP YOUR DESKTOP CLEAR
If your desktop is cluttered, you will have a hard time finding the files you need. Only keep the main applications that you need on your desktop. I just have my Finder, Chrome, Safari, Calendar, iTunes, and System Preferences.
NAME YOUR DOCUMENTS CLEARLY
Ensure that you can always find that file you’re looking for by organizing and naming your files properly. When you label things clearly, you’ll be able to use the search feature to accurately pull up what you’re looking for. It’s also so much cleaner if everything is in its proper folder.
If your folders and documents are named clearly, then finding duplicates will also be easy. There’s no purpose to duplicate files, and they just take up valuable space. You can sort your files by Name or by Kind to help identify duplicates. Delete them to keep your space clear and organized.
EMPTY OUT YOUR TRASH
Don’t leave files to sit in the trash, junking up your computer. I like to delete my trash weekly.
EMPTY YOUR INBOX
If you have a ton of emails, try to set aside some time to just go through and delete them. I keep some emails unread if there is something I need to do, or be reminded of, but the goal is to have zero emails.
Also, do a quick inventory of the type of emails you are getting. Unsubscribe and delete any type of advertisements or newsletters. Really purge any type of emails that you want out of your life.
SORT THROUGH YOUR PHOTOS
I love taking photos. I take tons of pictures…of the same thing…multiple times. Sometimes you need to work the angles! What can I say!? But all these photos can really take up tons of space, so before you back everything up to the cloud and/or external hard drive, go through and delete any random/bad pictures. I recently bought this new external hard drive to hold all my new photos and media; it’s 4TB, so I think I’ll be good on storage for a long time.