How to Defrag Computer Hard Drive 2 Comments

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How to Defrag Computer Hard Drive
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Not too long ago, I wrote an article that included tips to increase the performance of your PC. I listed 5 good methods of getting more out of your computer, however, one person did come back to me in regards to ‘how to defrag computer hard drive.’

To be fair, that is a good shout! Knowing how to defrag computer hard drive is important and it can help boost some life into your PC. When I was in college, it was something that we learnt how to do, and I believe that all PC users should know how to do so too.

As discussed previously in other posts regarding hard drives; hard drives work by using spinning plates that have data written to them. A disk drive contains sectors, tracks and a read/write head. Sometimes, when saving data to the hard drive such as a file, it can get split into different sectors. This would mean that it would take the hard drive longer to read the file as it has to locate multiple regions of the disk.

Why Knowing How to Defrag Computer Hard Drive is essential!

The main reason for knowing how to defrag computer hard drive is so that those separate storage bytes can be moved to the same sector where the other files bytes are stored. By doing so, this makes reading data much easier, as it the read head does not have to find data blocks in various sectors.

However, in today’s world, it is not entirely essential to do this process anymore, and here’s why…

Why you don’t need to defrag your Hard Drive

Computers built today are a lot faster than 10, 20 + years ago (I think you can agree with me on this) and thus the need to defragment is not as essential as it once was, especially seeing as though it won’t have a major effect as it once did. Not only that but since Microsoft released the Windows 7 operating system, disk defragging is now an automated task by default. Pretty neat, huh!

Not only that but if you own a solid state drive, you don’t need to a disk defragmentation. Reason being; remember when I said that a hard drive contains sectors and on each sector blocks of data are stored, well an SSD works differently and doesn’t have moving parts like a standard HDD has.


If you do wish to defrag your Hard Drive, or you want to change the schedule settings, then to do so:

  • In the Windows start menu, type ‘defrag’
  • Select ‘Defragment and Optimize Drives’

How to defrag computer hard drive

From the Defrag menu, select the drive you wish to analyse, optimise and change settings for.

And that’s it!

Nice and simple!

You should now see why I did not list it in the top 5 ways to increase the performance of your PC.

Refer back to that previous post to gain an insight into the best ways to get the most out of your PC.

I do also recommend this book, The Once A Month PC Maintenance Plan: Tune Up Your PC In 8 Easy Steps. If you want some more tips on how to increase your computer’s speed and performance to the MAX!

As always, if you have queries, then please comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible!


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About Josh

I'm the founder of; a site dedicated to helping solve issues regarding computers. Aimed at novices and intermediate users, this site has reviews and guides that will help you improve your knowledge and confidence.

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2 thoughts on “How to Defrag Computer Hard Drive

  • paul

    Hi Josh
    When my laptop defrags automatically, Can this slow it down when I’m using it ? I don’t know when it does the defrag but some evenings it seems really slow to other evenings ! It’s as though it’s got a mind of it’s own ! lol
    Any help would be much appreciated

    • Josh Post author

      In theory, it shouldn’t do. But, as mentioned, you can adjust the times when your computer is scheduled for defragging.
      I would also check what tasks you are running in the background. Applications such as antiviruses can cause bottlenecking. Having loads of browser tabs opened is not good either, and nor is having large applications open good either.