How to defrag computer and improve its speed?

It’s important to defragment your computer periodically to improve speed and performance. This can be done as part of a larger computer tune up at ClickAway or you can do this specifically yourself. Optimizing your computer drives helps organize the data in your hard drive and can improve its performance tremendously, especially in terms of speed. If your computer is running slower than usual, you might want to know how to defrag computer automatically and manually.


Automatic file defrag

Most contemporary Windows operating systems are defragmenting your computer automatically. This feature is automatically enabled, so you don’t actually need to do anything extra. But if you want to control when your computer runs its defragmentation processes, you can do that to an extent.

  1. Press the Windows key or click the Start button on your desktop and locate the Control Panel. Once you’ve done so, click on the Control Panel to open it.
  2. Click on “System and Security.”
  3. Underneath the Administrative Tools section of the menu, click on “Defragment and optimize your drives.”
  4. A window will open, listing your computer’s various disk drives. Toward the bottom of the window, click on “Change settings.”
  5. A smaller window will appear. In this window, select the settings that best apply to how frequently you want your computer to defragment. When you’re finished, click “OK.”

Manual optimization

Like the previous method, if your computer’s operating system is Windows 7, 8, 10, or Vista, you can run its disk optimization tool when you think your computer is in need of one.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on “System and Security.”
  3. Underneath the Administrative Tools section of the menu, click on “Defragment and optimize your drives.”
  4. In the window that opens, click on the disk drive you want to defragment.
  5. Click “Optimize” to defragment the disk drive.

Do You Need to Defrag Mac Hard Drives?

Apple supplies a handy application for working with hard drives called Disk Utility, but it lacks a tool for defragmenting the drives connected to your Mac. The reason: A Mac running any version of OS X later than 10.2 or macOS does not need to be optimized. OS X and macOS have their own built-in safeguards that prevent files from becoming fragmented in the first place.

When you open a file, the Mac checks to see if it is highly fragmented (more than 8 fragments). If it is, the operating system will automatically defragment the file.

The result of all these safeguards is that a modern Mac rarely, if ever, needs to have its disk space defragmented. The only real exception to this is when your hard drive has less than 10% free space. At that point, the operating system is unable to perform its automatic defragmentation routines, and you should consider either removing files or expanding your disk storage size.

Should You Defrag an SSD?

While solid-state drives do become fragmented just like traditional hard drives, you should not optimize an SSD. Not only is it unnecessary, it could also shorten the lifespan of your drive.

A hard disk drive (HDD) stores data on magnetic plates. These plates spin at thousands of revolutions per minute while a dedicated read/write head sits above them. When you fragment these kinds of drives, it lines up the data on the spinning plates. This means the head doesn’t have to move around as much to read or write data.

However, SSDs don’t have mechanical moving parts like HDDs. Instead, they store information on memory chips, which means they can read and write fragmented data as fast as defragmented data.

Also, the memory chips in SSDs degrade every time you erase and write new data to them. So, defragging an SSD will actually cause it to die faster. That’s why you should not manually defrag an SSD.

However, you don’t need to remove your SSD from automatic defragging. This is because Windows 10 uses a different kind of defragmentation for SSDs. 

A free diagnostic at opens in a new windowClickAway can answer any questions you may have about your PC or Mac.

Category: My computer is slow
Tags: defrag, defrag computer, defrag mac, defrag ssd, how to defrag computer