How to organize your computer to find information faster

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.

Clear out your old, unnecessary files

So how long should you keep old files on your hard drive? If you haven’t used a particular file for several months, you can probably delete it or store it somewhere else.
How can you tell how old a file is? In the folder where the file is stored, rest your mouse pointer over the file name to see when it was last modified. For more information, right-click the file name and choose Properties. You can see when the file was created, last modified, and most recently accessed. If a file is old and hasn’t been accessed in more than six months, it might be time to clear it out. If you’re not certain, it’s a good idea to open it just to be sure you won’t need it soon.
Image of the Properties dialog box for a file
By looking at the properties of a file, you can see when the file was created, last modified, and most recently accessed.
You’re the best judge to determine which files to keep, but you might want to consider saving these items:
  • Tax and legal information
  • Project-related files
  • Favorite digital images from the year
  • Plans you could leverage for future projects
  • Important email messages
  • Customer information

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