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Why should you defrag your computer?

Cristina Avatar By: Cristina | Last updated September 26, 2020

computer defragmentation hard drive and ssd

To understand the process of defragmentation, you should first know the underlying problem that it fixes. which is fragmentation. 

The hard drive of your computer stores all the information inside it. The information is arranged through large blocks of data. These are all numbered for them to be easily organized.

With frequent uninstallations, however, gaps in between these data blocks may form. This process is called fragmentation.

Whenever you install new applications, the amount of free space on your hard drive will be filled. The application may then be installed within blocks of data separate from each other. This causes a slower loading time and it also applies whenever you write files. Most of these system optimizers have this functionality built in.

When should you defrag your computer?

The process of fragmentation occurs whenever you use the computer as it is can happen even with common tasks such as organizing files along with uninstalling and installing applications. Because of this, you may need to defrag your computer every two weeks if you are a regular user.

There are still a couple of aspects that you must remember before doing a defragmentation, though. These include:

  • If you are using a Solid-state drive, a defragmentation is unnecessary. This is because this storage device automatically compresses the data it stores. It does not function like a regular hard drive that creates gaps in between its stored data. This is why it takes less to process the information stored on it
  • If you are using Windows 7 or 8 as an OS, it will automatically do the defragmentation by itself. You can even check the schedule of this by opening the “defrag” application through your start menu. Here, you can see when the last defrag was done and when it starts. Users of Windows XP will have to do the fragmentation manually, though
  • Mac users don’t need to defragment their computers either, because the OS of these devices does it automatically

How do I defragment my computer?

Defragmentation does a lot to improve the performance of your computer. This is why it is important to do this regularly.

One way to defragment your computer is to do it through the Windows Built-in defrag application. Right-click the disk that you will defrag, select ‘Properties’, select ‘Tools’, and then select ‘Defragment now’. The duration of the defragment depends upon the size of your hard drive and the amount of fragmentation that has already occurred.

Another option is to use a third-party application. Some applications offer this as an additional tool while some have this feature as their sole function. A defrag app will first scan your computer to see the current condition of the hard drive. From here, you can start the defragmentation process. Using a third-party tool may be more beneficial in the long run. This is because these applications are more effective in configuring your computer. They will also reduce the chances of accidentally corrupting any parts of your computer.

Benefits of defragmentation

Defragmentation does a lot to improve the performance of your computer.

First, it results to an overall faster performance of your computer. By giving the hard drive less data to process, any loading processes will be shortened. This will then result to an extended lifetime of your hard drive as there will be less work for it to do.

Moreover, any anti-malware or antivirus applications that will do a full scan of your computer will do the job faster. The reason why is because there will be fewer files for them to go through. This will lead to shorter times for scanning and fewer chances for errors.