An unorganized computer makes it more difficult to find information and a computer that is cluttered with unnecessary files and email messages can be sluggish. So if you haven’t organized your computer recently and it’s running slower than you’d like (or you’re having trouble finding things), the tips in this article can help you delete or move old files and email and can even help you do a thorough cleanup.
Note: If you’re concerned that, in your efforts to clean up your computer, you might have deleted files that you still need, click Open and then review the files in the bin before you empty it. To get back deleted files that you removed by mistake, select those files, and then click Restore to put them back to their original locations.
Finally, after you have cleaned out your files, learn 9 ways to manage them better. And if your computer is still running more slowly than you would like it to, get these tips for ways to speed up your PC and to optimize your computer for peak performance.
Back up important filesThe next step in cleaning up your computer is to copy selected files to another storage medium, such as a CD or DVD or an external hard drive. For your most important files, like project files, key presentations, or large emails, you'll rest a lot easier if you have a backup copy stored safely away from your computer—just in case you lose your computer or it fails. Learn more about options and how to back up your data.
Windows backup features make this step much easier and can help you automate the process. To back up your files, it's ideal to have a CD or DVD burner or an external hard disk drive you can connect to your computer through a USB or FireWire port.
Clean out your emailDo you have a system for weeding out and organizing your old email messages? Here are a few easy ideas to tame your email inbox and to help avoid email buildup in the future:
Organize and clear out your Internet filesIf you're like most of us, you do a lot of web searching and your Internet Explorer Favorites folder is bursting at the seams. It could probably use some weeding out and organizing. To organize your Favorites in Internet Explorer, on the Favorites menu, click Organize Favorites.
To access most of the cleanup tasks that you can do in Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options. In the Internet Options dialog box, on the General tab, you have two cleanup options: You can delete the temporary files that websites store on your PC, and you can set up Internet Explorer to save your history for only a specific number of days—or none. These steps can help you to reduce the number of unnecessary files on your computer.