How do I defragment Windows 10

Defragmentation in Windows 10: step by step

If access to the hard disk becomes slower and slower, this may be due to severe fragmentation. At least with older data carriers, this is a common reason why Windows has its own Disk defragmentation program included. External tools, as they used to be very popular, are no longer necessary for users of Windows 10 at the latest. The supplied defragmentation tool can be easily found and called up via the context menu in the file explorer. Here's how to defragment your disks in Windows 10.

What is defragmentation?

The effective speed of a hard drive depends not only on the number of revolutions or data throughput rate in KB / s (kilobytes per second), but essentially on how the files are arranged on the hard drive. Ideally, all files are located one behind the other, each as a closed block on the hard drive. When reading the data, the read head of the hard disk only has to move over the data block once to read the entire file. In practice, however, this ideal state only occurs shortly after the hard disk has been reformatted in Windows or the operating system used.

At the Deleting files creates gaps on the hard drivewhich will later be filled by other file fragments. In the course of time, many files are distributed in several individual fragments on the hard disk. The files can still be accessed without any problems, but it takes longer. When defragmenting will be all fragments of a file are searched for and saved as a contiguous block on the hard disk. To do this, the contents of the individual sectors must be read physically.

Defragment - this is how it works

In most cases, the automatic defragmentation feature in Windows 10 is completely sufficient. If you do want to defragment manually, proceed as follows:

Step 1: Right-click the drive you want to defragment in Explorer and select the option from the context menu "Properties" out.

step 2: In the next dialog box, click under the tab "Tools" on "Optimize".

step 3: Select the desired drive and start the defragmentation by clicking on "Optimize". Hard drives with a fragmentation of 10 percent or less do not need to be defragmented.

You can also start defragmentation in Windows 10 in another way: To do this, go to the start menu and select "Windows administration programs" the point "Defragment and optimize drives" out.

How long does the defragmentation take?

How long a defragmentation takes depends to a large extent on the size of the hard disk and how full. With automatic defragmentation, there is no loss of time for the user. A complete defragmentation process can take several hours on large and very full hard drives. The File allocation table The information about the addressing of the individual files and the directories must be written back to the hard disk immediately with every change, which significantly slows down the process. A prerequisite for successful defragmentation is that enough free space for caching of the data to be moved is available on the hard drive.

Does defragmentation still make sense?

You no longer have to defragment modern file systems manually. The automatic defragmentation in the background does this work more efficiently.

You should never defragment SSD data carriers at all. Defragmentation would do more harm than good here.

Automatic defragmentation

Windows schedules automatic defragmentation of all hard drives by default. Auto-tune hard drives almost always show 0 percent fragmentation.

  1. To see and adjust the automatic optimization settings, click in the dialog box "Optimize drives" of the program for defragmentation on the button "Change settings".
  2. In the list box "Frequency" in the next window set the frequency of the optimization, where "Per month" is completely sufficient even for power users.
  1. After clicking on "Choose" select the hard drives to be scheduled for automatic optimization. Enable optimization only for HDD storage and not for SSDs.
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