The 1-Hour Guide to Organizing Your Laptop (Once and for All)
Admit it, your computer is filled with junk
The clutter on your Mac computer is driving you B-A-N-A-N-A-S. If only there were a down-and-dirty way to do a quickie cleanup and data purge.
Good news: There is--and somebody set a timer, because all you need is an hour (or less) to get things organized and running super smoothly.
Here, how to get started now.
GET RID OF FILE DUPES
There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing you’re out of space because you saved the same files more than once (ugh, we hate you 2012 Powerpoint presentation). A third-party app like Duplicate Detective ($2.99) will quick scan your folders for dupes, then give you a chance to review before you gleefully hit delete.
Time Needed: 10 Minutes
CLEAR YOUR CACHE
Clearing your computer’s cache will help rid your system of temporary files that are slowing down your machine. To start, open Disk Utility (it typically lives in your applications folder on your hard drive), then hit First Aid > Repair to scan and patch up any major problems. From there, you can download an app like Dr. Cleaner to do the dirty work (fans of the app say it’s helped them reclaim 20+ GB of data).
Time Needed: 12 Minutes
DELETE DATED DOWNLOADS
Those plane tickets from last year’s trip to Bora-Bora? They’re still lurking in the black hole that is your Downloads folder. Open it up, scan for any and all useless files, then delete, delete, delete.
Time Needed: 8 Minutes
SAY GOODBYE TO OLD APPS
Just like you purge your closet, you’ve got to purge your programs. Can’t remember the last time you used Garageband? Into the digital trash can it goes.
Time Needed: 5 minutes
STREAMLINE YOUR DOCK
You know those colorful icons lining the bottom of your screen? A rule of thumb: If you haven’t opened an application living there in the past week, it doesn’t deserve such prime real estate. Removing it is easy: Just drag the icon off the dock and listen for a poof when you let go. (Taking it off the dock doesn’t mean it’s gone for good--the application is still alive and well on your hard drive.)
Time Needed: 3 minutes
COME UP WITH A SUPER SIMPLE FILING SYSTEM
Just like with your iPhone, your computer needs a filing system, too. In our book, the more basic, the better (desktop folder names like Photos, Music, Videos, School, Work, Finances should do the trick). You can always get more granular down the road, but the immediate goal is to create a system that makes it easy to organize new files in real time.
Time Needed: 7 minutes
AND DON'T FORGET TO BACKUP
Seriously, it’s important. Good thing we’ve got a guide for that.
Time Needed: 11 minutes