A hard drive is a storage place for your PC and it needs to be clean. Over the period of time your hard disk drive may get cluttered with different types of data. This will make your Windows 10 PC slow. So you should use the available tools in Windows 10 to cleanup your hard drive. For that you you first need to understand fragmentation and defragmentation.
Why there is a Need for Defragmentation?
Fragmentation occurs when a file on your PC has broken up to fit on the hard drive. Defragmentation is cleaning up those broken pieces of files from the hard drive. As a result, the files in the PC takes more time to load which affects the performance also. So, the broken pieces of files which are spread over different locations will make the PC very slow. Hence, there is a need for defragmentation to rearrange all the files are continuously written in the hard drive space.
Things You Should Do Before Defrag Your Hard Drive
It is a good idea to prepare your computer before performing a defragmentation task. Make sure the below steps are taken care:
- Your hard disk needs to be healthy. Perform a CHKDSK scan to check and fix the issues on your hard disk drives.
- Make sure to backup all your work data.
- Plug in the battery chord for the constant power source.
- Close all the programs currently running.
Change Defragmentation Frequency
Windows has a pretty cool disk optimization tool. It can analyze your hard drive and optimize it. In earlier versions it was called Disk Defragmenter and in Windows 10, the program name is changed to ‘Defragment and Optimize Drives’. Enter ‘Defragment and optimize drives’ in Windows 10 search box and hit ‘Enter’ key. This will launch the ‘Optimize Drives’ dialog box.
Note: You can also go to ‘Optimize Drives’ from the File Explorer. Press ‘Win + E’ to open Windows File Explorer. Go to ‘This PC’ section and right click on the drive you want. Click on the ‘Properties’ and then go to ‘Tools’ tab. Here you will see ‘Optimize’ button under ‘Optimize and defragment drive’. Click on it to open ‘Optimize Drives’ box.
Windows 10 by default defragment all the hard disk drives weekly once. If you have SSD then the frequency is once in a month. If you want to change the schedule frequency, select the drive you want to change the schedule. You will see the details of defragmentation with the frequency as weekly. Click on the ‘Change Settings’ button.
Change the frequency from the dropdown to daily or monthly as you need.
How to Defragment Your Hard Drive?
On the ‘Optimize Drives’ dialog box, select a drive, then click on the ‘Analyze’ button to check the fragments on that hard drive.
The analysis will run few seconds. If the tool says that the drive is ‘Ok’ with 0% (fragmented) then you can skip the defragmentation. There are no hard rules for the fragmentation percentage. Generally if the percentage of fragmentation exceeds 5%, then you can defrag the hard drive in the next step. Remember you should analyze and defrag each drives on your hard disk separately. You can’t do defragmentation of the entire hard disk at a time.
In our case, it shows 2%(fragmented) as shown in the below screenshot.
In order to defrag, select the fragmented drive and click on ‘Optimize’ button. Windows will run the analysis on the selected drive.
After that, there will be multiple passes running for relocating, defragmenting and final consolidation. The process can take from few minutes to an hour.
It depends on your hard drive fragments and its size. After successful defragmentation you should see the current status of the drive as 0%(fragmented).