Methods to Clear Up Your Desktop Icons for a Productive and Streamlined Workstation: 10 Useful Ideas



Digital muddle can go away you feeling pressured, make your gadgets gradual, and create roadblocks all through your workday. That’s why it’s important to keep up a clear desktop.

In case your digital area is organized, you’ll be able to shortly accumulate vital paperwork, initiatives, and footage. This may be particularly useful for those who use the identical pc for each your skilled and private life.

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The excellent news is that holding your pc’s desktop clear and arranged is less complicated than it appears. This put up gathers suggestions that can assist you create a clear, organized desktop that helps productiveness.

10 Laptop Desktop Organizing Ideas

These group suggestions will provide help to flip a cluttered desktop right into a clear and productive workspace. Don’t hesitate to check totally different strategies to see what works greatest to your typical workflow!

1. Create a folder system.

Be sincere: What number of recordsdata do you might have in your desktop proper now? 10? 20? 100? Have you ever misplaced depend? In case your desktop seems something just like the picture under, begin by shifting all the pieces into one folder to clear the air.

cluttered desktop with 100 files and many images overlapping

Making a Folder on a Mac

  • To create a brand new folder on a Mac, right-click in your desktop and choose “New Folder” from the menu.
  • You too can press Shift + Command + N. The folder will seem in your desktop immediately.
  • To vary the folder’s title, double-click on “untitled folder.” Then, you’ll be capable to edit a textual content field with a brand new title.

Making a Folder on a PC

  • To create new folders in Home windows, right-click in your desktop.
  • Choose New > Folder from the menu or press Ctrl + Shift + N.
  • To rename the folder, click on on it, enter a brand new title, after which press Enter.

After getting your folders created, you’ll be able to divvy up your recordsdata. The way you set up your folder system will rely in your particular function.

For instance, I incessantly write weblog posts containing many visible examples. To simplify the method and preserve a report of what I’ve included previously, I’ve created two folders: “Present Examples” and “Instance Archive.”

clean desktop, neatly organized folders labeled “current examples” and “example archive”

After I’m rounding up examples for a brand new put up from the net, I drop them within the “Present Examples” folder. This manner, I can simply find them after I write the put up. After scheduling the put up, I transfer the pictures to the “Instance Archive” folder to make room for my subsequent put up.

2. Select a naming conference to your recordsdata.

One in all my greatest worries about implementing a folder system was that it could be too troublesome to seek out my recordsdata as soon as I received organized — ironic, proper?

Between paperwork, screenshots, and different recordsdata for the a number of posts I work on, there are a number of totally different objects I’m dropping into folders. Recordsdata can get misplaced within the shuffle. That’s why I began utilizing a naming conference to arrange my recordsdata, which might permit me to find them shortly.

Select a naming conference for varieties of recordsdata, matters, initiatives, or every other manner that makes it simple to seek for them. For instance, after I’m creating recordsdata for HubSpot Advertising Weblog posts, I take advantage of this naming conference:

  • MKTG-Draft-OrganizeDesktop
  • MKTG-Screenshot-OrganizeDesktop
  • MKTG-GIF-OrganizeDesktop

This manner, it’s simple for me to seek out recordsdata by typing Command + F (Mac) or Management + F (Home windows) and typing within the naming conference to slim my search.

mac desktop organizing

This manner, I haven’t got to click on into my completely organized, however possible very full, folders to seek out precisely what I would like. As an alternative, I can seek for and instantly discover recordsdata utilizing my naming conference.

In the event you’re on Home windows, search via your recordsdata sooner by choosing the right class. You need to use the search bar on the backside of your display on Home windows 10 or click on on the search icon when you’ve got Home windows 11.

As soon as the search window opens, you’ll be able to choose one of many tabs beneath the search subject. The paperwork tab will slim down ‌your search. You too can embody the key phrase “paperwork” within the search subject.

MacOS has an analogous characteristic. When typing a search time period in Highlight or a Finder window, you’ll see a + button subsequent to the search subject.

Click on this button, and also you’ll entry totally different search criteria. You’ll be able to specify the kind of file you’re looking for or the file extension.

3. Experiment with a sectioned wallpaper.

Wish to take your folder group a step additional?

Whereas your desktop wallpaper is a superb place to show a photograph of your canine or your newest trip, a ton of wallpaper choices might help you keep organized. These wallpaper designs — together together with your folder system — make it simple to corral particular sections of your work.

To get you began, we’ve included a number of choices under.

CCanva pink organizational wallpaper

[Download here via Canva]

Lifehacker Wallpaper Sections

[Download here via Wallpaper Safari]

MoritzFineDesigns Chalkboard Wallpaper

[Download here via Moritz Fine Designs]

 Lifehacker Organized Wallpaper Design

[Download here via Canva]

Alt Textual content: Lifehacker Organized Wallpaper Design

IMG title: clean-desktop-sectional-wallpaper-4

I like utilizing a sectioned wallpaper as a result of it helps you visualize your workday. I’m a fan of utilizing Kanban boards to trace my totally different initiatives, and I’ve discovered that utilizing a sectioned wallpaper is a good way to maintain organized.

