Microsoft Windows can get complicated. It’s not (always) the OS’s fault. Download tons of apps and files, and create new content on your own, until your “Downloads” directory looks like a dumping ground for old content. Your desktop is so full of icons that you can’t see your pretty wallpaper. Your start menu looks like a buffet of apps. In short, your operating system is a disaster, but not irreparable.
At Lifehacker we take spring cleaning very seriously. Far be it from us to miss the opportunity to refresh, reorganize and order the life of our homes. We’re also very excited to hit the reset button on our use of technology, take a closer look at our finances, and give a boost to daily habits that have gotten a little stale. Welcome to Spring Cleaning Week, where we clear away the cobwebs of winter and set the stage for the sunny days ahead. Let’s clean things up, okay?
There are some free apps you can use to add some much-needed organization to your Windows world. Here are some of our favorites:
We covered this app a long time ago, but it’s worth resurrecting. DropIt is a great utility that can help you stay organized if you’re the kind of person who dumps everything you download (or copy to your PC) into a single folder, a giant, sprawling hub where a lot of files go, but rarely. they go out
DropIt allows you to set up a bunch of different rules that are triggered whenever you drag files onto the utility’s little icon. For example, you can set the app to always move image files to your main Photos folder, video files to your Videos folder, and Word documents to your Documents folder.
That’s just the beginning. If you want to go further, DropIt can automatically scan folders (like your Downloads folder) and apply more advanced filters to anything it finds, like automatically unzipping files, renaming files based on your parameters, or compressing large batches of files you don’t want. otherwise they would be taking up a little more space than you want.
Automation is a great way to help you stay organized in Windows, and DropIt practically gives you a virtual helper at your fingertips.
If your sprawling photo library needs some serious organization but you don’t want to pay for something like Adobe Lightroom, the open source app digiKam is a great alternative.
Use this app to sort your photos and create (or edit) metadata so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in one easily accessible library. If you’re also a bit of a photography perfectionist, you can use digiKam to edit your regular and RAW shots to make them perfect.
This app is a much better solution for organizing shots than just dumping them into arbitrary Windows folders. Your disorganized hard drive will thank you, and you’ll be much less likely to lose (or forget) pictures in the future.
Screenshot: Launch Box
We’re not going to ask why you have a bunch of emulators installed on your system, and we’re going to assume that all the ROMs spread out in that nightmare of a folder structure on the “Games” part of your hard drive are completely legal. Right? Anyway, if you’ve just spent the last day feeling nostalgic downloading files from thousands of different retro games to play on your modern PC, keeping these games under control will be overwhelming.
We suggest grabbing LaunchBox, which is a great “game organizer” utility that lets you quickly find and play titles in your giant library. You can tap into the app’s multi-source database to pepper your titles with useful information like release dates, genres, publishers, and images, and you can bookmark certain games to make the topic easier to find when you’re ready. some time. to kill.
LaunchBox also makes it (somewhat) easy to import games from your favorite distribution services, like Steam, Battle.net, and GoG (to name a few). If you’re the biggest gamer in the world who plays everything you can download and always grabs new titles to try from all the major services, LaunchBox is a great way to organize your games under one digital roof.
Screenshot: Nurgo Software
Everyone knows the Windows Aero Snap shortcuts, right? Press the Windows key + one of the arrow keys on your keyboard to send your active window flying all over your screen: minimizing, opening, shrinking to fill a quarter or half of your screen, and bouncing off your main screen entirely ( if you have a multi-monitor setup).
AquaSnap takes this concept and enhances it. You can snap your windows to different parts of your screen, just like with Aero Snap, but you can do a lot more too.
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