The downsides of storing files on the Desktop according to PCWorld and Lifehacker

During my studies I’ve seen clear Desktops, utterly cluttered ones and everything in between. Desktop’s spatial surface, according to Kidd [1], forms a loose framework for holding patterns of information items for quick visual retrieval, provides a space for reminders of the awaiting work or tasks, and manifests an overview of accomplished work. The only drawback is the lack of the real estate for holding a high number of information items.

At least this is what average users think. However, there are other more subtle drawbacks which are mostly related to how operating systems and other software treat this special folder.

PCWorld writes that in Windows OS:

  • System restore deletes all files added to the Desktop from the restore point to the present time.
  • Many backup programs don’t backup Desktop by default.

If you think that OS X is better in this respect Lifehacker says that:

  • The graphical system uses a lot of resources to show files on the Desktop and cluttered desktops slow down a whole machine.

Anyway, it’s spring cleaning time and computers should get a nice cleaning – including files on the Desktop.

[1] Alison Kidd, The marks are on the knowledge worker, Proceeding CHI ’94 Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Page 212, 1994