Sep 1, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

How to Defragment and Optimize Hard Disk on Windows 10?

Defragmentation is one the key maintenance tasks you must perform if you don’t want a slow PC. Your hard disk is one of the slowest components inside the computer.

It stockpiles all your files, but it may not always save an entire file in one single space. When most of your hard disk is near its capacity, each part of a file is saved in the first available space the computer finds in the hard disk.

For an analogy, think how long it will take you to collate your documents if one part of it is on one shelf and the others are elsewhere.

What Causes Fragmentation?

It is caused when you create new files and folders or delete old ones. It also happens when install new software or just download stuff from the internet.

It can cause longer boot times and even computer crashes when the machine can’t read and write data effectively. The computer just has to work harder to get to all the bits of a file on your hard drive platters.

Defragmentation re-organizes the broken-up files and brings them together. It is the simplest housekeeping task you can perform to speed up your computer. Windows 10 has its own defragmenter built in. It is simple and does the job. We will talk about it but first let’s look into one of the more well recommended defragmentation programs in the market.

Auslogics Disk Defrag Free

Version: 8.0.14.0

Download Size: 11.8 MB

Supports: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8.1, and 10.

Auslogics Disk Defragmenter

Auslogics Disk Defrag Free is one of the most well-regarded software for any Windows PC. There is a Disk Defrag Pro also, but the free version is a capable tool for personal use. You can also try the Portable version which does not need an installation and can be run from a Flash drive.

Let’s install Auslogics Disk Defrag Free and run it through its paces. The installation wizard will take you through three screens.

Auslogics installation screen

For a cleaner install without any extra bloatware, opt out of installing these three extra programs in the next screens by unchecking the boxes.

    1. Shield Defense Add Blocker on Chrome
    2. Auslogics BoostSpeed
    3. Auslogics Driver Updater

The installation runs its course and the software launches on the main interface. You can cycle through the four screens which address four different tasks on the computer.

Auslogics disk defrag different options

List of Disks: Select the drive you want to defragment and watch the progress.

Scheduled Defragmentation: Configure automatic defragmentation at a time of your convenience.

Offline Defragmentation: Set defragmentation when the computer is offline.

SSD Optimization: Ignore this screen as SSDs do not need fragmentation and any defragmentation can degrade its performance over time.

You can run your first defrag with the slower Defrag and Optimize command. Auslogics Disk Defrag can launch a Quick Defrag and skip the analysis of your disk. You can also go into Program Settings and allow the software to remove all temporary files before it starts the defrag. This can help optimize your free space and speed up the defragmentation.

Auslogics program settings

Key Features of Auslogics Disk Defrag:-

• Free for home and commercial use.
• Runs scheduled defrags and also when system is idle.
• It can move common system files to a quicker part of the disk.
• User can set defrag priority and exclude specific files and folders from defragmentation.
• Visual map of the most fragmented files as well as the location of each fragment on the disk map.
• Applies smart optimization by consolidating free space and shifting regular files from the Master File Table (MFT) Reserved Zone.
• Disk Defrag can defragment hard drives with as little as 1% of free space available.
• It can check and correct errors on a drive.

The Built-In Defragmentation Tool: Windows 10 Optimize Drives

Windows has always included a disk defragmentation tool. While it is not as full-featured like Auslogics Disk Defrag, it is capable enough to handle the basic task. It comes with the added advantage of being in-built and without bloatware or adware which some of the free tools suffer from. It is a simpler option if you get flummoxed by the complicated options in a third-part tool.

default windows 10 defragment and optimize tool

To run a Windows 10 defragmentation, follow these steps:

1. Type “Defragment” in the Search bar and select the Defragment and Optimize result when it pops up.

2. Select the hard drive you want to optimize and click Analyze. If amount of defragmentation is more than 10% then run the tool, else you can skip it this time.

3. Click the Optimize button to start defragmentation. Once the process complete, the status should change to “0% fragmented”.

4. By default Windows automatically defragments every week. But change this schedule around your workflow. Click on Change Settings.

5. Keep the Run on a schedule checkbox selected and use the dropdown to pick a frequency from: Daily, Weekly (default), or Monthly.

Windows 10 - defragment tool schedule

6. Check the drives you want to apply the new schedule.

7. Click OK to apply the settings. The click Close to close the defragmenter.

Windows 10 optimization is better than earlier operating systems. Even then, if you have a traditional hard drive or an external storage drive that sees heavy use, then you should occasionally run a manual defragmentation.

Keep Your Disk Healthy

Even though solid state drives are gaining popularity, hard disk drives still rule the roost. If you have the latter, keep using a disk defragmenter to keep your drive running smoothly. For those with SSDs, remember that SSDs don’t come with moving parts. Defragmenting them often is not recommended. Also, Windows defragment SSDs once a month if necessary and if you have System Restore enabled.

What is your defragmentation schedule? Do you prefer to run it manually or keep it on automatic?

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