Digital Declutter Day #15: Media Files

We are moving into the third week of the Digital Declutter Challenge. Whether you’ve done each task or only a few, you should feel good about taking a step toward digital clarity. Today’s task is to clear old media such as movies, podcasts and tv shows from your computer and portable devices.

movie and audio files

Downloading media is smart because it gives us the chance to read, watch or listen at will. Often, we download something so we will be able to enjoy it at a time when we may not have reliable WiFi access, such as on a flight or in a remote area. In addition, streaming uses up a lot of data, so downloading can be financially prudent.

At the same time, most people rarely take the time to go back and delete downloaded media after it has been read, listened to or watched. Since these files can be large, it is wise to let them go when you are finished with them. If you’ve been keeping up with the Digital Declutter Challenge, you may already have cleared your collection on a previous day. However, if you skipped those days, or didn’t have the time to evaluate each media file, today is a chance to go back and get it done.

There are a couple of ways to tackle this task.

  1. The first is to open the folder where these often end up. Depending on what platform you use, this will usually be named “Videos” or “Movies.” Simply scroll through and move any movie/video/podcast you are finished with to the trash can/recycle bin.
  2. The second approach is to open your “All Files” (or the equivalent) folder and sort it by type. This will show you a list of every file that is on your computer so you can scroll to the section where all of your video and audio files are. Some of the most common file extensions we are looking for today are:

Popular Podcast/Audio Formats:

 – MP3

 – MPa

 – WAV

Popular Video File Formats:

 – MP4

 – M4V

 – MPG

 – MOV

 – AVI

 – WMV

 – 3PG

[Note: extensions for other documents you most likely have include .pdf, .jpeg, .gif, .png (images), .docx, .doc, .txt (text documents), .xls, .xlt. (spreadsheets) and .ppt, .pptx (presentations).]

Look through your podcasts and video files and drag any you are finished with to your trash can/recycle bin.

If you mostly watch and listen on a mobile device, open either your “Music,” “Videos,” or “Movies & TV” app. Sort through and let go of anything you know you will not come back to in the future.


Are you a podcast or movie fan? Do you think deleting these will free up space?

13 thoughts on “Digital Declutter Day #15: Media Files”

    1. Good morning my faithful “first commenter”..I love seeing your name pop up! This little task does save serious space, so it is worth it. Hope you have a good MLK day with the princesses. We used to bake coffee cake when we didn’t have to get up and head out to school right away.

  1. I don’t have many of these files, but I did purchase the final episode of The Gilmore Girls from iTunes, because the DVD we borrowed from the library was damaged and we couldn’t watch that one. Because I paid for it, it felt like something I should keep, but I’ve never watched it again. And seriously, if I’d paid that same amount to rent it, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, so why would I think this small expense was significant?
    Janet Barclay recently posted…8 Costly Website MistakesMy Profile

    1. Your observation that you haven’t watched it again is really the key to this task. We buy many things that we only use once, and this is perfectly fine. In fact, one of the benefits of downloads is that they are often quite affordable, freeing us from that guilt we associate with having made an investment. I still need to watch Gilmore Girls – I think I may be the only person living in CT who hasn’t seen it:)

  2. This task is what I need to do right now. I make food assembly videos, and sometimes they work and other times they don’t. My issue is I keep the one’s that don’t make into a video. No good because I then forget what is good footage and what isn’t. Oh Boy, I will be scheduling this one to do this week. I like to do this a few times a year but haven’t had a chance yet to do it for the last 6 months. Thank you for the reminder.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…The Best Goal Setting Advice You Were Ever ToldMy Profile

    1. I’ve had a similar experience, Sabrina. Any of us who make videos for publication end up with multiple edits. Because we are capturing and filming, we rarely take the time to go back and properly name the various iterations, making the deletion task more challenging. I affirm you as you work through this task this week!

  3. Pingback: Digital Declutter Wrap-up | The Seana Method Organizing & Productivity

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