Should I defrag my computer?
First what exactly is Defrag anyway?
Defragging stands for De-fragmenting. Your hard drive, where everything is stored is divided into sections to enable fast indexing and locating your data. After a while files get deleted and other files take their place. Soon fragments of space get left empty and Windows puts your data files into the larger spaces available at the back of the disk space. Now your computer has to run faster and inefficiently to find that information for you.
Defragging is a process where those fragments are removed by pushing all the data together again so that it becomes more efficient.
Should you defrag your disk?
New machines will not benefit from this process. If you have your computer for a long time and you regularly delete files (documents, pictures, music etc.,) then it will probably benefit your system to defrag it. However doing this too often will NOT help your system. Probably once in a while maybe even twice per year would be plenty. The need to defrag is overrated by many users. Windows 7 is far more efficient in its use of space than XP was. Also if your computer is using SSD Solid State drives then NO defragging is needed as they cannot be treated by this process.
How do I test if I need to defrag and how do I do it?
Actually it’s quite easy but you should plan to do this when you do not need to be working as defragging takes a while. Probably best to leave it on when you have to go away from your PC. To get started simply open Computer from your start menu. (I will use a Windows 7 PC as an example but the process is very similar in other versions of Windows.)
Right click the hard disk of your computer and select Properties from the menu; it may be lower down than the example here.
Now select the Tools tab at the top of the window. Here you will find the options for the Defragmenter. Select Defragment now to open the options panel.
You should normally select the option to Analyse Disk first to see if it really is fragmented.
If it’s less than 10% I wouldn’t bother.
To start the defragmenter after analysis just click on Defragment Disk
This may take several hours depending on the size of your hard drive. If you use the computer the defragmenter will either stop or pause so get it started and leave it. It may take some time so leave it to complete.
Once done your computer will run that bit better.
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