How to Declutter a Computer

by Ticara Gailliard
Hands typing on computer keyboard image by Christopher Meder from <a href=''></a>

Over time, you may notice that your computer's hard drive, as well as your desktop, become cluttered and messy. Clutter can make it difficult to find what you're looking for, and cause the computer to run slowly. Cutting down your computer's clutter can help the PC run faster and may extend the computer's life.

Step 1

Get rid of unused programs. If you have dozens of programs installed, but only use about 25 percent of them, uninstall the ones you don't use. Open "Add/Remove Programs" from the "Control Panel" and uninstall old programs. Make sure you don't uninstall essential programs. If you are unsure of what a program does, try looking it up online to see if it's necessary for your computer.

Step 2

Delete files for which you have no use. If you make a document file for every note you need to take, delete them once you've used them. Remove any duplicate files. Print files you need to keep for record purposes so that you can delete them, or store them on a separate flash drive or external hard drive.

Step 3

Organize your remaining files more efficiently. Put documents into folders based on their subject. Photos, music and video files also should have an organized place on your computer. Take files from your desktop and add them to folders. This will make your desktop look much cleaner and make it easier to find files.

Step 4

Empty your recycle bin. The recycle bin may hold several gigabytes of material that is not being used. By emptying the bin, you will free hard drive space and may give your computer a speed boost.

Clean up your hard drive. Click on "Start" and select "Accessories." Select "System Tools." Click "Disk Cleanup" to remove temporary Internet files, system error logs and other files that can be safely removed from your computer.


  • Once you get your computer in a more organized state, take care to maintain this order. Try doing a small cleanup of your computer once a week, or at least every few weeks. Be diligent about organization and only install programs that you know you'll use often.


Photo Credits

  • Hands typing on computer keyboard image by Christopher Meder from

About the Author

Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.

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