Digital devices are now so heavily integrated into our lives, it comes as no surprise that our tablets and computers are accumulating clutter just as quickly as our homes. Say goodbye to your digital clutter with these quick and easy tips for a seasonal tech overhaul from the tech experts at ASUS.
Laptops and Desktops PCs
Declutter your desktop
If all the files on your desktop are no longer needed, press and hold CTRL (for Windows) or command (for iOS) while you select multiple desktop files. Drag and drop them into your recycle bin, and voilà -- you’ve decluttered in an instant.
If you have files you really can’t part with, get in the habit of labelling them correctly and filing them into purpose-made folders such as finances, to-do lists, digital receipts or tax documents, etc. Take your clean-out one step further with an organisational wallpaper. Free to download and easy to use, these generally use boxes, frames or colours to group and section off your desktop files like a virtual pinboard. They come in a range of styles with separators for work files, personal files, frequently used files, and more - or you can personalise your own using a blank template.
Embrace working documents
If you’re in the habit of opening a new document every time you have an idea, phone number or task to jot down, creating and updating a selection of ‘working documents’ will keep your notes and devices neat and manageable, while reducing the excess data that can fill up your storage.
This will vary depending on how you use your tech, but as a general guideline, one working document for your work-related to-do list and one for your personal to-do list is a great place to start if you’re wanting to minimise your digital clutter. Keep these readily accessible on your desktop so that you can edit and add to them without fuss.
Erase old downloads
If Netflix, Youtube and Spotify have recently become your daily leisure staples, you’re in luck: streaming your entertainment is a fantastic way to keep space-intensive downloads to a minimum.
Unfortunately, many of us continue to cling to old files to the detriment of our devices, which can be especially problematic if you’re in the habit of transferring each and every file over every time you purchased a new laptop or desktop PC. Consider deleting old downloads entirely, or transfer them over to an external hard drive or cloud storage for safe-keeping.
Try your in-built cleaner
If you’re low on capacity and can’t figure out why, unnecessary program files and a full recycling bin may be to blame. Your operating system will likely have its own in-built cleaner, which can help ease the situation almost instantly.
On Windows, this in-built cleaner is called ‘Disk Clean-up’. Type this into your start menu and follow the prompts to rid your devices of any unnecessary program files and other digital clutter, potentially freeing up massive amounts of space.
For your tablet or phone
Group your applications
Grouping your phone or tablet applications will keep home screen clutter to a minimum. Leave you top four most used apps out on your home screen, then create folders to group the remaining apps into (such as social media, shopping, games apps, etc.). If you’re unsure what your most-used apps are, most phones and tablets offer you the option of checking which apps are most frequently used in your settings based on how much battery life or data you spend using these.
Minimise visual distractions
Do a clean out of your constant push notifications, which are both distracting and create visual clutter. Decide which apps you really need to see notifications from and turn the function off on the other apps in your Settings.
Transfer your photos for safe-keeping
Let’s be honest, the photos on your phone probably haven’t been looked at since you uploaded them to Facebook or Instagram. Keeping old photos on our devices is a habit that many of us are guilty of, and that uses up excess data storage. Transfer your beloved photos to an external hard drive or back them up on the cloud.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.
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