Should I defrag my Hard Drive?

volusia_computer_repairAs long as there have been hard drives, there has been disk fragmentation. If you’re concerned about your systems at all, you should be defragging them regularly. This probably reminds you of that flossing conversation your dentist has with youevery year—you know the one.  Well, fragmentation is just as important.

What does it do?

As data is saved and resaved to the spinning disc in your hard drive, small packets of information are deposited in random places all over the platter.  When you ask Windows to open a file, it then has to look in sometimes hundreds of different locations on those spinning disks to retrieve the whole file.  Defragging moves all of those pieces closer together, to improve load times and speed up your computer.  

How to defrag Windows 7

Click the Start button. Select All Programs, then Accessories. Choose System Tools, and then select Disk Defragmenter. You’ll probably have to put in your administrator password. Then hit Defragment Now. And that’s it. Disk Defragmenter will take a while, possibly even hours, to run through, but you can use your PC throughout the process.

How to defrag Windows 8 or 10

If it has a hard drive your Windows 8 PC, laptop or tablet will defrag itself by default every week, thanks to the scheduled task: Optimize Drives. So if you haven’t changed any settings, you shouldn’t need to defrag. But if you aren’t sure and you want to check the status of- or manually defrag your drive open Search (Windows+Q or swipe in from the right and open the Search Charm). Now type in ‘Defragment’. One of the results will be ‘Defragment and optimize your drives’. 


If your PC or laptop has an SSD rather than a spinning hard drive, DO NOT DEFRAG.  It won’t help, and it will reduce the life of your SSD.