Working on a computer sometimes leads to more files than you can manage, particularly if it is something heavily related to your job. At the same time, even if you are someone who considers themselves a casual computer user who does not rely on the device for their work, it can still lead to clutter and other file-related issues.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is worth your while to familiarize yourself with some effective ways to manage computer files so that you can avoid potential problems. Let’s take a look at some suggestions on how to do that.
Learn About Different File Formats
Knowing what different file formats do will let you get a better grasp on how you need to approach them. For example, MacBook users should get a closer look at NTFS at https://setapp.com/how-to/use-ntfs-for-mac.
Another example could be PDFs. One of the most universal file formats across different devices also has more than meets the eye.
Use the Search Feature
The first tip is pretty straightforward. You want to use the search feature on a computer when you are unable to find a file or a folder. Putting the name of the file or folder in the search bar and pressing enter should give you the file location, though keep in mind that you may need to wait for a bit for the system to locate what you want, especially if there are many files on a computer.
Name Files and Folders Accordingly
A proper naming convention is another must to have when managing computer files. Do not get in the habit of leaving random files names, such as IMG_1 or IMG_2. A frantic behavior like that will lead to more confusion because you will struggle to find the necessary files even if you are using the search feature.
Also, keep in mind that you should name not just the files but also folders. In fact, you may even want to modify some folder icons so that you can distinguish them easier.
Rely on Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is worth having on a computer regardless if you have problems with file management. However, in this case, the purpose of an anti-malware tool is to ensure that your files do not get corrupted or deleted.
There are plenty of aggressive cybersecurity threats that pose a danger to computer files, and having antivirus software is one of the most effective ways to protect the device and files on it.
Get Rid of Junk Data
The less junk you have, the easier it is to keep track of files. Get a cleanup utility tool so that you can remove temporary system storage and other unnecessary files from the computer with ease.
Doing so will make file management easier, and you will have fewer worries about running out of storage space on the computer’s drive. If that happens, you are bound to notice drops in the device’s performance.
You may also have some large files that you need to remove manually. For example, media files like movies or TV shows. Remember that you do not have to keep such files on a computer and can use streaming services instead.
Pro tip: Do not just drag unwanted files in the Trash Bin when you want to delete them. Keep in mind that you need to also empty the Trash Bin each time to get rid of a file permanently. Or, as an alternative, use a relevant keyboard shortcut (depending on your computer’s OS) to get rid of unwanted files permanently.
Back Up Important Files
Backing up data might not seem like a direct method to manage computers files more efficiently. Nevertheless, it is still a crucial part and a safety net to have in case the computer hardware stops functioning or a malware attack wipes data.
Backing up data should not be too difficult. Simply purchase an external HDD or a USB flash stick and copy files from your computer to either of the two external storage accessories.
Stick to Cloud Storage
Cloud storage services like iCloud or Dropbox also work as a means to back up data. However, they do not offer as much storage as most computer users would like. That is, the free services do not, and you need to pay a monthly fee to get enough space.
Having said that, you can still utilize cloud storage to your advantage. Moving files between them and your computer and other devices, such as smartphones or tablets (if you sync a cloud account with these devices), can save a lot of time.
Moreover, it is quite convenient to share the same files between different people. If you work in a team, create a cloud account that you can share among yourselves.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
The last bit of advice is pretty simple, but it is still valuable. Stick to keyboard shortcuts to save time. And remember that it is not just about Shift + Delete to remove unwanted files permanently as far as valuable keyboard shortcuts for file management go.
No, you should also use Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to copy and paste a file or press F2 to instantly rename a folder or a file. Efficiency is one of the keys when managing files on a computer, and knowing relevant keyboard shortcuts helps with that efficiency.