How to defragment Windows 10

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Manuel Moreno Molina
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Defragmentation: hard disk vs SSD

With the spread of SSDs (solid state drives) which are much faster than mechanical hard drives and work in a completely different way than the latter, many are wondering if defragmentation still has any use. The answer is nì.

Defragmentation is vital on classic mechanical hard drives which are very slow and therefore allow you to better appreciate the benefits of defragmentation, but it has some utility on SSDs too. If you let the Windows defragmentation utility work automatically, it will automatically recognize the SSD drives and will optimize their operation without "exaggerating" with the defragmentation.

To be precise, the Windows 10 utility defragments the SSDs about once a month (if necessary and if there is the system restore function active on the latter) and excellent them with commands such as the TRIM, which allows you to eliminate the blocks no longer used on solid state drives and allows you to keep the performance of the latter always at the top.

If you want to learn more about how Windows 10 defragmentation works on SSD drives, read this article in English. If, on the other hand, you want to get down to business and see how to defrag Windows 10, Keep reading. Find all the information you need right below.

Defragment a disk on Windows 10

To start the defragmentation utility included in Windows 10 and check the disk fragmentation status, click on the button Home (the flag located in the lower left corner of the screen), search for the term "defragment" in the menu that opens and select the icon Defragment and optimize drives from the search results.

In the window that opens, take a look at the box Scheduled optimization which is at the bottom: if you find the inscription inside it Activated, it means that the Windows defragmentation utility is active and that it already takes care of optimizing the drives automatically. Otherwise you will have to act on the settings of the utility and activate the automatic optimization of the disks.

To change the settings of the defragmentation utility and enable automatic disk optimization, click on the button Change settings located at the bottom right and put the check mark next to the items Run on a schedule (recommended) e Notification in case of three consecutive unfinished scheduled runs in the window that opens.

At this point, select the frequency with which to carry out the automatic optimization of the discs from the appropriate drop-down menu (I recommend you Every week, but you can also choose Every month; Everyday it seems excessive) and click on the button Choose to select the units to apply automatic optimization. I recommend that you enable optimization on all drives, hard drives and SSDs.

Once the automatic disk optimization has been activated, I recommend that you check the current status of the various drives and, if necessary, defragment "manually" those that need them.

To check the fragmentation status of a drive, all you have to do is go back to the main window of the defragmentation utility and check the entries next to the name of each drive: in the column Last execution you will find the date the drive was last defragmented, while in the column Current state you will find indicated the status of the drive. If in the "Current status" column you find the writing Optimization needed, it means that the data on the drive is fragmented and needs defragmentation. If, on the other hand, you do not find anything written in the "Current status" column, it means that the Windows defragmentation utility has not yet checked the status of the drive and that you have to "force" it by selecting its name and pressing the button Analyze (found at the bottom).

Once you have checked the status of a disk, to start the defragmentation "manually", select its icon and click on the button Optimize located at the bottom right. The operation could take a few minutes or several hours, depending on the type of disk (mechanical disks take much longer than SSDs) and the degree of data fragmentation.

My advice, in conclusion, is to let the Windows utility work automatically and to check from time to time (like once a month) that it is active and is doing its job correctly.

If after completing the disk defragmentation you still notice some slowness in opening files and applications, try to follow all the advice I gave you in my tutorial on how to optimize the system.

Programs to defrag Windows 10

The defragmentation utility included in Windows 10 does its job admirably and is sufficient for the vast majority of users. However, it must be said that there are also third-party solutions that allow you to have greater control over disk defragmentation operations.

Among the (few) alternative programs to defrag Windows 10 that I recommend you to consider, there is Defraggler which is produced by the same company as CCleaner (very famous free software for deleting junk files) and offers a very flexible control over the activities defragmentation of mechanical hard disks and SSDs.

To download Defraggler on your PC, connect to its official website and click on the button first Download Free Version and then free Download e (under the icon Defraggler Free). When the download is complete, open the Defraggler installation package (dfsetupxx.exe), click on your button Yes and select thecittàn from the drop-down menu for choosing the language (bottom right).

At this point, click on the buttons Next e NEXT, remove the check mark from the item Replace Windows disk defragmentation (unless you want to completely replace the Windows utility with Defraggler) and click once again on NEXT.

Finally, put the check mark next to the item No, thanks. I don't need CCleaner to avoid downloading CCleaner (which is very useful but not needed for disk defragmentation) and click on NEXT e end to conclude the setup.

When installation is complete, to check the status of a disk with Defraggler and, if necessary, defragment it, start the application, select the drive to be examined and click on the button Analyze which is located at the bottom left. Within a few minutes, a graph showing the fragmentation status of the drive and, should appear in the column Fragmentation located at the top, an indication of the degree of fragmentation of the disk (in percent).

If the fragmentation percentage of the analyzed unit is very high, you can command its defragmentation by selecting its icon in the main Defraggler window and pressing the button Defragment which is located at the bottom left. If you are in a hurry and want to give only a "shake" to the disk by defragmenting the minimum necessary to improve its performance, click on the arrow ▼ located next to the "Defragment" button and select the item Quick defragmentation from the menu that opens to start a quick disk defragmentation.

If you are a fairly experienced user, you can adjust the advanced settings related to the defragmentation performed by Defraggler by selecting the item options from the menu Settings program (top left). Also, by going to the menu Settings> Schedule and inserting the segunta di spunta accanto alla voce Schedule defragmentation of the chosen volume you can set the automatic defragmentation of a unit on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, at each access, at each PC startup or once.

By expanding the drop-down menu Defragmentation type you can also choose the type of defragmentation to be performed automatically (e.g. complete or quick), while placing the check mark next to the item Apply additional conditions e pigging your pulse Tax you can set additional parameters for the automatic defragmentation procedure (for example, you can automatically stop the defragmentation if it lasts more than a few hours or enable it only beyond certain thresholds of drive fragmentation.

Personally, I recommend that you use Defraggler instead of the defragmentation utility included in Windows 10 only in case of real need (i.e. if the default utility doesn't work or doesn't seem to do its job well). If you decide to use Defraggler continuously, be sure to turn off the automatic defragmentation of the utility included with Windows.

How to defragment Windows 10

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