Does Loading Up Your Desktop Slow Down Your Computer?

Last Edited: September 3, 2018 | Published: November 14, 2015 by

Does Loading Up Your Desktop Slow Down Your Computer?

How many icons and files do you have floating around your desktop?  Only a few?  Maybe a lot?  There is a common belief that the more stuff you have on your desktop, the slower your computer will run.  This is actually one part true and one part myth.  Today let’s take a look as to why this is the case.

When your computer loads, it loads everything on your desktop so it can be displayed.  Now your desktop is always on display, which means it is loaded into memory.  Makes sense as you have to be able to see it to interact with it.  The belief is that the more stuff you load onto your computer’s desktop, the more you will slow it down because the more memory you will use.

This is, well, sort of true today.  The more stuff on your desktop, the more memory it will use, but in today’s world with machines with 8GB of memory and beyond, the amount of memory taken up by files and folders on your desktop is actually minimal.

In the past, when memory was a little more limited, having a lot of stuff on your desktop could slow your machine down considerably.  The main fix for this was placing your files off the desktop into folders elsewhere on the hard drive.  In these days, people could see a dramatic jump in performance just by removing all those excess files from their desktop.

Today, it is a different story.  Yes, you can free up more memory by removing those from your desktop.  But because your machine has so much, it really won’t make that much of a difference in your performance.  In fact, you may not be able to see any kind of performance boost at all when you do this.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  After all, you should keep your stuff organized.  Just don’t think that it will make the difference between a fast and slow computer or turn your budget desktop into a speed demon.

In today’s world, your performance is more likely to be impacted by having an unorganized and cluttered desktop instead of your computer.  This is because of all the extra time you must spend organizing those files and tracking down stuff that you need.  Another great reason to keep a nice and tidy desktop.  It’s nice to be able to find everything, after all.

A cluttered desktop may have once been a problem, but in the modern world of computing it just isn’t quite the same, at least as it pertains to computer performance.  If you want to get every ounce of power out of your machine, then by all means clean up that desktop.  But the real reason you should is your performance issues, not your computer’s.

So what do you think?  Do you keep a nice and tidy desktop on your computer or do you have icons covering the screen making it hard to find everything?  Have you ever noticed a performance boost after you have cleaned it up?  Let me know about your experiences in the comments below.  I am curious to know what others have experienced.

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