How to defragment Windows 10: As I have also been able to explain to you in other circumstances, disk defragmentation is an operation by which the operating system identifies the “fragmented” files that are present on the hard disk (that is, the files that due to lack of contiguous spaces have been saved in a fragmented way on disk) and brings them together. This allows you to keep all information well organized and, therefore, to speed up access to files and programs.
Windows, which is the operating system on which there is the greatest need for defragmentation (as it uses file systems such as NTFS and FAT32 which are particularly prone to data fragmentation), includes a utility that automatically takes care of defragmentation analyzing the state of the hard disks and defragmenting them at regular time intervals (once a week) during moments of user inactivity. Usually everything works properly and therefore there is no need to start the defragmentation “manually”, but sometimes it can happen that the defragmentation is not performed for long periods (as Windows does not find moments of inactivity long enough to complete the operation) or which is deactivated by optimization software installed on the PC.
If you have a PC equipped with Windows 10, you have noticed a drop in performance when opening files and / or running applications, you would do well to check the defragmentation utility and check that it is set correctly. I assure you it is really a no-brainer. All you have to do is take a few minutes of free time and practice the advice on how to defragment Windows 10 that I’m going to give you. The indications, in principle, also apply to Windows 8.x and Windows 7 (in fact the operation of the defragmentation utility is quite similar on all the latest versions of the Microsoft operating system), but are to be considered specific for Windows 10. Enjoy the reading!
With the spread of the SSD (solid state drives) which are much faster than mechanical hard drives and work in a completely different way than the latter, many wonder if defragmentation still has any use. The answer is nì.
Defragmentation is vital on classic mechanical hard drives which are very slow and therefore allow to better appreciate the benefits of defragmentation, but it also has some utility on SSDs. If you let the Windows defragmentation utility work automatically, it will automatically recognize the SSDs and optimize their operation without “exaggerating” the defragmentation.
To be precise, the Windows 10 utility defragments the SSDs about once a month (if necessary and if there is the system recovery function active on the latter) and optimizes them with commands such as the TRIM, which allows you to eliminate the blocks no longer used on solid state drives and allows you to keep the performance of the latter always at the top.
If you want to learn more about how Windows 10 defragments work on SSDs, read on this article in English. If instead you want to go to the point and see how to defragment Windows 10, Keep reading. Find all the information you need right below.
To start the defragmentation utility included in Windows 10 and check the status of disk fragmentation, click on the button Start (the flag located in the lower left corner of the screen), look for the term “Defragment” in the menu that opens and select the icon Defragment and optimize units from the search results.
In the window that opens, take a look at the box Planned optimization located at the bottom: if you find the inscription inside enabled, means that the Windows defragmentation utility is active and that it already takes care of optimizing the drives automatically. Otherwise you will have to act on the settings of the utility and activate the automatic disk optimization.
To change the settings of the defragmentation utility and activate automatic disk optimization, click on the button Change settings located at the bottom right and put the check mark next to the items Run on a schedule (recommended) is Notification in case of three consecutive scheduled executions not completed in the window that opens.
At this point, select the frequency with which to automatically optimize the discs from the appropriate drop-down menu (I recommend you Every week, but you can also choose Every month; Everyday it seems excessive) and click on the button Choose to select the units to which automatic optimization will be applied. I recommend that you enable optimization on all drives, hard drives and SSDs.
Once you have activated the automatic disk optimization, I advise you to check the current status of the various units and, if necessary, to defragment “manually” those that need them.
To check the fragmentation status of a drive, all you have to do is go back to the main window of the defragmentation utility and check the items that are next to the name of each drive: in the column Last run you will find the date the drive was last defragmented while in the column Current state you will find the status of the drive indicated. If you find in the “Current Status” column Optimization needed, means that the data on the drive is fragmented and needs defragmentation. If, however, nothing is written in the “Current status” column, it means that the Windows defragmentation utility has not yet verified the status of the unit and that you have to “force” its verification by selecting its name and pressing the button Analyze (found below).
Once the status of a disk has been verified, to start the defragmentation “manually”, select its icon and click on the button Optimize located at the bottom right. This could take a few minutes or several hours, depending on the type of disk (mechanical disks take much longer than SSDs) and the degree of data fragmentation.
My advice, in conclusion, is to let the Windows utility work automatically and to check from time to time (like once a month) that it is active and is doing its job correctly.
If after completing the disk defragmentation you still notice a certain slowness in opening files and applications, try to follow all the advice I gave you in my tutorial on how to optimize the system.
The defragmentation utility included with Windows 10 does its job very well and is sufficient for the vast majority of users. However it must be said that there are also third-party solutions that allow you to have more control over disk defragmentation operations.
Among the (few) alternative programs to defragment Windows 10 that I recommend you consider, there is Defraggler which is produced by the same company as CCleaner (very famous free software for deleting unnecessary files) and offers very flexible control over the defragmentation activities of mechanical hard drives and SSDs.
To download Defraggler to your PC, connected to its official website and click on the button first Download Free Version and then on Free Download is Piriform.com (under the icon Defraggler Free). When the download is complete, open the Defraggler installation package (dfsetupxx.exe), click on the button Yup and select theItalian from the drop-down menu for choosing the language (bottom right).
At this point, click the buttons Next is Forward, remove the tick from the entry Replace defragmentation of Windows disks (unless you want to completely replace the Windows utility with Defraggler) and click once more on Forward.
Finally, put the check mark next to the entry No, thanks. I don’t need CCleaner to avoid downloading CCleaner (which is very useful but not needed for disk defragmentation) and click on Forward is end to finish the setup.
When installation is complete, to check the status of a disk with Defraggler and, if necessary, defragment it, start the application, select the drive to be examined and click on the button Analyze located at the bottom left. Within a few minutes a graph should appear showing the fragmentation status of the unit and in the column Fragmentation located at the top, an indication of the degree of disk fragmentation (in percent).
If the percentage of fragmentation of the unit analyzed is very high, you can control its defragmentation by selecting its icon in the main Defraggler window and pressing the button Defragment located at the bottom left. If you are in a hurry and you only want to “shake” the disk by defragmenting the minimum necessary to improve its performance, click on the arrow ▼ which is next to the “Defragment” button and select the item Rapid defragmentation from the menu that opens to start a fast disk defragmentation.
If you are a fairly experienced user, you can adjust the advanced settings related to the defragmentation performed by Defraggler by selecting the item Options from the menu Settings of the program (top left). Also, by going to the menu Settings> Schedule and putting the check mark next to the item Schedule defragmentation of the chosen volume you can set the automatic defragmentation of a unit on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, each time you log in, every time you start your PC or one-off.
Expanding the dropdown menu Defragmentation type you can also choose the type of defragmentation to be performed automatically (e.g. complete or fast), while placing a check mark next to the item Apply additional conditions and pressing the button Tax you can set additional parameters for the automatic defragmentation procedure (for example you can automatically stop the defragmentation if it lasts more than a few hours or enable it only beyond certain fragmentation thresholds of the drive.
Personally I recommend you to use Defraggler instead of the defragmentation utility included in Windows 10 only in case of real need (i.e. if the default utility does not work or does not seem to do its job well). If you decide to use Defraggler on an ongoing basis, be sure to turn off the automatic defragmentation of the utility included with Windows.