How can I organize files and folders from 5 hard drives and a laptop?

Sanjay Patel February 22, 2013

I have been very lazy and stuff just piled up in different external hard drives I have and also on a laptop. I would like to organize them now, but when I started I faced problems with lots of duplicate files with different names, stuff that I do not need and stuff I don’t know where to keep.

Can you please give me suggestion How should I organize/label/use different hard drives for personal use?


  1. Schvenn Meister
    February 25, 2013 at 6:50 am

    IYF (Index Your Files) is a great free program and super fast!

  2. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    February 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I faced similar situation before. First, set aside some time to actually make the first step before you amass more data. Break the process into chunks. Mine went approximately like this:
    Scan the drive for duplicates->delete
    Scan the drives for old data I don't use anymore->delete
    Scan the drive for unneeded archives->delete

    Once you delete everything unnecessary, move the remaining data to one central place (if you can) and sketch how you want to organize them. One example would be assigning each hard drive with one kind of data like Video, Photo, Document, etc. Do it one hard drive per session to avoid frustration or boredom.

    Last, quickly classify your data once you create/receive it so it won't be a burden in the future. Routinely scan your drive for duplicates and unneeded data. There are many small, portable tools that could assist you with this process. You can even automate the process with Windows Scheduler and softwares like Belvedere.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      February 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      If you need recommendation to particular piece of software feel free to say so and I'll try to help you. The reason I don't list them is because there are so many alternatives that might be daunting.
      Personally I think you need to cover these categories:
      File visualizer (to see what kind of files occupy your disk space)
      Deduplicator (scanning and removing duplicates)
      The rest is optional.

    • Sanjay Patel
      February 23, 2013 at 3:43 am

      Thank You all for these valuable tips. I hope I can try this over this weekend. I think you are so right Lisa Santika Onggrid, I just need to start the whole process and take 1st step.
      Thanks Syed Hamjath, for my computer I will make new libraries.
      I also like the idea by Alan Wade, I will try to partition and label all the hard drive.
      Thanks for providing all the links Ramandeep Singh.
      Thank you all.

  3. Syed Hamjath
    February 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    What operating system you have?

    If Win 7.
    Then Create Libraries to manage you stuff, Its pretty easy when any other idea.

    FYI .,

  4. ha14
    February 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

    File organization tips: 9 ideas for managing files and folders

    stuff you do not know where to keep try in a folder Miscellaneous.


  5. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 22, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Same for me. I have some gigabyte-sized folders for my stuff. Eventually I bought more than one Terabyte sized hard disk, copied all my files onto it and started categorization, removed duplicates and very old files from it. I also have secondary big hard disk as a backup. Regarding the other smaller hard disks, I've labeled them according to my needs and use them for it's specific job. For example, I have one external HD for Pictures, one for Linux ISO's, one for portable apps and so on... Just don't forget to spare some for your current computer's backups and complete images.

  6. Alan Wade
    February 22, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Partition a clean hard drive with meanigful Labels like:
    Pictures (Yes, there is a difference).
    Office Files
    Personal Files
    Excel Files
    Excetera, excetera
    Copy the files into the correct catagories, deleting them from the other hard drive as you go.
    From there you can then decide what is worth keeping and what isnt.
    There is no quick solution to this, you just have to be patient and go at it when you can.

    I had much the same problem although it was only one hard drive to contend with and it took a little time but something you have to dedicate yourself to.

    • Ramandeep Singh
      February 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      "There is no quick solution to this"
      May be there is by using some tools recommended on MUO. Though I myself never used them. I never required.

  7. Imesh Chandrasiri
    February 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Use a duplicate file finder and delete the duplicate files from all of your devices. then divide the files into categories such as entertainment, work, documents etc...

  8. Ramandeep Singh
    February 22, 2013 at 2:09 am

    "Please wait a while before posting your next comment" Okay I waited 5 minutes but nothing happened. So second time:

    These articles should help you:


    And some of similar questions:

    How can I organize my files and remove duplicates?

    How can I easily organize all the files on my PC?

    • Alan Wade
      February 22, 2013 at 7:49 am

      When you see “Please wait a while before posting your next comment” try refreshing your page and your comment should appear.

    • Ramandeep Singh
      February 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      No. It not appear. As I said I waited for atleast 5 minutes. Refreshing used to work on previous comment system but on this it seems late.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      February 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      It has appeared now. Seems like the current system need about 5-10 minutes before showing the comment.

    • Sanjay Patel
      February 22, 2013 at 2:35 am

      Thank You.. i will go through these article.. i am sure this will help..

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