This Is How to Organize Computer Files

This Is How to Organize Computer Files


In 2016, a survey found that 89% of American households have a computer. As you can see, it’s the norm to have a computer in the house. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone knows how to use it correctly.

For example, maybe you’re constantly downloading and saving files. But then, you can never find them because they’re in random folders.

If you’re wondering how to organize computer files, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to have an organized computer so you can make the most of your time while using your device.

Basic Organizational Skills

Before we get into the technical side of things, let’s first discuss some basic skills for computer organization.

It might be tempting to just leave everything in 1 folder after you’ve saved or downloaded something. But in the end, it’ll be a mess, meaning it’ll take forever to find what you need. Yes, you can use the Search function to try and find the file you want, but chances are, you haven’t renamed it since downloading, which means it might be something completely random.

Here are some basic organizational skills you should follow.

Have a System for Naming Files and Folders

If you download lots of files, then they’re usually going to be named a random string of letters and numbers. This won’t be very helpful in the future when you’re trying to look for specific files and they’re just all gibberish.

At the very least, rename the files to something you’ll remember, like “DogDrawing” or “BusinessInvoice”. If you think you’re going to have more than one of the same type of file, add some numbers behind, starting with 001. This will help you keep track of the files in chronological order.

Create Subfolders

Let’s say you have a folder for pictures from 2020. Chances are, there will be way too many to sift through if you want to, say, look for pictures from springtime, or more specifically, from your birthday.

So what you want to do is create subfolders so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for. Using the example from above, you might want to split the year into either halves or quarters, depending on how many pictures you have.

From there, you can have subfolders for each month. If there are special occasions (like your birthday or vacation), these can have their own subfolders as well.

How to: Organizing Computer Files

Now that you have an idea of how to organize your files, now we can tackle the “how to” side of things. That way, you’ll be able to actually organize computer files!

Read on for some basic tips.

How to Name Files and Folders

It’s easy to name files and folders! Simply bring up the file or folder in question by opening Windows Explorer. Right click and then select Rename. Type in the new name and then press enter to set it in stone.

You can also double-click slowly on the file name. This will then bring up the same bar to rename the file or folder.

How to Make Folders

When you’re on the screen you desire on Windows Explorer, right click, select New, and then Folder. This will then create a new folder, and you’ll be able to set the name.

You can create as many subfolders as you’d like in a folder, so feel free to categorize your files in the way that best makes sense to you.

If you’re creating folders you’re going to use often, you might want to pin them. This allows you to see the folders immediately on the left-hand side under Quick access.

To pin a folder, right click on it and then select Pin to Quick access. You should now see it on the left-hand side.

How to Put Files in Folders

Now that you have your folders made, how do you put the appropriate files into them?

It’s easy! Just click on the files and then drag them over to the folder you want to put them in.

If you have multiple files you want to move, here’s a shortcut to save you some time. Hold down Ctrl and then select every file you want. Once you’re satisfied, let go of Ctrl and then drag everything to the desired folder.

How to Hide Files or Folders

Maybe you have some files that are sensitive in nature (we won’t ask exactly what they are). Whether they’re company details or private photos, you’ll want to make sure no one can stumble upon these files.

To hide a file or folder, first find it in Windows Explorer. Right click and then select Properties. Under General, you’ll then see a checkbox with Hidden next to it; click it and then press OK to hide the file or folder.

If you ever want to access it again, open File Explorer. Click on View, then Options, and then Change folder and search options. Click on View, then Advanced settings, and then Show hidden files, folders, and drives.

Once you hit OK, your hidden files and folders will be viewable again.

For Macs, hide your files by pressing Command + Shift + Dot. To view hidden files on Mac, just use the same buttons to unhide them!

Know How to Organize Computer Files

After reading this article, you should now know how to organize computer files effectively. No longer will you have to spend countless minutes, trying to frustratingly sift through random files. Instead, you’ll be able to find exactly what you need, whenever you need it!

While it will definitely take a little bit of time to organize everything, we promise that it’ll be worth the time. In the end, you’ll have a fantastic new system for all of your files. So hop to it now!

Looking for other ways to have an organized computer? Then browse our other blog articles!


Edward Powell