Don’t store it all on the Desktop!

Cartoon showing a guy with loads of files on his desktop

Do you have a Windows Desktop like this?

Screenshot of a Desktop full of files

During my training days, I saw this a lot.

Files and folders all stacked with content and placed on the desktop either in some sort of order (that meant something to the user) or just some random order, (like the example above).

Is it a problem?

It can be.

The Desktop is not meant to be a storage area for files or folders. Although it can store things, if you have a habit of parking huge files on there, (like the example below), you’ll probably slow your PC down…

Cluttered Windows desktop

There are other problems:

  • Desktop icons can easily get re-ordered or deleted by accident
  • Some backup programs don’t automatically save your Desktop
  • Most corporate remote working solutions (i.e Citrix) don’t replicate Desktop contents to your local machine

So if I want my files handy and accessible and I don’t use the Desktop, what should I do?

Use shortcuts…

If you want to avoid the problems above and still have icons on your Desktop, you can create shortcuts to your data files instead. Here’s a video showing you how to create a shortcut to a folder (or file)…

Once you create a series of shortcuts to items on your Desktop, not only will you improve performance, but you will also have a more organised desktop. The other advantage of this approach is storing files and folders in their proper folders (i.e. Documents, Pictures, Videos etc.) gives them more protection if you have to do a System Restore at some later stage.


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