For example, you’ll be able to create a wallpaper with totally different columns to your backlog, upcoming initiatives, WIPs, duties you wish to prioritize, and completed work.

I’ve additionally seen folks use sectioned wallpapers on totally different days of the week to maintain observe of their subsequent due date. I extremely advocate this strategy for those who battle with deadlines!

4. Use a Chrome extension to pre-organize your screenshots.

Screenshots are one of many greatest contributors to desktop muddle. Once you seize a screenshot on a Mac (Command + Shift + 3) or PC (Alt + Print Display), the picture is saved on to your desktop.

If screenshotting is one thing you do lots, you’ll discover that it doesn’t take lengthy to make a large number of issues.

To keep away from having your screenshots robotically saved to your desktop, you should utilize a display seize software such because the Awesome Screenshot extension for Google Chrome.

Not solely does this software give you extra superior display seize capabilities — annotations, selective seize, delayed seize, and many others. — nevertheless it additionally goals to simplify the best way you retailer your photographs.

With Superior Screenshot, you’ll be able to manually select the place you’d like to avoid wasting your file or create an account the place it can save you recordsdata for particular initiatives. Right here’s the way it works.

1. Seize a picture by clicking the extension and choosing an possibility from the menu.Capturing a Screenshot on Awesome Screenshot

2. Choose your required saving possibility from the precise menu. For instance, for those who’d like to avoid wasting the picture to a challenge’s folder on Superior Screenshot, choose Save on Superior Screenshot on the high.

Awesome Screenshot Save

3. Insert a reputation to your file and establish which challenge you’d like to put it aside to by choosing an possibility from the menu.Awesome Screenshot Saving Option

4. To entry your file, go to the suitable challenge folder in your account dashboard. Awesome Screenshot Project Library

In the event you’re on Home windows, you can too robotically save your screenshots to OneDrive. As an alternative of going to your desktop or a custom-made folder, your screenshots will go to a cloud storage account. This answer doesn’t use any storage in your machine and means that you can entry your screenshots remotely.

Right here is how one can configure this setting:

  • Click on on the OneDrive icon within the backside proper nook of your display.
  • Search for the OneDrive Assist and Settings icon.
  • Go to Settings, then Account.
  • Scroll right down to Screenshots. You’ll have the choice to avoid wasting screenshots to the cloud robotically.

MacOS doesn’t have an analogous characteristic, however you’ll be able to modify the place your Mac saves your screenshots by opening the Screenshot app. Go to the Choices, and also you’ll be capable to select the place your screenshots go.

mac screenshot app

5. Get impressed by a motivational wallpaper.

Not a fan of the sectioned-off wallpaper? No worries. Different wallpaper choices can provide the motivation to remain organized.

In keeping with psychologist and motivation professional Jonathan Fader, inspirational or motivational messages usually encourage us to strive tougher.

“There’s a little bit little bit of implicit teaching that’s occurring if you’re studying it. It’s constructing that self-efficacy in that type of dialogue that you just’re having with your self,” he explains.

So for those who’re searching for a little bit teaching that can assist you keep organized, including an inspirational message to your desktop can function a pleasant, each day reminder.

Wish to create your personal motivational wallpaper? Observe the directions under to discover ways to use Canva.

1. Click on “Use customized dimensions” within the high right-hand nook and add your dimensions. Among the most common desktop wallpaper resolutions are 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, and 1920 x 1080.

Canva Custom Dimensions

2. So as to add a background picture, click on on Parts > Pictures. You too can select a plain shade or sample background by choosing Background.

Canva Elements and Photos

3. Choose a photograph and modify the scale utilizing the resizing factors round it.


4. So as to add textual content, click on on Textual content and select a heading or template from the choices listed. Alter the template textual content by including your quote of selection. (I selected a quote from Barbara Hemphill on muddle.)

canva quote

5. To avoid wasting your creation, click on the Obtain button within the high right-hand nook and choose Picture: prime quality (PNG).

canva quote

To set this picture as your wallpaper on a Mac or Home windows pc, check with the next tutorials:

6. Put money into a storage answer.

In the event you’re continually managing and organizing a number of recordsdata, spend money on an utility like Dropbox to handle your belongings higher.

The file-hosting service Dropbox affords cloud storage and file synchronization. Customers can create a folder on their computer systems that syncs with the service, making it simple to entry the content material it doesn’t matter what machine you’re utilizing.

Fairly than dragging all the pieces onto your desktop, merely retailer it in Dropbox, the place you’ll be able to shortly and simply seek for it everytime you want it.

