How Often Should I Defrag My Computer?

If you're a normal user (meaning you use your computer for occasional web browsing, email, games, and the like), defragmenting once a month should be fine. If you're a heavy user, meaning you use the PC eight hours a day for work, you should do it more often, approximately once every two weeks.

When you use your computer, files on your hard disk can become fragmented, meaning they are located in different places or clusters on your hard disk. This can cause your computer to slow down. Fortunately, defragging your drive can help with this issue. Defragging moves the pieces of files to contiguous locations, making it easier for your computer to read the files and improving performance.

In this article, we’ll provide two methods for defragging your PC.

Method 1: Access the Optimize Drives Menu Through the Start Menu

1. Click the Start menu button in the bottom left of your screen.

2. Type “defrag” into the search bar. The “Defragment and Optimize Drives Desktop App” option will appear at the top of the search results.

3. Click “Defragment and Optimize Drives Desktop App.” This will open the Optimize Drives dialog box.

4. Highlight the drive you want to defrag or optimize.

Method 2: Use File Explorer

1. Open “This PC” in File Explorer.

2. Choose the drive you want to defragment. When you click the drive, the “Manage” tab will be added to the ribbon on top of the File Explorer window.

3. Open the Optimize Drives dialog box.

4. Click the “Manage” tab, then click the “Optimize” button from the Manage group of the application tools. This will open the Optimize Drives dialog box in a different window.

5. Highlight the drive you want to defrag or optimize.

6. Click the “Analyze” button on the Optimize Drives window. This will analyze the extent of fragmentation of the drive.

7. After a few minutes, the “Current Status” column opposite the drive you are testing will show you the percentage of how fragmented the drive is.

8. If the fragmentation is less than 10%, click the “Close” button at the bottom right side of the window to exit Optimize Drives.

It’s not advisable to defragment your drive too often, as this can contribute to the wear and tear of your hard drive. After analyzing your drive, if the fragmentation is over 10%, click the “Optimize” button to start defragmenting your drive. The defragmentation process may take several minutes or even hours, depending on the size of your hard drive and how many files are in it. You’ll know when the defragging process is finished when the running progress report stops and the entry in the “Current Status” column becomes okay. Enclosed in parentheses beside “okay” is the percentage of defragmentation (zero percent if your hard drive is not too full). When the defrag process is finished, click the “Close” button at the bottom right-hand side of the window to exit Optimize Drives.

Remember, defragging your hard drive can improve your computer’s performance, but it’s not something you need to do too often.