The computer desktop area is always at risk of becoming cluttered with application shortcuts, documents and picture files, especially when more than one person is using the same workstation. Not only does a large number of icons representing those entities make it increasingly difficult to find the file you’re searching for, but it also decreases the performance of the computer.

Your operating system is forced to display all of these unnecessary objects, which translates into increased loading times, unexpected errors and even crashes at the worst possible moment. Therefore, organizing your desktop should be perceived as a way to maximize your productivity, while also reducing downtime. Well, you will also be avoiding getting ‘the look’ from your IT guys, when you call them to fix your computer.

Determine what shortcuts are actually useful

Okay, you don’t want to hack and slash into your desktop icons without discrimination, so the first order of business is to identify which ones you’re frequently using and therefore, should be easily accessible. Auto arranging the icons on a grid pattern and sorting them based on the date when they were last modified should provide you the insight you need in this sense.

Categorize items and consolidate them in folders

It’s safe to assume that a number of icons and files found on your desktop belong in the same category; for instance, document files, screenshots, pictures, applications, etc. Instead of allowing each file and shortcut to occupy an individual place here, you could create relevant folders, label them according to the contents, and relocate these icons inside. We guarantee that this simple action will massively free up space on the desktop.

Show no mercy to junk shortcuts

Once you’ve already relocated the files that you’re actively utilizing within their category’s folder, you’ll likely be left with a few that don’t belong anywhere except the Recycle Bin. These consist of broken shortcuts to programs that have been uninstalled a long time ago, memos that are 3-4 months old, a random screenshot you had to send to the IT contractors for a diagnosis, etc. No, you won’t need these anymore, stop stalling!

Don’t fall back into the same lazy routine

While at this point your desktop is clean as a whistle, don’t forget that junk icons tend to accumulate rapidly if you apply the same behavior, like saving a document directly received by mail on the desktop for example. If you share a workstation with a colleague who refuses to adhere to your newfound desktop-friendly practices, then you should insist on using separate login accounts.

Select a wallpaper that motivates you to be organized

It might sound ridiculous at first, but the wallpaper you set for your workstation could play a major role in keeping the desktop’s icons organized and to a minimum. The most effective wallpapers in this case are images focused around a central motif, which allow you to frame the subject using clever icon arrangements. You’ll know that it’s time to clean your desktop’s interface when the number of icons doesn’t allow you to clearly see the picture.

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