Disk Defrag

Fragmented files on your hard drive can affect the performance of your PC. Defragging these files using disk defrag will ensure your PC runs at its best. Although there are many commercial tools available to defrag your files, the free defrag tool that comes as part of Windows works fine.

Windows has included a  Disk Defragmenter since Windows 95.

Disk Defrag - Windows 10
Disk Defrag – Windows 10

What are Fragmented Files?

Hard drives store information in ‘blocks’. When data is saved on a hard drive, it is broken up and stored over many blocks. This affects the performance of the PC as it has to access data from many areas on the hard drive, just to open one file. Some programs have a large number of files needed to run correctly. I.e. Word required access to many files and services spread out over the drive just to view a single word document. Defragging the drive moves data onto blocks adjacent to each other thus allowing the PC to access and open files faster – improving performance.

Before you Start

Solid State Drives (SSD) should not be defragged as it can decrease the lifespan of the drive. Windows 10 will detect if a drive is SSD and give a warning. SSDs use a flash based memory which allows files and programs to be accessed quicker than a traditional hard drive – meaning the performance gains from defragging the drive would not be noticeable. Earlier operating systems may not detect a SSD. It is important to be aware of the type of drive your PC has before defragging.

Running Disk Defrag

Windows 10

  1. Click the Start Button.
  2. Type ‘defrag’ into the search box.
  3. Click on ‘Defragment and Optimise Drives’.
  4.  Select (C:) Drive and Click Optimise.

Windows 8/8.1

  1. Move the mouse cursor to top right corner of the screen and click search.
  2. Type ‘defrag’ into the search box.
  3. Click ‘Defragment and optimize your drives
  4. Select (C:) Drive and Click ‘Optimise’.

Windows 7

  1. Click the Start Button.
  2. Type ‘defrag’ into the search box.
  3. Click on ‘Disk Defragmenter’.
  4.  Select (C:) Drive and Click ‘Defragment Disk’.


Using Disk Defrag as a regular part of computer maintenance is a great way to ensure your machine will run at peak performance.

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