About a month ago I got a new MacBook Air. It has been about a decade since I last used a Mac as my primary computer. 

One of the things that I’m constantly reminded of while using my MacBook Air is the need to clear stuff off of the desktop. As you might guess, I take a lot of screenshots for work. Out of habit, I send them to my desktop to make it easy to find them while I’m working. But they do fill the desktop screen quickly. At the end of the day I drag them all to the trash. 

Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because I looked in my trash bin yesterday evening and saw that I had more than 100 items in it. I quickly emptied it. 

Why does that matter? Because the trash bin, the downloads folder, and the documents folders are places that are often full of files we no longer need. And while holding onto miscellaneous screenshots and documents probably won’t hinder your computer’s performance to a notable level, those same folders when filled with video files, high resolution photos, and large GIS files certainly could. So make it a habit to empty the trash and other folders that have files you don’t need on your computer anymore. 

This is one of five tips that I highlight in a Practical Ed Tech guide to improving your computer’s performance. You can view the guide and get a copy of the guide right here