How to optimize and defragment hard drive in Windows 10

Hard drive defragmentation is known to improve a computer’s performance. Below are relevant information and necessary steps to optimize and defragment hard drive in Windows 10.

Defragment hard drive in windows 10

Over time, the files and data stored on a computer’s hard drive become scattered and disorganized.

When the data stored on a computer’s hard drive becomes fragmented, the computer ends up spending more time retrieving data as it has to check multiple locations on the hard drive.

This fragmentation of data is common to traditional hard drives, ultimately resulting in an overall slowdown of the operating system and programs running on a computer.

Therefore, it is imperative to regularly defragment a computer’s hard drive using the built-in Optimize Drives utility available in Windows 10.

1. How does the Optimize Drives utility speed up the computer?

When you run the Optimize Drives utility on a computer with a traditional hard disk drive (HDD), the hard drive is defragmented, ensuring that scattered files are rearranged in an orderly manner and occupy contiguous locations on the hard drive.

This orderly arrangement of data on the hard drive minimizes the time required to read and write files, resulting in an overall increase in data transfer rates on your computer.

Since computers with SDD drives do not need to be defragmented, the Optimize Drives utility works differently to optimize SSD drive performance.

After running the Optimize Drives utility, you should notice improved startup times and faster opening of files and applications on your computer.

2. When to defragment disk in Windows 10?

Windows 10 should automatically run the Optimize Drives utility on your computer weekly to defragment the hard drive and improve its performance.

This doesn’t always happen, however, and it’s a good idea to make sure your computer’s hard drive isn’t too fragmented.

Although there is no hard and fast rule as to when hard drives should be defragmented, it is considered good practice to keep the hard drive fragmentation percentage to a low value (5 to 7%).

In general, you should consider running the Optimize Drives utility if you notice any sluggishness in your computer’s performance.

3. Steps to defragment hard drive in Windows 10

Follow the steps below to defragment hard drive in Windows 10.

1. Type defrag in the Windows search bar and click Defragment and optimize drives Option in the Best Match section of the search results.

Open the Optimize Drives Using Search utility in Windows 10

2. On the next screen, select the hard disk you want to defragment and click on that Optimize Button.

Optimize hard drive in Windows 10

3. Wait patiently for Windows 10 to finish the process of defragmenting the selected disk.

Once the hard drive is defragmented, you should notice a significant improvement in your computer’s performance.

4. Using Optimize Drives utility on SSD

Unlike traditional hard disk drives (HDD), SSD drives have a different file arrangement pattern and do not need to be defragmented.

Compared to traditional spinning disk drives (HDDs), SSD drives have faster read/write speeds and do not slow down over a period of time.

On computers with SSD storage, the Optimize Drives utility does not defragment the hard drive and works in other ways to optimize your computer’s performance.

Therefore, you should consider running Optimize drives Utility if your computer seems to run slowly with SSD storage.

5. How to set up scheduled disk defragmentation in Windows 10

By default, the Optimize Drive utility is set to run weekly on a Windows 10 computer. However, you can set up your computer to run this utility on a daily or monthly basis.

1. Type defrag in the Windows search bar and click Defragment and optimize drives option in the search results.

2. On the next screen, select the hard disk you want to defrag and click on it Change settings Button.

Optimize drives screen in Windows 10

3. Check on the next screen Scheduled Execution (1) Option > click the Arrow down (2) to select Daily, Weekly or Monthly Frequency and click the Choose Button.

Change optimization schedule in Windows 10

4. On the next screen, select the Moves to which you want to apply the scheduled defragmentation.

Select Drives to Optimize in Windows 10

5. Click on OK to save these settings on your computer.

As mentioned above, Optimize Drive utility does not defragment SSD drives and works in other ways to improve SSD drive performance.

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