Over time, you will begin to notice that it takes longer than usual to launch programs on your PC. Overall performance starts to decline, and it is quite clear that your beloved computer is no longer running on all cylinders.
This is in part because the files on your computer are becoming fragmented and no longer work as expected. Manual optimization may be required during this time.
Older versions of Windows used a disk defragmenter. To keep your PC running as fast as possible, Windows 10 has its own built-in tool to defragment all fragmented files.
How to defragment Windows 10. Is it worth it?
By default, Scheduled Optimization is enabled automatically in Windows 10. At least once a week, your hard drives, namely the C: drive, are automatically optimized to help your computer run more efficiently, or analyzed to determine if optimization is needed.
However, even though Windows 10 can accurately detect the type of storage and automatically handle file defragmentation, this may not always be as optimal as it can. This usually happens because the computer does not turn on long enough for the optimization to take effect, which prevents proper maintenance.
Therefore, it is best to manually analyze and optimize the hard drive from time to time to ensure proper maintenance. If during the analysis you find file fragmentation, then your Windows 10 computer may need to be defragmented.
Why and when to defrag Windows 10?
Why and when is Windows 10 defragmented?
When you permanently save a file, parts of that file are placed on different volumes on your computer. As the file grows, more and more will be spread across volumes, forcing your computer to search in multiple areas, slowing down your computer.
With the exception of SSDs, you should defragment your drive weekly or at least once a month. Again, this depends on the size of your hard drive and the daily use of your computer.
As stated, Windows 10 provides users with a Disk Defragmenter tool that helps reorder and reunite fragmented file data, slowing down your PC.
Optimizing disks in Windows 10
Optimize Drives on Windows 10
First, you need to analyze the drive (s) before optimizing. This way you will know if disk optimization is needed first.
- Type “Disk Defragmenter and Optimize” in the search bar on the taskbar and press Enter.
- Select the drive you want to scan and click Analyze.
If the analysis results show fragmentation less than 10%, optimization is most likely unnecessary.
- Does your analysis show more than 10% fragmentation? Highlight the drive and click Optimize.
The time it takes to complete the optimization process depends on the number of files, disk size, and degree of fragmentation. If you know the drive is large, it is best to complete this step if you will not be in front of your computer for an extended period.
- Upon completion, the status should display as OK (0% fragmented).
Setting up an optimization schedule
Set optimization schedule
By default, the optimization schedule is set to run every week. However, if you are an avid user of your computer, then it is best to change the frequency with which the service is performed.
Windows 10 offers the ability to change the frequency of disk optimization.
- From the Optimize Drives window, click Change Settings.
- Click the Frequency drop-down menu and choose how often you want to optimize. You are given the choice between daily, weekly or monthly.
For those who frequently use their computers, choose the â€œDailyâ€ or â€œWeeklyâ€ option. It is good practice, no matter which option you choose, to do at least one manual optimization per month.
Solid state drives (SSD) are an exception. Solid state drives use memory banks to store data, which means they never need to be defragmented. Defragmenting an SSD can cause performance issues and shorten the life of the drive.
- Then click the Select button for the drives.
- Check each box next to the drives that you want to automatically optimize for your chosen schedule.
In this list, you will still see SSDs if you have them. Don’t worry, SSDs won’t be defragmented. In fact, Windows 10 will try to optimize these drives in a different way so that they can be tested safely.
- Click OK to apply the changes.
- Click OK again and then close the window.
Is defragmentation required?
Is defragmentation required?
The short answer is no. No defragmentation required. Is it worth it? We’d say it’s worth it, but it ultimately depends on how much you value your computer and your time.
The point is, Windows 10 will take care of your computer. Even if you don’t want to perform manual defragmentation, your operating system will still do it for you. Your computer will continue to operate in an active state until you miss scheduled maintenance.
However, if you find things starting to slow down, or consider yourself a power user and would rather have more control over what happens to the inner workings of your computer, the steps above will give you that.