How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

Files and folders tend to accumulate over time on our Windows computers. We often end up buying an external hard drive and soon upgrading it as well. It’s time to check out the subtle art of managing files and folders on Windows 10 computers.


How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

Just like our homes, we also like to store garbage on computers. What if “we need it someday” is the story we tell ourselves. And before we know it, there are way too many folders and files. Do you know what the other problem is? Storing files is easy, searching and retrieving difficult.

Let’s see what we can do about it.

1. Unload / delete files

There is so much data on our computers, but we don’t use half of it every day. Probably even more. And we never need many of these files. They are old, redundant and no longer serve their purpose.

I suggest you delete these files and folders or move them to an external hard drive or USB drive. This should empty a lot of space and make room for new garbage in the future.

2. Folder structure

I noticed that some of my friends like to save all files in one folder. All. It’s just lazy and bad management. Create folders and subfolders in a logical structure. This way, everything will be neat and you will have an easier time exploring the required folder. Right click anywhere to create a new folder or use the top bar.

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How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

Try using pen and paper or a mind mapping tool to create a structure that makes sense. Move the files to these folders and continue to adjust as needed along the way. An example can be the creation of a folder structure by company, city, department, person and project.

3. Do not use the notepad

Many users have a strange habit. They use Notepad to take quick notes. It is ineffective. Instead, use a note-taking app. We’ve covered so much over the years on GT. It will help you take better notes, search and edit, and more. How many text files can you create and how do you even search for their content?

4. Name logically

This is another mistake many computer users make. They do not correctly name their files and folders. This makes it difficult for them to find the same thing later on. Name your files and folders logically so that you can find them even after years. Do not use alphabets or random numbers.

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How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

Avoid using abbreviations, but instead use full names to make it easier to find and find. An example can be the assignment of numbers. Name the files 001, 002, and 003 if you need to, along with the Microsoft report, Steve Jobs profile, etc. Always opt for correct spelling if necessary or a logical sequence in case of numbers.

5. Use of metadata

Have you noticed the View tab in a folder? You can use it to sort data in several ways. Some examples are name, date, tags, size, file type, author, title, etc. You can also change the size of the icon to show more or less files in the same space.

Manage files and folders efficiently in Windows 10 2

How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

Also see the Group By and Add Column functionality. You can choose to group similar files and folders together and add columns that show more metadata. You can then organize them in ascending or descending order.

Manage files and folders efficiently in Windows 10 3

How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

6. Cloud storage applications

Did you notice that I have three different cloud storage folders in the screenshot above? This is because all of my files and folders that I don’t use frequently are stored on a hard drive. The rest is stored on these cloud applications. The only folder that remains contains old and hard to find audio and video files.

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How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

Use Google Docs or Microsoft Office to create and save documents. You can also use them to save other files online, keeping the offline storage empty for really important and sensitive items.

Using cloud storage will also protect your data from accidental damage caused by fire, water, theft, drops, failures, errors, etc. You will also never have to save duplicate copies of this very critical file. And if you do, it will consume less space on your computer.

7. Hide files

Most of the people don’t care or know how to hide files. Right click on any file, leave the system files alone, and you’ll find an option to hide the file under the Properties menu.

Manage files and folders efficiently in Windows 10 4

How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

You can also hide, show and show hidden files and folders from the View tab of File Explorer. It is a good way to eliminate clutter without having to delete or even move files and folders. Learn how to use it effectively to manage files and folders on Windows 10 computers.

8. Quick access menu

You will find the quick access menu on the left sidebar of File Explorer. An easy way to quickly access your most used files and folders.

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How to effectively manage files and folders in Windows 10

Navigate to the file or folder you want to add from the sidebar itself, right-click and select Pin to Quick Access to add it here.

9. Look faster and better

Windows 10’s default search is not sufficient. You can search for apps in the Start menu and for files in File Explorer. While they both work, they’re both mediocre at best. There are much better and faster search tools that you can use to find and locate anything on your computer. Go check them out.

Organizational skills

Windows 10 offers many ways to manage and organize files and
folders on your computer. It’s just that most people don’t know how or
have time to explore the menu. Once you do and start to think logically,
it becomes easier to manage files and folders. In addition, it is essential to
understand that this is a process. You will have to make some
do housework from time to time. It is not a set and forget system. As
you create and save more files and folders, you will notice that things
get out of hand again. Maybe once every few months?

Then:

Do you have something sensitive that you want to hide and protect? Click on the link below to learn how to lock files and folders on your Windows 10 computer.

Last updated on August 6, 2020

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