How to Defragment Your Hard Drive

Computers are lazy machines. All they want to do is run programs; not file the data for those programs in an orderly manner. Instead, the computer scatters that data all over your hard drive.

When you defragment (or “Defrag” for short) your hard drive, you force your computer to gather all of those bits of data and store them in an orderly manner for easier access. Without having to hunt and peck for all of the files that make a program run, your computer itself runs a lot faster.

Here we walk you through this simple process step-by-step.

First, the easiest way to find the Defrag program is to open up Windows Explorer, right click on the drive you wish to defragment and select Properties (Picture 1).

Picture 1: In Windows Explorer, right click on the drive you want and select "Properties"
Picture 1: In Windows Explorer, right click on the drive you want and select “Properties”

Once you have the properties box opened up, click on the Tools tab and click the button that says Defragment Now (Picture 2).

Picture 2: Select the Tools tab and click on the "Defragment Now" button
Picture 2: Select the Tools tab and click on the “Defragment Now” button

You’ll see two buttons in the bottom right corner of the Disk Defragmenter utility window, Analyze Disk and Defragment Disk. Click on the Analyze Disk button first and allow it to run (Picture 3 and Picture 4).

Picture 3: Choose "Analyze Disk" first
Picture 3: Choose “Analyze Disk” first

 

Picture 4: The hard drive is being analyzed for fragmentation
Picture 4: The hard drive is being analyzed for fragmentation

Once the tool quits analyzing your hard drive, it may tell you that you don’t need to defrag your computer at this time. If that’s the case, close the utility and resume using your computer as normal.

If you don’t see that message though, click the Defragment Disk button and let the program run.

It could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to complete, but once it does, you’ll have a faster, efficient computer.

You can use tools to regularly schedule this process but you should do it every couple of weeks to keep your computer running fast.

2 Responses to “How to Defragment Your Hard Drive”

  1. Renata

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