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How to Defrag Windows 10 to Keep HDDs Healthy and Speed Up PC

You can perform disk defragmentation on your Windows 10 PC by accessing the Defragment and Optimize Drive tool. You can set up auto defrag at regular intervals or perform manual or ad-hoc defragging when needed. If you don’t know how to defrag Windows 10 PC, continue reading this article.     

Data fragmentation is a big problem for conventional hard disk drives (HDDs). HDDs become slower due to the increased volume of fragmented data over a period of time. However, you can deal with this challenge by defragmenting your HDDs on a Windows 10 PC. 

This tutorial will show you a step-by-step process of disk defragging on a Windows 10 PC. The process is quite similar to a Windows 11 PC. Hence, whether you’re using a Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC, this article is suitable for you in both cases. Let’s take a deep dive into disk defragging now!

How to Defrag Windows 10 to Keep HDDs Healthy and Speed Up PC

What Is Data Fragmentation in HDDs?

A standard 1 TB HDD comes with 21,47,483,648 data sectors. A new HDD starts writing data on the first data sector and onwards as you copy more data.

But, you’re always deleting data from the HDD. Doing so vacates some data sectors. When you copy more files, the HDD fills those vacant data sectors first.

Thus, an HDD might store 1 GB of data in multiple sectors that are not necessarily continuous. This phenomenon is known as data fragmentation on HDDs.    

What Is Defragment and Optimize Drives in Windows 10?

The Windows 10 system tool Defragment and Optimize Drives lets you clear data fragmentation from HDDs. An HDD with 0% fragmentation will perform better when compared with an HDD with 50% fragmentation. 

This is a free tool. It comes with Windows 10 and 11 OS. Their function is also similar to Windows 10 and 11.   

Purpose and Benefits of Disk Defragging

  1. Defrag Windows 10 keeps your HDDs healthy.
  2. This maintenance work also keeps your data secure.
  3. Defragging HDDs ensures that your data doesn’t become corrupted.
  4. HDDs become fast when you defrag them. 

How to Defrag Windows 10: Automatic Method

If you’re using a workplace-managed Windows 10 PC, you may not need to perform manual defragging. The IT admin should’ve already created HDD defragging schedules. The PC itself does this task in the background when it’s not in use.

If you’re using a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC at home and you didn’t make any changes to it after buying it, chances are the disk optimization schedule is automatically active. However, if you need to ensure this, try these steps on your Windows 10 or 11 PC: 

  • Click the Windows Search icon. It’s the small magnifying glass on the Taskbar.
  • Type in Defrag and hit Enter.

How to Defrag Windows 10 Automatic Method

  • You should see the Defragment and Optimize Drives tool. Click on it.

How to Defrag Windows 10 Automatic Method Defrag Tool

  • If the tool shows Scheduled optimization On, you’re all set with Windows 10 or 11 defragging.  

How to Defrag Windows 10: Manual Method

When your PC is performing really so and you want to do an ad-hoc defragging, try these steps:

  • Run the Defragment and Optimize Drives tool by following the steps mentioned above.
  • It’ll show two different sections. The first one is Status.
  • The second one is Scheduled optimization: On or Off.
  • The Status section shows disk information like Drive name, Media type, Last optimized date & time, and Current status.
  • Disks with the Drive name Solid state drive are SSDs like M.2 SSD, M.2 NVME SSD, and SATA SSD. 
  • SSDs don’t require defragging. Windows 10 or 11 trims them automatically when the Scheduled optimization is active.
  • If the Scheduled optimization isn’t active, click on Change settings and then checkmark Run on a schedule

How to Defrag Windows 10 Manual Method Activating Automatic Optimization

  • You can choose Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
  • Now for the HDDs, select one and click Analyze.

How to Defrag Windows 10 Manual Method Analyze HDD

  • Once you get the disk to defragment analysis report, you can click on Optimize.

How to Defrag Windows 10 Manual Method Optimize HDD

  • It’ll take a while to complete the defragging process. 
  • Don’t do anything else on the PC when the process is running.
  • Once complete, you can start using your PC and experience faster file retrieval than before.    

FAQs on How to Defrag Windows 10

Does Windows 10 require defragging?

Most Windows 10 PCs will come with an auto disk optimization schedule. So, unless you’ve turned off that HDD optimization schedule, you don’t need to perform disk defragmentation manually. 

Does defragging speed up the computer?

If you’re using a Windows 7, 8, 10, or 11 computer with conventional magnetic disk-based HDDs, you must defrag your drives. You should experience somewhat faster file retrieval by your PC after a successful defragging. 

Defragging may not make much difference if you’re on a wooden PC. You may want to check out our article on ‘Why is my computer so slow?‘ to learn more. If you’re considering upgrading your system, also check out our article on ‘how much does it cost to build a gaming pc.’ 

How do you properly defrag?

You just need to initiate the defragging process if your PC isn’t on any disk optimization schedule. However, you may want to clean up the HDDs using the disk cleanup tool of Windows 10

Should I defrag my computer?

You can defrag your computer if you feel the file retrieving speed seems a bit slower. When you use your PC a lot for copying and pasting many files for a long period, files on the HDDs get cluttered. Performing a defrag will reorganize the data and make HDDs more efficient.  

How often should I defrag Windows 10?

You must defrag your Windows 10 at least once a month. If you’ve got a lot of data on your HDDs, you can do this once every 3 months. 

Final Thoughts

The article describes the basics of disk defragmentation concisely so that you can become aware of your HDD’s health. Furthermore, you’ve also learned how to defrag Windows 10 to speed up your PC.

By performing this small maintenance task, you can prolong your HDDs and the data in those HDDs. It also makes your PC respond faster than before. So, give it a shot now!

You may also be interested in knowing how to format a disk without an operating system

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