How to Defragment Hard Disk Drive in Windows 10

Last Updated on April 18, 2021 by admin

Over the time, you write and save different files on your computer system. Initially, your hard disk is programmed to save data on it sequentially by default. However, as you remove files from the hard disk by deleting them, the sequential arrangement of files get disturbed and certain gaps are created between different file locations. Sometimes, the new files are so small that they can easily fit into those gaps but at times, those files are too large that only a part of them can be saved in a gap. Such files are not saved completely on contiguous locations; rather different parts of these files are saved on multiple different locations. The scattered saving of these files is known as fragmentation.

Fragmentation causes your computer system to slow down as it takes a lot of time in accessing the hardware multiple times in order to seek for different pieces of a file and then to fetch them. To stop this from happening, Windows 10 provides you with the Optimize Drives utility, which lets you defragment your hard disk drive. By defragmentation, it means to bring the scattered pieces of a file together and then save them at contiguous locations so that disk access time can be reduced. This makes your computer system performance efficient. In this article, we will explain to you the methods through which you can defragment your hard disk drive using Windows 10.

Methods of Defragmenting Hard Disk Drive in Windows 10

For defragmenting your hard disk drive using Windows 10, you can make use of any of the following two methods explained below:

Method # 1: Optimize Drives utility

In order to defragment your hard disk drive using this method in Windows 10, you need to proceed as follows:

Type Defragment and Optimize Drives in the search section of your taskbar and click on the search results to launch the Optimize Drives utility window.

Optimize Drives utility

The newly opened Optimize Drive utility window is shown in the image below:

Optimize Drives

Now you need to look at the current status. If it is set to Ok, it means that you do not have to defragment your hard disk drive because it is not that much fragmented that it can affect the performance of your computer system.

Still, if you do want to analyze the percentage fragmentation of any of your drives, you just need to click on that particular drive and then click on the Analyze button. The analysis will automatically start and when it will finish, it will tell you the percentage fragmentation of that drive. If that percentage is more than 10%, then it is advisable to defragment your drive by clicking on the Optimize button otherwise not. In this case, I analyzed the C drive but its percentage fragmentation was less than 10% so there is no need for defragmentation. It is shown in the following image:

Analyze drive

After analysis or after the defragmentation, you can click on the Close button to close this window.

Method # 2: Use File Explorer

The second method of hard disk drive defragmentation using Windows 10 is as follows:

Type File Explorer in the search section of your taskbar and click on the search results to launch the file explorer window or click on the file explorer icon from the taskbar.

Windows File Explorer

Now click on the drive that you want to Optimize. In this case, I have clicked on the C drive.

Optimice C: Drive

Now click on the Manage tab located at the ribbon and then click Optimize. It is shown in the following image:

Manage > Optimize

As soon as you will click on Optimize, the Optimize Drives utility window will pop up which is shown in the image below:

Optimize Drives utility window

After opening this window, just follow the steps 3 to 5 of Method # 1.

Optimize the C: Drive


By following any of the two methods mentioned above, you can perform the defragmentation of your hard disk drive and optimize its performance. Usually, it is recommended that you should perform the defragmentation process every month. It is a common practice to defragment any drive when its percentage of fragmentation exceeds 10%. Unnecessary defragmentation can cause damage to your hard disk drive. All you need to do is just to keep a check on the percentage fragmentation of your drives by using Optimize Drives utility and whenever you find this percentage crossing the threshold value of 10%, you can perform the defragmentation in order to improve the efficiency of your computer system.

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