What is Disk Defragment and How is it Affecting Your Drives?

There is nothing easier than do a disk defragmentation. But, do you even know why do you need to do it, how to do it and which drive you can and can’t do defragmentation on? In this article, we will explain to you everything you need to know about it.

Defragment Optimize Drives

Let’s say that you have been using your hard drive for a very long time and in that time you noticed that your HDD performance starts to slow down. That means only one thing; that you need to “defrag” your hard drive. But how does this happen?

Well, when you are saving and deleting files, small packets of information end up being in random spots and what you are doing by disk defragmentation is putting those small packets back together in the same place. 

If you didn’t figure it out, don’t worry we will show you right away.

What Is Disk Defragmentation And How Does It Work?

Imagine that your disk is a really long sheet of paper and you save all the files on it. As you downloading and saving files, your disk is getting more filled.

Disk Defragment Windows 10

At some point, you delete something from your PC, which is totally normal and when you do that, you free up some space on your drive.

Disk Defragment

The problems begin when you download something again after you deleted some previous files. You are then filling that free space with the new information and when this empty part of space is filled, your disk is going to save the rest of that file on the next free space it finds.

Disk Defragmentation

So if you wanna open that file, your drive needs to find that information and if that information is not saved in the same place, then it needs more time to reach it. 

*The files take more time to be found when you’re using the classic spinning hard drive.

Defragmentation reverses these effects by doing two things. 

  • It reassembles files that have been broken into little pieces and places them in just one physical location on your disk. This allows your disk faster access.
  • It rearranges most of the free space on your drive into one large continuous chunk so that your PC won’t try to split new files or information into different places anymore.
Disk Defrag

Does Disk Defragmentation Improve Performance?

Disk defragmentation is going to give your PC or laptop some additional speed but in a small and probably not significant amount.

How much performance will be improved depends on when was the last time you have done “defrag” your disk and how much you are saving and deleting files on your PC or laptop.

Should You Defrag SSD?

Did you notice that we didn’t mention SSD the whole time while we talked about disk defragmentation? 

The reason for that is because you are not supposed to defragment it.

It doesn’t result in the same performance benefits for SSD. 

Solid-state drives don’t have any moving parts like HDD. Because of that, the PC can access all the data at the same speed no matter which part of the chip of SSD is holding that particular information.

Trying to “defrag” SSD can do more damage than good.

But don’t worry, If you are running Windows 7 or some newer version, don’t fret. The OS won’t even let you do defragmentation on any connected SSDs. Instead of that, it will give you the option to optimize the SSD which is good for your SSD and can’t hurt it. 

SSD Defragmentation

How To Defrag A Hard Drive?

As we said, there is nothing easier than do defragmentation on your drive. Just follow these 3 steps:

1.step – Open Start, type Defragment or just “Defrag” and select Defragment and Optimize Drives.

Defragment and Optimize Drives

2.step – Select the hard drive and click Analyze.

Note – You always want to analyze the drive first, then you can see if the drive needs to be improved. If the outcome is less than 10% fragmented, you probably don’t need to optimize the drive.

HDD Defragmentation

3.step – After analyzing is complete, click Optimize.

Once the process is completed, the current status should be shown as “0% fragmented.”

How Often Should You Defrag?

How often you should “defrag” your hard drive depends on how you use your PC. If you add and remove files on a daily basis, your device may need more frequent defragmentation than someone who only uses their computer every now and then.

For most people defragmenting once a month should be enough.

Windows 10 has a cool feature where you can set up a schedule for your next disk defragmentation.

This is a useful option which will prevent you from forgetting to run basic maintenance on your computer. Just set up a schedule and let your system do the rest of the job for you.

How To Set Up The Optimization Schedule?

You can easily set up an optimization schedule by following these simple steps.

Optimize Drives

1.step – Select Change settings

2.step – Change the frequency to Daily, Weekly (default), or Monthly

3.step – On Drives, click the Choose button and select on which drives you want to apply this schedule

4.step – Click OK and you are done

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