A great way to speed up an older system without adding RAM to it is to add an SSD. SSDs are fast because unlike HDDs, there’s nothing physically moving when data is read or written. Additionally, files aren’t split and spread out over multiple sectors. This means you don’t have to defrag an SSD however, in order to maintain your SSD’s health, you should enable TRIM so that it’s regularly optimized.
Windows 10 has a built-in TRIM function which ought to be enabled if you installed it on an SSD. If you’re not sure whether or not TRIM is enabled, you can check it with a command in Command Prompt.
TRIM is enabled
Open Command Prompt with admin rights and run the following command.
fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
This command is checking the status of ‘DisableDeleteNotify’. If the command returns the value 0 for DisableDeleteNotify, then TRIM is enabled. If it returns the value 1, it means TRIM is not enabled.
If the command tells you that TRIM is not enabled, you can enable it with this command;
fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0
What TRIM does is that it tells the SSD which data blocks are no longer in use and can be deleted. If TRIM is enabled, and left to its default settings, Windows 10 ought to optimize your SSD weekly. To check when you SSD was last optimized open Windows search and type Defragment and Optimize Drives. Open the app with the same name and check against each volume when it was last optimized.
If it’s been longer than a week, you can select a volume and click the Optimize button to optimize it right away. It doesn’t take very long. I ran optimization for my SSD volumes that were 97GB and 125GB respectively, and it completed in less than 30 seconds.
You can run optimization on your Windows drive while you’re using your system. It won’t have any sort of negative effects. The result should be an improvement in speed.
You can change when optimization is run by clicking the Change settings button. Optimization can be scheduled to run daily, weekly, and monthly. You can also choose which drive should be optimized.
An optimized SSD will run better and optimizing it will help extend its lifespan. SSDs, while great, do have a limited life. After a substantially large amount of data has been read and written to the drive, it does eventually fail which is something that often scares users when it comes to buying an SSD. If you’re worried about your SSD failing, you can use of the many tools available to keep an eye on your SSD health.
TRIM is also available on macOS.