How to defrag a hard drive

How to defrag a hard drive How to defrag a hard drive

As time goes by, the files within your drive get fragmented. As data is being saved, altered, or deleted on your PC, tiny parts of information end up placed in random parts of your disk rather than altogether. As a consequence, PCs run slower as they have to search in various locations on your drive for the aforementioned pieces. One way to solve this issue is to defrag your hard drive.

To defragment a computer hard drive you first need to choose a specialized tool. There are numerous third-party programs that help you defrag your hard drive and require minimum user interaction. For instance, you can use Piriform's Defraggler, one of the best free defrag software developed for Windows PCs. Other good examples come from tools like Smart Defrag, Auslogics Disk Defrag, or Disk SpeedUp. All of these utilities are free of charge and provide you with quick solutions for boosting up the performance of your system.

You should avoid defragging if your computer has an SSD installed rather than a spinning hard drive. Defragmenting an SSD might reduce its life-expectancy.

However, in this guide, I will show you how to use a default Windows tool for defragmenting your hard drive. Here's what you need to do:

Step 1

Click the Start button from your desktop and search "defrag" in the taskbar. Select the "Defragment and Optimize Drives" result.

Step 2

The tool will display a list of all available drives along with their current statuses. Normally, a drive that has over 10 percent fragmented should be defragmented. Select the drive you wish to defrag from the given list. Click the "Analyze" button.

Windows' Defrag ToolWindows' Defrag Tool

Step 3

Select the "Optimize" option to defrag your hard drive. It's best you optimize your hard drive when you don't need to use your PC for doing something else. Once the defrag task is complete, the status of the processed hard drive should be 0% fragmented.

Optional: Click the "Change Settings" button from the Optimize Drives screen to reveal additional features. You can configure Windows' utility to defrag your hard drives on a weekly or monthly basis or select the drives to be defragmented on a regular schedule.

Optimize Drives SettingsOptimize Drives Settings


As you can see, it's very simple to defrag a hard drive on a Windows computer. Simply complete the aforementioned steps and that's it. The question is: would you use Windows' default tool or try a third-party solution for defragmenting your hard drives? Let us know in the comments section below.

Alternative downloads

  • AusLogics Disk Defrag AusLogics Disk Defrag free windows Defragment your disks and improve computer performance and stability. Download
  • Disk SpeedUp Disk SpeedUp free windows Easy to Use Colorful interface with large, clearly labeled buttons and tabs labeled Defrag Show and Settings... Download
  • Puran Defrag Puran Defrag $29.95 windows The files saved on your hard disk will become fragmented for various reasons. Download
  • Smart Defrag Smart Defrag free windows It can defragment your files to improve the file-access speed from traditional magnetic hard disks. Download