Byte Me Article 183 – Storing files and photos on a PC

Storing Files and Photos on a PC

Part 5 of 10 – Computer Ownership

This article is the fifth of our 10 part mini-series of self-help articles covering all facets of computer ownership.  This week we cover the topic – how do I store files & photos?  If you are only going to use your new PC for browsing the Internet or playing games then most of this article can be skipped, however if you want to store important files or photos on your PC then the below information is worth a read.

Every PC has a hard disk drive (HDD) which in many respects acts as a storage tank.  The HDD stores files as digital data and doesn’t really care if the file is a system file (a file responsible for the running of the PC), or a Word document, a tax database, a song or even a photo.  These files take up some of the available space on the hard drive for the life of the PC or until you decide to delete them or move them to another HDD.  In most respects the amount of room a single file takes up is negligible however we will cover file sizes in a future article.

For a PC to function properly every individual file must have its own separate location or file name and the way these files are located is very much like a trees’ branch structure.  The latest operating systems such as Windows 7 and 8 give the user of the PC a series of ‘Library’ folders such as My Documents / My Music / My Pictures / My Videos etc.  The user can place files into these locations according to their type and this should help to find them again at later dates.  You can also create further ‘secondary’ folders or ‘sub-folders’ within the above ‘base’ folders & even more sub-folders yet again to further separate your files.

2014-07-19 Byte Me Article 183 - How do I store files & Photos

As an example in your ‘My Pictures’ folder you may find it handy to create sub-folders with names such as Family / Friends / Holidays / Occasions & Unsorted.  You could even have further sub-folders in the above ‘Occasions’ folder for every Christmas year and the ‘Unsorted’ folder may be handy when you are in a hurry to download photos from your camera.  They can simply be dumped into the ‘Unsorted’ folder to be reshuffled to more appropriate locations on a rainy day.  Even the individual files themselves can be named according to the material they contain – e.g. a Word document file can be called ‘Invite for Angela’ or ‘Holiday Packing List’ and once again this helps locate them later.

The user can rename, move or delete any of the individual files or even the entire sub-folders that are within these ‘Library’ locations.  This is what we call the ‘user data’ which you have created and it is yours to manipulate as much as you like.  This is in stark contrast to ‘system’ files and ‘program’ files which Microsoft or Adobe or some other software company has created to help run your PC.  These later files should never be moved or renamed as doing so could cause your PC to crash or not run at all.

When your PC is new it is very easy to create a logical folder structure such as the above that will suit your intended PC use – whether it is for work or for home.  Doing so from the start will help to avoid the situation we often see of literally a thousand randomly named files of all types sitting in the main ‘My Documents’ folder and the creator not being able to find what they are looking for without a lengthy and frustrating search.  Next week’s topic – why backup & how? 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

For more advice and assistance from Kerr Solutions, like and follow us on Facebook