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Wipe That Virtual Desktop Clean


Is your computer desktop a ghastly sight?

While October is mostly known for ghouls and goblins, it also contains National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day. So if you’ve ever struggled with a screen covered in icons, today is your day.

We talked with Geek Squad Agent Daniel Hughes from Rapid City, South Dakota, about how to clean up your act and organize your computer desktop.

Be aware of what you have on your computer 

Agent Hughes’ best piece of advice: Know what’s on your computer.

“Take a look at your desktop every once in a while to see what programs you have in the system tray or the dock area (think taskbar) because having too much functioning software can slow a computer down over time,” he said. Generally functional software is what is already running in the background of your computer.

Know what to keep, and what to delete

Agent Hughes warns about unneeded functional software taking up space on your desktop. 

“An example might be your antivirus program. It’s a good program to have, of course, but it’s generally already running whether it’s an Apple or Windows computer. Whether it is a subscription service, or a virus protector, those are the most common icons on your desktop and can be deleted.”

By filtering out what you might not need anymore, you give yourself fast access to those applications and files that you use most.

Some tips and quick tricks for combining everything

Organize your files into folders by dragging and dropping them. Subfolders are never a bad idea either! Working with photos? Agent Hughes suggests sorting by event or date. Either way will make tracking down an image easy peasy.

Another quick fix? Shortcuts.

“You can always clear a shortcut of a file so that the real, raw file doesn’t have to be on your desktop so it is not accidently deleted or lost. I drag the real file where it should go and then if it is something I am temporarily working on, or a short term thing, I will make a shortcut on the desktop and then work on that.”

Trash or treasure?

So you have made your folders, now what about those unwanted documents? Throwing items away on a computer is almost as simple as crinkling up a piece of paper and throwing it into your nearest recycling bin. Swish!

“When I throw something away I just think: Am I sure this is something that I don’t need?” Agent Hughes said.

Also, a lot of programs have a subscription software for viruses, which might also clear the recycle bin for you.

Whether cleaning, organizing or deleting, your computer will appreciate the TLC.


Happy National Clean your Virtual Desktop Day techies, and best of luck organizing your screen!


If you’re looking for a deeper desktop cleanse or more expert advice, there’s always Geek Squad. Find a helpful Agent online or stop in to your nearby Best Buy store.