You too can share folders with different customers to create a central area to your shared recordsdata. Having others wait on you to find a selected file prevents bottlenecks.

For Mac customers, syncing content material to your iCloud Drive is less complicated to again up vital recordsdata. It can save you time when decluttering your desktop since all of your recordsdata and folders will stay within the cloud. Plus, you’ll be able to sync totally different Apple gadgets and retailer all of your paperwork in a single location.

Microsoft OneDrive affords an analogous service for Home windows customers. You’ll be able to activate automated syncing to have your pc back up all your files to the cloud. The free fundamental plan consists of 5GB of storage, however you’ll be able to improve with a paid subscription.

In the event you use productiveness apps like Microsoft Phrase, Excel, Writer, and extra, you must know that Microsoft affords a bundle that features the 365 suite and 1TB of cloud storage. Plus, you’ll be able to hyperlink to recordsdata saved in OneDrive in your emails as a substitute of importing hooked up recordsdata.

Google Docs generally is a nice match for many who usually share recordsdata with different staff members. You robotically get 15GB of free storage together with your Google account and may simply add vital paperwork to share or entry them remotely.

Clear desktop. Organized recordsdata. It’s a win-win for everybody.

7. Schedule a weekly or month-to-month cleansing.

As proven by the instance we used again within the first tip, it’s simple to your desktop to get type of, properly… scary.

To make sure that you’re maintaining with desktop upkeep commonly, set a recurring occasion in your calendar to remind you to do away with something pointless. This generally is a weekly or month-to-month occasion, relying on how a lot harm you sometimes do.

organizing desktop calendar event

Alt Textual content: organizing desktop calendar occasion

IMG title: clean-desktop-calendar

In addition to holding your desktop clear, scheduling weekly cleanups ensures you don’t preserve doubtlessly delicate paperwork longer than it’s a must to.

Knowledge breaches went up by 37% between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022. It’s a severe menace. A misplaced or stolen machine can jeopardize private data and precious IPs.

You’ll be able to considerably mitigate this danger by moving into the behavior of deleting recordsdata you now not use each week.

8. Delete or pin app icons.

Do you know that companies usually use over 200 apps? It’s simple to finish up with a cluttered desktop when your employer requires you to make use of so many alternative instruments.

You’ll be able to take management of your app icons by putting in Toggl and making a free account. It’s a productiveness app that tracks your time on totally different duties. There’s a built-in characteristic that may let you know the time you spend on particular apps and software program so you’ll be able to enhance your productiveness.

After utilizing Toggl for a few weeks, you must know which apps you employ probably the most. If there are apps you didn’t use in any respect, it’s time to delete their desktop shortcuts.

As soon as you already know which apps you employ probably the most, pin them to your taskbar or dock:

  • On Home windows 10 or 11, click on Begin, search for the app, and right-click on it. Choose Extra and Pin to the taskbar.
  • On Mac, open the Shortcuts app. Click on on a shortcut, choose File, and Add to dock.

9. Customise your icons.

You don’t need to restrict your self to the default icons in your pc. You need to use clear desktop icons to make vital recordsdata and paperwork stand out or create a color-coded group system.

Right here is how one can change icons on Home windows:

  • Proper-click on the desktop icon you wish to change.
  • Click on on Properties, then Shortcut.
  • Search for the Change Icon.

You’ll be able to look via the Home windows icon and select one which stands out or choose Browse to import icon recordsdata.

With some graphic design expertise, you’ll be able to obtain icon packs or make your personal icons. You’ll want .ICO recordsdata in 16 x 16, 24 x 24, 32 x 32, 48 x 48, and 64 x 64.

Changing icons can be obtainable on Mac:

  • Choose the file or doc.
  • Choose File and Get information on the menu bar.
  • A brand new window will open. Click on on the customized icon on the high.
  • Click on on Edit and Reduce.

10. Arrange your desktop with automated flows.

Why do all of the arduous work when you’ll be able to automate your weekly desktop cleanup session?

You need to use instruments like Power Automate Desktop on Home windows and Mac Automator on macOS to automate desktop group.

These instruments mean you can create automated flows. In the event you set file names, codecs, or creation dates as variables, it’s attainable to create flows. With these file flows, your pc will robotically transfer particular recordsdata to a folder, exchange their default icon with clear desktop icons, and even delete outdated ones.

You’ll be able to run an automatic movement by launching it by way of a desktop icon or create a weekly routine within the Home windows Process Schedule or Mac Automator Device.

Notice: This methodology is greatest for superior customers. With this beneficial video tutorial, you can begin creating organizational flows with Energy Automate Desktop or discover ways to set up your desktop with Mac Automator.

Editor’s Notice: This put up was initially revealed in December 2015 and has been up to date and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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